Monday, October 8, 2012

Last Licks on Bouchercon

LUCY BURDETTE: As you've already heard from Rhys and Kaye, a majority of Reds spent the weekend in Cleveland. I'm afraid we've staggered out of the Bouchercon conference a tad brain-dead, so I'm postponing our group post until tomorrow to give more Reds time to chime in. In the mean time, here are a few more highlights from the conference. (I always intend to be a better and more prolific photographer...but fun intervenes!)

 As Rhys mentioned, the opening ceremonies were at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame--what a spectacular venue! (Here are Deb and me on the plaza in front.) I wish I'd had more than half an hour to check it out, but a series of frantic text messages from our fearless leaders called me back to the hotel to rehearse. I did take a fast spin around the exhibits--chock full of wonderful costumes and cars and videos designed to make the viewer sick with nostalgia...

Besides the Jungle Red Family Feud, which was wonderful fun, another highlight was seeing Hank bestowed with the "seal of office" as the new president of Sisters in Crime. I adore this organization for all it's done for women writers. And I so clearly remember taking the seal from SJ Rozan at the conference held in Anchorage, Alaska, and then tucking him into the suitcase for the flight home. I know Hank will find a good place for him to spend the year of her tenure--as she lends her amazing enthusiasm and talent to SinC.

 Next came Deb's delightful interview with guest of honor Elizabeth George. Deb said she'd never met her before, but it sounded like a chat between old friends--except for the 100 plus fans looking on. I was so proud of her!

And here I am waiting for the Anthony awards to be announced, sitting with Nancy Parra, Julie Hyzy, and Julie's handsome husband. We may look a little shell-shocked, but that was due to waiting over an hour while raffle ticket numbers were called out. (What can I say--this event takes a huge amount of courage to undertake, and not everything can go perfectly...)

 While neither Julia nor I won our categories, we truly were honored to be nominated--and congratulate Dana Cameron for her winning short story and Louise Penny for her novel. Oh, and it was a thrill to see my pal Julie Hyzy win for best paperback original--she was so excited!

I promise you we won't clog up the rest of the week with news of this conference, though I did snag a few wonderful writers to talk to us later on. In fact, I'm excited about the whole line-up. So please come back tomorrow to hear about how we'd design our family crests. And then Wednesday, I know you'll enjoy hearing about Downton Abbey food from a real chef and tea expert. And Thursday, writer and marketing magician Chris Knopf will visit, followed by Terri Ponce with her debut novel on Saturday.


  1. "I promise you we won't clog up the rest of the week with news of this conference . . . ."

    Speaking for myself, I enjoy hearing about your adventures as the conference, so thanks for sharing with those of us who were not fortunate enough to be there.

    Congratulations to Hank as she steps into the presidency of Sisters in Crime.

  2. Thanks Joan--appreciate your interest!! I know Hank will make a terrific president...

  3. What a fun post, Lucy! And ditto what Joan said - I'm loving reading about B'Con. It looks as though you all had such a good time. That's a convention I love and there's always at least one magical moment to be had by everyone who attends - paraphrasing our Hank, who was absolutely right.

  4. Brain dead out on the west coast, too.... So great to get to spend time with you all in Cleveland!

  5. It was so fun to meet and talk to some of you - Rhys, Hallie, Julia and Hank. Hank, I will be forever grateful to you for being the first friendly thing I saw at Bouchercon. As I said, my impeccably stylish signpost that I had, in fact, reached my destination. To this footsore Guppy, you were water in the desert.

    Hallie, Julia, Rhys - you earned a permanent fan this weekend. Not only because you are amazing writers, but amazing people for your kindness, generosity and enthusiasm - especially toward one who has just begun her journey. =)

  6. Please! I want to hear MORE about Bouchercon!
    Maybe someday I can get there. For now, I need to live it vicariously, and I am sure others feel the same way. So TALK to us about it!

    (The mystery I would most like to solve is why capcha thinks I am a robot.)

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. You guys obviously had an awesome time.

    And I'm sorry I wasn't there to see Debs interview elizabeth George or Hank accept the seal!! (or the Jungle Red panel for that matter)

    Great photos Roberta!!

    Capsha is killing me today

  9. We missed you Jan and Kaye and DebR! and Mary, sorry I didn't get to meet you. Happy to get to know you a little Tammy:)

    Would love to hear from anyone else who attended--what were your high points? or low? (Because honestly, there are always low minutes where we feel overwhelmed or insignificant too--we just don't crow about them:)

  10. Still basking in the glow of all the nice things people said about our Jungle Red Family Feud. We are now a brand, folks!

  11. High points for me:
    Signing and giving away the first advance readers copies of THERE WAS AN OLD WOMAN
    Getting air kissed by Lee Child
    Meeting Jamie Freveletti and Meg Gardiner
    Having breakfast with some amazing librarians from the Chicago area, including Connie Regan and Jane Trump and Nancy Parra

  12. Congratulations Hank! (Now I have another reason for telling people we're sisters even though we're not!)

  13. Oh, my, what a weekend! Congrats to Hank on the seal! So sorry Julia and Roberta didn't win in their categories, but remember, "it's always nice to be nominated." Really. Nobody remembers who wins:-)

    High points? Our Family Feud!!! So much fun! That I survived interviewing Elizabeth George (who was most gracious, without making a blithering idiot of myself:-)

    Signing for Books to Die For! All the assembled authors signed for TWO hours! Amazing.

    Meeting some of our JR friends like Linda Rodriguez and Tammy Kaeler and many more.

    And that, as always, is the best thing about Bouchercon--seeing old friends and making new ones.

  14. This comment has been removed by the author.

  15. The Guest of Honor interview that Deborah did with Elizabeth George was fantastic. Nobody would have guessed that these two writers weren't longtime friends. I was grateful to have been there as a big fan of both their work.

    The Jungle Red family feud was a hoot! Hank worked very very hard (like herding a roomful of cats) and was very funny while making it all run smoothly. It was a triumph of silliness.

    --Marjorie of Connecticut

  16. Love hearing about B'con -- so glad it rocked! Keep the stories coming!

  17. Leslie, I know Paige Wheeler had an acceptance speech ready to give for you and we were all disappointed when you didn't win best nonfiction. Hard to go toe to toe with Charlaine Harris!

    A triumph of silliness--that's perfect Marjorie!

  18. Lucy... you all are so wonderful. I've been following as I've been able. I love the photos. xo

    PS: I just got the "seal of office" funny.

  19. Oh, a RAFFLE?? Brutal. Really, brutal.

    It wa so fabulous to see you just brings tears to my eyes. And what wonderful photos! I just love that seal. (And all it represents.)

    So Next year. Family Feud again? Or shall we try something new?

  20. I'm just back--we drove (brutal!)--and catching up on JRW. I think most of my high points of the conference have to do with the Reds. The Feud--the height of brilliant silliness and great, great fun. Walking up to Julia at our publisher's party and getting a big hug. Watching Debs' great interview of Elizabeth George and then getting a lovely long chat with her afterwards over a couple of drinks. On and on. The Reds were the spark plug of the conference. Everywhere you looked and saw some energy spiking among a group of people, one or more Reds was at the center of it all, with Ross moving through the conference full of high spirits and contagious enthusiasm.

    I do think the sainthood award goes to Hank for listening to my poor star-struck Ben enthuse about THE OTHER WOMAN and patiently enduring his hug while all the time she wanted to catch a publisher before he vanished into the crowd.

    This was definitely the Reds' Bouchercon, though. They put their unmistakable red lip print all over it.

  21. And it was great to see you too Linda--and nice to have an adoring husband in tow! I bet Hank did not mind his enthusiasm about THE OTHER WOMAN one tiny bit...