BoucherCon? What? Sorry?

Friday: Breakfast with Picador editor. Spend an hour at the IACW table thrusting hot-pink flyers in the hands of everyone going past and exhorting them to join. Cycle through the bookroom signing copies. Hook up with Hollywood agents. Go to business meeting, vote for San Francisco as 2010 site, passes: That means LRK is guest of honor, that should be great fun, and certainly an honor. See friends from Poisoned Pen Press and bookstore, go to lunch with them to celebrate over pre-made sandwiches and bottled iced tea. Go back and drop in on a panel—one panel, the first so far in the conference in the audience side of the mikes. Drink coffee, chat to sundry Loyal Readers and colleagues. Assemble in green room for panel; at half past four, sit down with Val McDermid, SJ Rozan, and Charlaine Harris and set about reducing Declan Hughes to a quivering, blushing, sweating nice Irish boy of a moderator. Once that has been achieved, relent and do a panel on We Don’t Need Another Hero. Sign books. Join up with Web Maven Vicki, trot up to Random House party; drink beer. Trot down to Minotaur party with Lee Child; shout at editor and fellow authors for a few minutes; escape with Lee to Random House dinner; eat nice dinner with editors, publishers, publicists and authors; drink rather too much wine. Faced by 8:30 panel, admit defeat at the possibility of Lee’s Reacher Creature party, and take wimpy self to bed before midnight.

Saturday: Eight o’clock, leave hotel room for panel. Forget name tag, go back. Leave hotel room again, forget pen. Leave hotel room third time, realize from grit in eyes that have neither put in eye drops nor applied makeup, although I do seem to have remembered glasses. Fourth time out of room, actually get into elevator and continue. Push aside line at coffee machine in hospitality room, remind self to take handful of creamers next time heading to room, so this does not repeat NOT happen the next day. Nurse cup of coffee down crowded hallways (Why are all these people up at this hour? And why are they all so cheerful?) to green room, find it empty. Go back down crowded hallways to panel, find fellow panelists, find seat, display teeth to fellow panelists. They take the teeth-baring as a smile, which is probably a good thing. Drink coffee. Not soon enough; panel starting. Who are these people, and why are they so cheerful? Finish coffee. Introduce self, in peculiarly gravelly voice. Wait for coffee to kick in. First question. What? Who the hell imagined it would be a good idea to talk about Sherlock Holmes at 8:30 in the morning? Consider asking one of frightenly cheery Loyal LRK Readers in front row to go get me another coffee, decide it would not be professional, mutter something in response to moderator. Audience laughs, mistaking incoherence for amusing remark. Slowly feel caffeine tickle synapses. Clear throat and summon huge effort: intelligibility. Success.

But the day is young…

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  1. Strawberry Curls on October 12, 2008 at 7:03 am

    Next year we should work out a sign for “need coffee” and one of us will happily rush to hospitality room and demand a cup, or if that fails, mug someone who has a Starbucks cup in their hand. It is the least we can do for you.

    I don’t think it was cheeriness you were seeing on all our faces, more it was the giddiness of exhaustion settling in on us. We wouldn’t have missed this discussion of Holmes, but, whyyyyyy at 8:30AM after a long, long day Friday that ended after eleven for those of us who went to the live auction and even later for those who went to various parties. Yikes!! As Holmes has said, “I’m getting to old for this.”

  2. nkk1969 on October 12, 2008 at 5:43 pm

    Just wondering…

    Did anyone get up the nerve to use the sock puppets to ask a question? And, if so, was this the question Laurie answered at 8:30 a.m.? (evil grin)


  3. Lizanne on October 12, 2008 at 8:47 pm

    Cheerful crowd? Yes. It appeared everyone was a bit sleep deprived that morning. Still, your comments were lucid and sensible.

    And the Declan Hughes torment was priceless. He looked like he knew what he was getting into before it all started but he just figured it out too late to get someone to cover him. I hope he forgets before next year and you can do it all over again.

  4. tangential1 on October 13, 2008 at 10:21 am

    Why is it so hard for panelists/speakers to get liquid refreshment while talking? I’m remembering your visit to the Stockton Library this past May, Laurie, where they had no water available and when you asked, the girl just gave you a bewildered look and came back with a half empty water bottle o_0

    You definitely should have asked. We Loyal Readers would be happy to grab you some coffee while you are confined to a table/chair=)

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