RED RHYS: Greetings from wet, cold Cleveland where the Jungle Reds are currently enjoying a fabulous Bouchercon convenion. For those of you who don't know, Bouchercon is the annual world mystery convention at which the whole mystery/thriller-writing community gathers to feast, drink, learn and laugh. Many big names from our profession are here and it's a chance for fans to meet and mingle with their idols.
Last night the opening ceremonies were held at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. I have to say I was impressed with the glass and steel building and the giant guitars outside although the noise level inside was a bit much to take. But toastmaster John Connelly gave a good speech, guests of honor were introduced, including Mary Higgins Clark and Robin Cook, and the MacAvity, Dilys, and Barry Awards were presented.
There was a librarians breakfast that Hallie, Julia and I attended and at which Mary Higgins Clark spoke, then some excellent and diverse panels all morning.
But the central event of the convention was looming for us Jungle Reds. We decided that panels at these conventions can get a little serious and can repeat themselves, so we wanted to try something difference. We decided to hold our own game show--The Jungle Red a mystery version of Family Feud--and we weren't at all sure how it would be received, or whether we could pull it off. A brief rehearsal last night indicated it might be a career-ending moment for all of us. But Hallie had put in so much work, getting her computer to recreate the board, visuals and music from the game show. She had also endured embarrassment and possible jail when the game show buzzers went off in her bag while going through security. So we didn't feel we could plead a sudden case of the Black Death and not show up.
The other team (of Julia, Lucy and Debs) came up with great answers to what kind of evidence you'd find at a crime scene. Our token male Red for the afternoon, Julia's husband Ross, had to be restrained from claiming that "circumstantial" was a good answer. I also had to wrestle the buzzer away from him on several occasions but his high spirits delighted the audience.
For every winning answer we gave out prizes. The audience laughed, shouted out answers and had a good time. And that is what it was all about. I think we'll all stick to writing mysteries rather than try and take Vanna White's job away from her!
Tonight it's cocktail parties and schmoozing in the bar. Tomorrow more panels and tomorrow night our own Red Lucy's short story is nominated for one of the Anthony Awards. It has been great putting names to faces of those of you who follow our blog and send us your interesting comments.
And those of you who are with us at Bouchercon, do share your experiences!