Sunday, November 11, 2012

New England Crime Bake Rocks!

Hallie Ephron: Today we bring you tidbits from this weekend's 11th annual New England Crime Bake and I've been to every one of them! It's a 3-day conference held every year on the weekend before Veteran's Day at the Dedham Hilton, within easy striking distance of Boston. It's intimate (about 350 people), fabulous fun, and the always a hoot. Lucy and Jan and I are on the planning board right now.

We're in the thick of it, recovering from last night's blowout banquet (costume conga line and Everybody Dance Now! ...and they did!), heading back this morning to moderate a panel of "Plot Conjurers" and listen to two forensics expert before we pack it in until next year.

Here are two of my favorite quotes from Saturday's panels:
  • On what it's like writing a character that's not fully formed: "Like showering wearing a raincoat." -- Archer Mayor
  • On what a main character needs: "A goal and a gap" -- Joseph Finder
 And here are some photos of the highlights.

The BIG GUNS panel featured Joseph Finder and Hank Phillippi Ryan and Bill Landay -- here signing books after. They really are having fun!

 Our own Lucy Burdette with James Tabor after their panel on writing short stories.
 Dressed to kill for the banquet: Literary Agent Paula Munier and author / MWA/NE President Margaret McLean (with 80s hair about to cook the bunny.)
 Death investigator Michelle Clarke who looks adorable as Medusa (but don't look!).
 Michelle Dorsey and her main squeeze (who took second prize!) as Whitey Bulger with his main squeeze and Catherine Grieg
 A pair of AVENGERS (Nikki MADE these costumes -- which you'd have had to be there to appreciate), Nikki Bonanni and Jocelyn Kondrotas.
And I know you're all wondering what Hank and Jonathan came as... Sam Spade and Miss Wonderly, of course.

So come on down (up?) next year and be part of the fun! This is a conference that just keeps getting better!


  1. This looks like SO much fun!!!! One of these days, one of these days.

    I'm trying to work up the nerve to just wear a hat to the banquet at the next Malice. But costumes, Oh oh oh - I love 'em! Playing dress-up is a big girl's fantasy every bit as much a little girl's, I think. At least, it is to "this" big girl.

  2. I'd love to come next year if I'm not in England. Would have to start now thinking on the costume!

  3. I would love to come to CrimeBake some year because so many of my friends attend. But oh, costumes! I don't do costumes.

  4. I don't do costumes, either, but I DO dance, and if there's one thing this world needs more of it's opportunities to dance.

  5. You don't have to do a costume--it's fun just to watch! And Hallie's right, the dancing is fun too. but so are the panels and meeting old friends and new...

  6. I put on dressy clothes and announced myself to be a guest at a house party where a murder was announced! I enlisted others & we made great "extras" among the glitterati, and even got to walk the red carpet.
    This was my "maiden voyage" and it was absolutely wonderful! Each panel was excellent, the food was great, and the company -- the best in the world.
    I made so many new friends, and saw a few slightly familiar faces who now feel like old friends.
    And, there is no way to describe how hard the organizers worked -- they were everywhere, often in two places at once.
    Thank you, everyone. I shall return!

  7. YES. Dancing. And all the rest.

    And Hallie: Ahem. I remember a pair of DOGS, was it last year? That you might have participated in? This "I don't do costumes" shtick just isn't going to make it, girlfriend...

  8. Okay, outed by Edith.
    We did, we did... We were Beagle Boys.

    But you don't have to go in costume. But it's like two glasses of wine, wearing one - it really loosens things up.

  9. Not fair. I wish I were with you intead of running around the country.

  10. @Denise Ann - did we meet? Sorry if I missed you. (I was the Slut Fatale...) So glad you enjoyed the conf, and yes, the organizers make it look easy. It isn't - MUCH hard work goes into it.

  11. Yes, I met Slut fatale! On Saturday night.

  12. The entire weekend was a blast!

    Thank you, Hallie and Lucy and Jan and everyone else on the planning committee and all the volunteers for a top-notch conference.