Hello all- though I've been back for a week, am just getting caught up on all that was put on hold by leaving for Bouchercon, the worldwide mystery conference in New Orleans.
It was my second Bouchercon, and my third time in New Orleans, and it's tough to say which I liked more- the conference, or the city itself. New Orleans appears to have bounced back since Katrina and then the massive oil spill that blew out their fishing industry and devastated the Louisiana coastline, among others.
I'll do a second post with a food report and pictures from all the sightseeing, but for now I'll talk about the cool people I met.
Got to meet the superstar mystery writer, Sara Paretsky, author of the V.I. Warshawski series. She also helped to start the Sisters in Crime organization, whose mission is to promote the ongoing advancement, recognition and professional development of women crime writers. Yes, I'm a member, and got to thank her for the supportive organization and for her work in the mystery field.
The organization had a huge meeting and breakfast, and I met some of the hard-working women who make things run- Leslie Budewitz, the outgoing President, and officers Molly Weston and Diane Vallere.
Saw lots of familiar faces as well, most happily the Wicked Cozys, with whom we had a delightful luncheon. Most of the gang were there (sadly minus Jessie Crockett): Barbara Ross, Edith Maxwell, Liz Mugavero, Sherry Novinger Harris, and Julie Hennrikus. Barbara Ross will be appearing on this blog with an interview soon, so stay tuned for that.
And happily met the new slate of editors at Level Best Books, Shawn Reilly Simmons, Verena Rose, Harriette Sackler, and Kimberly Gray. This foursome now publish the yearly anthology of the Best Crime and Mystery Stories in New England. My story will be appearing in the Windward collection this year (the third year in a row I've been selected for this prestigious anthology).
And I got to chat with a fearsome foursome of writers I met at the 2013 Bouchercon. Had a nice talk with Josh Stallings and Neliza Drew, and got to sit with Tom Pluck and Holly West for a bit longer.
For an interview with Tom Pluck, see here. Tom and I both have stories in the Nightfalls anthology.
Tom and Holly are also two of the writers at the cool mystery-writer blog Do Some Damage. Then I met another member of that crew, Scott Dennis Parker, and got his book All Chickens Must Die. Awesome title, and a good mystery homage to the pulp PI stories of the forties.
Here's a group of Maineiacs that just happened to be attending the same panel- all Maine mystery writers. L to R is Paul Doiron, Bruce Robert Coffin, moi, Richard Cass, and Barbara Ross.
Among the Shadows.
I'm almost done reading it, and it's a fantastic first novel- get it now.
To find out more about Bruce, read the recent interview.
Met up with another top writer from my previous Bouchercon, Dana King. Yup, he had an interview here as well. Yeah, I meet the most interesting people.
As proof, ran into Sheila Connolly, who has three popular series out- and she's another Sister in Crime.
Another three-series writer and SinC member, Leigh Perry/Toni Kelner, was met in passing.
(Her interview here)
And I marched in the fun parade with Cheryl Hollon, another SinC member. (Her interview here)
As is Ray Daniel, another great writer from our area.
(His interview here)
In cool news, saw another Maine writer, Chris Holm, pick up an Anthony Award for Best Novel, for his latest work, The Killing Kind.
Met many more writers as well: Walter Gragg, Sarah Smith, Sarah Chen, Marty Wingate, Ann Kellett, Rochelle Staab, Janet Finsilver, Sheyna Galyan, Kwei Quartey, Cindy Brown, Angie Gleason, Lisa Brackmann, C.L. Shore.
And others: Andrew Case, an attorney, Heather Malone, a fun Real Estate seller, and David Cook, a Forensic Research specialist who lives in New Orleans.
These are only a fraction of the attendees, of course. Sadly missing were two people I really wanted to talk to: Debbi Mack and Todd Robinson. Todd is editor of the recently-deceased ThugLit magazine, and my story "Forever Amber" is the last story accepted for that great publication.
Debbi Mack writes the Sam McRae mystery series, and also has put together a boxed set of mystery fiction, with my first Zack Taylor novel, A Memory of Grief, included. There's a cool trailer if you scroll down on this site.
And of course the wonderful Hank Phillipi Ryan was at the conference, and again at the airport. She introduced me to Joseph Finder, another best-selling writer. And then Dave Zeltserman sits down near us, and I meet him, and we chat about how well the Patriots and the Red Sox are doing, as well as Dave himself. His book Small Crimes (next on my TBR pile) is being made into a movie, with Nikolaj Coster-Waldau (Jamie Lannister for you Game of Thrones fans) playing a major role. Awesome stuff. He's read the screenplay, and it looks to be a good telling of his book, according to the author himself.
And almost got away with not talking to author Pete Morin. Caught him at Logan airport, after trying to see him all conference.
So many memories crowded into a few days. Bouchercon is a great place for panels on crime writing, and talking to the writers themselves, and for doing business with all the ins and outs of writing and publishing.