Sunday, November 1, 2009

Back to Blogging and Bouchercon 2009

Hello All!

Ahhh, it's nice to be back & writing blogs. I'm taking inspiration from NaNoWriMo (annual November event National Novel Writing Month, the goal of which is to write a 50,000-word novel in 30 days), and am going to try to blog every day during the month of November. After 30 days, I'm hoping this (and other self-improvements) will have become habits.

Today is my belated Bouchercon report. Bouchercon is the World Mystery Convention, which was held this year in Indianapolis. I arrived Thursday early afternoon with my friend Robin, we checked into the hotel, dropped our stuff, registered with the convention, and separated to go find friends (Robin may have gone off to a panel...). I was lucky enough to run into first Judy Bobilik, then Ruth Jordan, who were already having a great time. Next I ran into my friends Ted Hertel, and Gary Niebuhr, who I seem to spend much of my time at conventions with, along with Marv Lachman. Ted Fitzgerald, another good friend, soon joined us, and I just basked in seeing these good friends; it had been 3 years since I'd been to Bouchercon.

Later in the afternoon, Sisters In Crime held a tea for 100 or so librarians, and Gary and I sat with S. J. Rozan. It was a very lovely short event, from which all were able to walk away with a free book.

Early in the evening, the short story, Crimespree, Macavity, and Barry Awards were all announced, and it was fun to see friends & acquaintances win. Later in the evening, the convention attendees were treated to free games and food at a nearby GameWorks--lots of fun! I ended up walking over and chatting with Joanna Carl, NASCAR racing with Gary, Terry Faherty and a complete stranger (I won!) and also had a wonderful conversation with Steve Hockensmith.

Up early Friday AM, in hopes for some free books (no worries, I paid for quite a few books!), but the publishers' event was not very well organized, and I was too far back in the crowd. I tried to attend a Private Eye Panel with S. J. Rozan, Max Allan Collins, John Lutz and Michael Koryta, but in the only snafu I saw, the panel was housed in a very small room for the subject, so I stood out in the hall for a good part of it--very good. Lunched with Megan Abbott, Judy Bobilik, Robin, and Robin's friend Aline--it was a lot of fun. Next was the Guest of Honor interview of Michael Connelly by Michael Koryta--this was excellent and enjoyable. I am inspired to get back to reading Connelly's books (I've been in cozy and/or rereading phase lately). I spent a little time & money in the dealers' room, then took a short bus ride to a local Western museum (in Indianapolis?) for a Western panel. On the bus, I finally met Jen Forbus in person!!! We'd been communicating online in various ways for at least a year, and it was fun to sit and talk with her! At the panel we sat with Terry Faherty, who in addition to being a wonderful crime writer, is an artist. The panel consisted of Craig Johnson, Steve Hockensmith, C. J. Box, a new name I don't recall, and Ann (whose last name I've forgotten). It was an interesting panel, and amusing in that at least 2 of the panelists thought they were writing historical fiction, not realizing their books also were Westerns. Terry took my pen and pad away from me and drew a silhouette of Craig Johnson with his cowboy hat on. I had Terry sign it, and he told me to have Craig sign it too. Craig not only did that, he took it one step farther and drew a caricature of himself at the bottom of the page--what fun!

Robin and I went to the Little, Brown party (invitation only, mostly authors, pretty cool), which had Michael Connelly (who I didn't have the chance to speak with), Michael Koryta, Megan Abbott, Reed Farrel Coleman, YA author John Green (a thrill for me, as he was registered for the con, but I love his books), and Bill Ott from Booklist. Also met two young publisher's reps who may or may not send me some advance reading copies. Walked back to the hotel where I ran into some other friends, Bill & Judy Crider, Jeff & Jackie Meyerson, and Jeff & Ann Smith--I tagged along with them for dinner. This was evening I spent time in the bar, including a terrific conversation with Tina Karelson & Simon Wood. Also finally met up with Sandy Balzo, and had my only sighting of Jerry Healy. Very enjoyable evening.

Saturday is when I start to get a little tired. Up early for the culinary panel, which included the award winning Julie Hyzy, Joanne Carl, Ellen Crosby & Nadine Gordon, moderated by Sandy Balzo. Good panel that made me want to go back to reading Joanne Carl's books and check into Ellen Crosby's. Out for an early lunch with Gary, Ted H & Sandy. Late that afternoon was the Anthony Awards, and I was so happy for Julie Hyzy (her second award of the weekend!), Chris Grabenstein and Michael Connelly! Off to dinner afterwards with Ted F, Robin, Aline, Jen and new friend Beth Ann from Jackson, MI. Later that evening was the Reacher's Creature's party given annually by author Lee Child. What an insane amount of people in much too small of a place! The bar, The Slippery Noodle, was a very cool blues bar with great music, but we were just put in too small of a space. I went back early to the hotel bar for a short time, but was actually in bed by 11:30(!). Robin & I scooted out without any long goodbyes, which was good for me, as I would have probably gotten a bit misty-eyed.

I love the mystery community and I love Bouchercon!!! My next one will be in St. Louis in 2o11.

Not mentioned in this much shortened version is all the lovely people I met, the many authors who are so fun and so kind to fangirls ;), and the books that I brought home and look so forward to reading!

Happy Reading!


Matt Ciarvella said...

Glad to see you're making a go of writing every day. It's not always easy, but I've managed to stick (mostly) with my goal of 5 updates a week... I know you can do it!

Auntie Knickers said...

Great minds think alike, I also decided to do a blog post each day in November in lieu of novel writing. A bit envious of your Bouchercon fun but it was fun to read about too. Keep up the good work!

Jen Forbus said...

It WAS wonderful fun, wasn't it?? I'm so happy we had the chance to meet...and we'll do it all again in 2011! :)