B’Con day 3

Wednesday night (sorry I didn’t get this up Friday) the governor of Alaska stood up in front of several hundred crime writers, declared that, in her position of chief law enforcement officer of the state, it was a crime to indulge in bad writing, and then proceeded to issue us all with a blanket pardon for any sins committed during the days of BoucherCon. Not that all that many of us are actually writing while we are here, but it’s nice to know that this blog has been declared a crime-free zone.

After the governor’s pardon and the official opening of BoucherCon, awards were announced for the Barry and Macavity awards, and the nominees for the Anthony awards announced. These are fan awards, of authors loved and revered by the readers gathered here, and the winners were universally bubbling over with pleasure.

When we had opened the conference, some of us wandered down the street for dinner, and a very lovely dinner it was, tasty and interesting and enriched by tasty and interesting conversation, and followed by another party, hosted by the good people at Crimespree magazine, that began at nine o’clock—although I admit that I visited, I chatted, and I left, my throat protesting the volume of music and conversation in the bar.

Friday was the second panel I was asked to host, this one on the use of Place in writing. Steven Booth writes a series set entirely in the Peak district of England; Sharan Newman writes a series set in Medieval Europe; Ruth Dudley Edwards moves her characters around in her series of satirical comedies; and Charles Benoit drops his characters in colorful places across the globe. Vicki has talked about the panel at her ongoing Bcon blog, so I won’t go into the details, other than saying that it’s always a joy to moderate a panel made up of sharp, witty speakers who keep to the point and don’t need tugging back into line.

This afternoon, after a quick trip back into the hotel to wash my hair and do some laundry, I met with a few members of the Virtual Book Club who came to BoucherCon. It was fun to see them wearing the VBC t-shirts and carrying the book bags, and we had a beer (five local varieties now and counting) and some potato skins while we were talking books.

The party hosted by the Poisoned Pen Press, my English publishers, was a true bash, with food and drink and a jazz band. Barbara Peters and Rob Rosenwald are long time authorities in the mystery world who began a press following their belief that the world had the need for a publishing house that concentrated on good mysteries that weren’t necessarily aimed at the New York Times list. Solid, beautiful books, well written, well edited, with attractive covers, and since they’ve been published they’ve won prizes, lots of them. I adore Barbara and Rob, and was happy to show up and celebrate their years of publishing.

Then another dinner, this time with a woman I’ve long admired as a novelist and a Harley Jane Kozak, whom I never happened to meet. Harley Jane writes like a 21st century Jane Austen, her books fast and funny and human and liberally sprinkled with zingy insights into what it is to be a woman: I can’t wait to read her post-divorce book, when she lets out all the stops. The meeting turned out to be a mutual admiration society, and I was tickled when she asked me to guest post one day over at The Lipstick Chronicles.

This is why I love BoucherCon. This is why you need to sign up now for Baltimore.

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  1. Harley on September 29, 2007 at 5:24 pm

    I am blushing.

    The only downside to dinner with Laurie is that I now understand more about rennet-filled cheese than I ever wanted to know and, being a vegetarian, have to forego it if I want to sleep nights and not hear the sound of baby calves crying out, “give me back my stomach lining!”

  2. Kerry on September 29, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    What fun you’re having! Thanks so much for sharing it with the rest of us.

    Harley’s books are fantastic; Dead Ex is, for my money, the best yet. In addition to the humor and zingi-ness, she can also come up with insights into the human condition so beautifully written they’ll take your breath away. And I heartily recommend The Liptstick Chronicles blog. In fact, Laurie, it’s thanks to you that I started hanging out over there — you once recommended a guest blog by Elaine Viets (now a regular) on “male romance novels.” Anyway, it’s great stuff, especially on Fridays, when Margie, the office help, offers her unique take on life, love, and, well, more life and more love.

  3. vicki on September 30, 2007 at 2:44 pm

    Y’all *definitely* need to go to Baltimore next year! Not only is a B’con major fun, but we can do another Virtual Book Club meetup there. BTW–the link to my B’con thread didn’t take, so here it is:


    Hi, Harley–I enjoyed your Thursday morning panel at B’con! And hi to you, Kerry!

  4. Roxanne on October 1, 2007 at 8:40 am

    Baltimore? Goddess! I can do that! Not far from Philly. BoucherCon 2008, here I come!

    BTW: For all of those who know I have been looking for work and have been so kind to offer me positive words and support, I just wanted to let you know that I am–as of today–officially an employee of Swarthmore College in Pennsylvania. It is only a one-year position but, heh, you’ve got to start somewhere, I guess.

  5. vicki on October 1, 2007 at 12:52 pm

    Wooohooo and congratulations, Roxanne! I’m very happy for you! May this be the launching point for great career developments. 🙂 And I’m already looking forward to seeing you in Baltimore!

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