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 itâ€™s nice to know that this blog has been declared a crime-free zone.
After the governorâ€™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 oâ€™clockâ€”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 wonâ€™t go into the details, other than saying that itâ€™s always a joy to moderate a panel made up of sharp, witty speakers who keep to the point and donâ€™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 werenâ€™t necessarily aimed at the New York Times list. Solid, beautiful books, well written, well edited, with attractive covers, and since theyâ€™ve been published theyâ€™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 Iâ€™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 canâ€™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.