Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Bouchercon - Post 2

My biggest regret about Bouchercon? I didn't get pictures of some of my friends! Darn. I was enjoying the company of Kaye Wilkinson Barley, Chantelle Aimee Osman, Aubrey Hamilton, Kristopher Zgorski, Dru Ann Love, Maddee James, Hilary Davidson, Janet Rudolph, and so many others,  and neglected to get photos. Darn, darn, darn.

I think Rhys Bowen wishes I didn't get the panel photo. She even said during the panel that she shouldn't be photographed at 8:30 in the morning when she's still on West Coast time. Elly Griffiths moderated the panel "Matching Antagonist to Protagonist in Crime Fiction". Tough subject, but panelists Rhys Bowen, Mark Pryor, Diane Chamberlain and Don Bruns did a valiant job fielding the question.

Bowen, Pryor, Chamberlain, and Bruns

I took a break for little while, and headed for the book room. It's a great place to meet up with authors. But, before I even made it there, I ran into International Guest of Honor Zoe Sharp. Zoe will also be a star in my book. She was the first author to appear for Authors@The Teague, and she came back several times. I'll always be grateful.

I ran into a number of friends in the book room, beginning with Deborah Crombie. I had heard the story of Debs' lost luggage, so she was eager for me to mention on Facebook that it had arrived at the hotel.

And, no matter what Rhys says about early mornings, she always looks elegant.

Before I worked the volunteer desk for an hour, I had lunch with Aubrey Hamilton at Jimmy V's, the Sheraton's restaurant. But, it took a little while for Aubrey and I to connect. That was fine, since I stood outside the restaurant and met Bill Crider and his daughter, along with Jeffery and Jackie Meyerson. It's so nice to put faces with names. And, both men have been very kind, reading and commenting frequently on my blog.

In fact, Bill Crider was on the next panel I attended, but after working the desk, I was too far in the back of the room to get a picture. Mark Coggins moderated "The Masters that influenced the Masters in Crime & Mystery". It was fascinating to listen to modern-day masters, Crider, Karin Slaughter, Megan Abbott and Lawrence Block talk about the authors they read, those that influenced them, and the ones they're reading now. It was also interesting to hear their answers when Mark asked their favorite book of the year. Slaughter said Lee Child's Make Me was class Reacher, a fantastic book with nice settings, a lot of violence, and surprises. Paul Bishop's Lie Catchers was Lawrence Block's favorite. Bill Crider's answer? The Girl with the Deep Blue Eyes by Lawrence Block, with a lot of sex, a strong noir story. Megan Abbott loved Chris Holm's The Killing Kind. As I said, it was just interesting to listen to these authors.

I spent some time, both morning and afternoon, with Talia Sherer from Macmillan. I just love Talia, and her enthusiasm for books, librarians, and cats.

Kaye and I had dinner in the club lounge before heading to the live charity auction. There were literacy groups that received the proceeds. And, Donna Andrews did a terrific job as auctioneer, pleading for higher bids "for the children".

Donna Andrews

Then, what better way to end the evening than with a Death by Chocolate Reception? Of course, Kaye and I stayed up way too late laughing and working on our computers. She's just a fun roommate.

I hit the book room again Saturday morning to see a few other authors. Larry D. Sweazy is from Indiana, the author of a book I really liked, See Also Murder.

Larry D. Sweazy
And, it was good to see Simon Wood, who told me he still has his Authors@The Teague mug.

Simon Wood

I love Terry Shames' Samuel Craddock mysteries set in Texas. I'm always happy to see her at a convention.
Terry Shames
Frankie Bailey and I were on a Sisters in Crime panel together last year.

Frankie Bailey

And, Sophie Littlefield! Sophie was one of the first authors to appear for Authors@The Teague, along with Juliet Blackwell, and they came back together several times. (And, who was that friend on Facebook who said I should carry around a stool so the authors didn't have to stoop down?)

My friend, Jen Forbus, introduced me to Lou Berney's books, and then Lou appeared at Velma Teague as well.

He introduced me to John Billheimer, and said he taught John's son in school.

I first met Robin Burcell at Desert Sleuths' Write Now conference in Phoenix. Now, we've run into each other several times at conventions.

I did catch the end of a panel called Human Nature: Our fascination with law breakers & law enforcers in fiction. Hank Phillippi Ryan moderated with panelists Lawrence Block, David Housewright, Michael Koryta and Alison Gaylin.

Murder Goes International was a surprising panel. I went to it because Jeffrey Siger was on it, but I had never heard any of the other authors. It turned out to be fascinating and funny.

Allan Guthrie (Scotland) moderated. Michael Sears, half of the team that writes as Michael Stanley (Botswana), Caro Ramsey (Scotland), Susan Froetschel (Afghanistan), and Jeffrey Siger (Greece) were panelists.
Guthrie, Ramsey, Sears, Froetschel, Siger

 But, when Guthrie told Ramsey that she frustrated him because he wanted to to talk about authors who were not native to the country they wrote about, she responded quickly, saying he said she was a nuisance. So, he asked her to represent the U.S., and she said no. Everyone thinks she's from Norway, so she'd pretend she was from Norway, writing about Scotland. Maybe you had to be there, but when she answered every question as if she was from Norway, it was funny.

Hank Phillippi Ryan had a busy schedule on Saturday. She moderated a panel, and then she hosted and moderated a panel "In Honor of Librarians: A Southern Tea". What a wonderful tea! The authors hosted a table, and I was lucky enough to sit by Karin Slaughter. She was kind and generous, signing books, posing for pictures, and serving as a wonderful host.

With Karin Slaughter

The panel consisted of Ryan, Margaret Maron, Kathy Reichs, Slaughter, and John Hart. When Ryan asked them about their experiences with libraries as a child, Karin Slaughter was the last one to answer. And, she said, before she answered, she wanted to give a shout-out to Table 12. The other authors mentioned their tables, but they couldn't match Slaughter, who mentioned Table 12 as being the best, the prettiest, etc., before every answer. Thank you, Karin Slaughter, for your dry, humorous comments.

Saturday evening, right before the Anthony Awards Ceremony, Margaret Maron was honored for Lifetime Achievement. Caroline Todd interviewed her, and it was a moving, sometimes funny, always touching, program. Just beautiful.

That program was immediately followed by the Anthony Awards. Best Anthology - In the Company of Sherlock Holmes: Stories Inspired by the Holmes Canon edited by Laurie R. King and Leslie S. Klinger. Best Short Story - "The Odds Are Against Us" by Art Taylor.  Hank Phillippi Ryan won for Critical Non-Fiction for editing Writes of Passage. The David Thompson Special Service Award went to Bill & Toby Gottfried. Best Paperback Original went to The Day She Died by Catriona McPherson. Best First Mystery went to Lori Rader-Day for The Black Hour. Best Novel was After I'm Gone by Laura Lippman.
Hank Phillippi Ryan with her Anthony Award

Kaye and I ended our Bouchercon 2015 in the bar of Jimmy V's with their homemade Limoncello. We also caught Hank as she was passing through, so we were able to congratulate her one more time, hug her, and remind her to slow down a little.

Someone called Bouchercon one big family reunion. And, I told a co-worker that I was in my element at mystery conventions, that these are my people. Where else can you room with someone (Kaye) who you corresponded with forever, and finally met, only to find out how much you laugh and truly love each other? The friends made at mystery conventions remain friends. And, people truly care for each other.

Bouchercon is a convention totally run by volunteers. The volunteers responsible for organizing Murder Under the Oaks couldn't have done a better job. It was fun, informative, and smoothly run. Thank you to all of them. Bouchercon 2015 was so wonderful that we're already signing up for Bouchercon 2016, Blood on the Bayou - Down in New Orleans. And, Kaye and I are already planning to room together again. Perfect!

Thank you to everyone who made Bouchercon special this year. See you in New Orleans! (And, some of you, I'll see in Phoenix for Left Coast Crime.)


Kaye Barley said...

Oh, Lesa.
I read this, and then read it again.
With a grin from ear to ear and a tear rolling down my face.
What a perfect write-up!
And what a perfect convention.
And we get to do it all again in New Orleans!
If I couldn't have you as my roomie there's no way it could be even half as perfect as Raleigh was - truthfully. Now I have no doubts that it too will be a perfect Bouchercon.
Love You to the Moon and Back!!!!!!

Lesa said...

Oh, Kaye. Thank you! I'm sure there would be someone out there, though, who would make a good roommate. But, you and I just fit as roommates! Thank you! I loved Bouchercon. This one was even better than my first one. Maybe because I felt more at home. Definitely, because you were my roommate. On to New Orleans! Laissez les bon temps roulez!

Kaye Barley said...

Laissez les bon temps roulez! YES!!!!

Clea Simon said...

This just makes me more eager for next year. Bouchercon AND New Orleans! Cannot wait!

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Nice reports, and great pictures. We sat near the door for the Crider-Block-Slaughter-Abbott panel and the way the mikes were placed made it hard to hear some of it.

Jeff M.

Jeffrey Meyerson said...

Oh, the reason I haven't commented before today is we just got home last night! We drove down from New York, and after the convention visited a friend and her family west of Charlotte, spent a day in Asheville, visited Biltmore House, went up into Virginia to Roanoke, then up to Charlottesville and Monticello, and finally back to Bethesda and then home. Other than that one day in Raleigh we had gorgeous weather all the way.

Jeff M.

Lesa said...

I couldn't always hear that panel either, Jeff, particularly Megan Abbott. I'm so glad I got to meet you and Jacki. Isn't Biltmore fascinating? I need to go back someday. I'm glad you had good weather for the rest of your trip. It's a beautiful time of year to be traveling.

Janet Schneider said...

Hi Lesa,
Fantastic post.
So wonderful to have met you at the Incomparable Table 12!

Lesa said...

Thank you, Janet. It was great to meet you. That Table 12 - pretty special, wasn't it? Very special author, too!