Boucher Con and abroad

Saturday at BoucherCon a number of us left the convention. Not through protest, you understand, or because there wasn’t enough going on there (hah!) but because the event planners had decided to add a library outreach, and share the riches of the convention’s crime writers with the city residents.

Back in June, Ruth Jordan (blessed be her name, one of the three forces behind BCon 2008) asked if I would be interested in moderating an event at a local library. I rarely say no to anything connected with libraries*, so I said sure, and she asked if I wanted to choose my panel, or take the library’s wish-list. And again, I said I’d be happy to work with whomever they wanted, so she read me her list of names.

All I can say is, that library has a really diverse group of readers, because the names they had chosen were Frankie Bailey, Cara Black, Charlaine Harris, and Gary Phillips. I may have made a slight gulping noise when she told me the names, because a moderator’s job is to draw her individuals together into a unit and talk about a subject, but I’m game for most challenges, so I took their list.

And of course it was great. It didn’t matter if one person writes gritty PI stories set in LA and another writes what have been called vampire cosies set in the rural South, not if they start out talking about how much they love libraries, and how they came to love books.

Some of the Friends of Laurie attending the conference, who piled into a van and came to show solidarity at the library panel, said this was the best panel they’d seen during the weekend. Which only goes to show that unexpected ingredients can make for an interesting dish.

The rest of the day passed in a whirl of socializing—drinks with various agents, literary and movie; the first half of a dinner with the readers from the Virtual Book Club and elsewhere; the second half of a dinner ten blocks away with editors and publicists.

And so, as Samuel Pepys said, to bed.


If you have a favorite library, send their name and address to us for our Laurie Loves Libraries list at, and they could win a book or audio book, or some other prize, in our regular drawings.

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  1. LaideeMarjorie on October 14, 2008 at 1:34 pm

    I have a lot to chat about regarding the glory that was B’con, but that will have to wait until tonight (when I am not at work…um, working), but, Laurie, I love that you have dubbed us the Friends of Laurie. Which can be abbreviated as FOL. Which can be pronounced as “fool”.

    “Are you a FOL?”
    “Oh, yes, I am a big FOL.”
    “I have been a FOL for about a year now.”

    You get the idea.

    –Marjorie, a tired but satisfied FOL

  2. Marianne on October 14, 2008 at 3:01 pm

    Hi Laurie,

    I must admit that I was a bit daunted about coming up to you last weekend and saying how much I loved your writing. The Beekeeper’s Apprentice was absolutely brilliant. I read the next couple of your books, but kind of lost touch with the others along the way. However, I did see you in the corridors and on a panel at Bouchercon.

    Keep up the brilliant work,

  3. Strawberry Curls on October 14, 2008 at 5:37 pm

    I’m a FOL/He’s a FOL/She’s a FOL/We’re a FOL/Wouldn’t you like to be a FOL, too?

    With my humblest apologize to whomever wrote that Dr. Pepper jingle many years ago. It just has been rolling around in my head since I read this post.

    I just want to say, I’m a FOL too, and the event in the library had such a relaxed and fun atmosphere it felt as though we were in someone’s living room having a really great conversation. –Alice

  4. Roxanne on October 15, 2008 at 9:41 am

    [I just want to say, I’m a FOL too, and the event in the library had such a relaxed and fun atmosphere it felt as though we were in someone’s living room having a really great conversation. –Alice]

    Alice, it did, didn’t it? The panel felt very intimate. For one thing, the venue was smaller than the panels at the BoucherCon Sheraton. Also, the moderator (our own LRK) and speakers weren’t sitting high up on some sort of stage. I liked learning about the varying writing backgrounds, processes and styles of these authors. Laurie did a marvelous job of moderating a very disparate group of people/authors. I am glad that we all got to go.

    FOL unite!

    (Hmmmm, I smell a new t-shirt in the future…)


  5. Merrily45 on October 15, 2008 at 10:33 am

    I shall be known forever as the One Who Squeaked, but I hope that after my initial Shock and Awe upon seeing you at breakfast, I comported myself with the dignity befitting my age and status. I second the compliments of the other FOL’s about the Library panel – it was relaxed, informative and especially enlightening about the writing process. This was my first Bouchercon and it will be forever memorable not least for the pleasure of being with the other FOL’s and following you about (not that we were, exactly, deliberately, I mean).
    I do reiterate here my thanks for the thousands of hours of pleasure your books have given us, and am considering the possibilities for the FOL designation…teeshirt? Tattoo? No, that wouldn’t be right…I’m 63 for Heaven’s sake!
    Thanks for your gracious way with your devoted fans! Merrily

  6. timepiece on October 16, 2008 at 10:53 am

    I kind of have a favorite library for you – LibraryThing. I (and anyone else who has favorited you there [currently 83 people]) would love it if you’d become a LT Author and shared your library with us – or did one of the new author chats! Given your recommended reading list here on the site, it seems like an even easier way to share those books.

    I swear I’m not spamming – I just really love the site and want all my favorite authors on there for more interaction.

  7. francesakasouthernlady on October 16, 2008 at 4:28 pm

    Bouchercon was a first for me in many ways. When Mary, my guest from Minnesota who lodged with me as I live near Baltimore, and I first entered the guest lounge and there you were chatting with friends, our primary purpose for coming was immediately gratified. Then my reserved Southern Manners kicked in and I merely noted your presence and went quietly on my way. An important thing happened while at the B’con. I watched people having fun and enjoying themselves. I laughed a lot with your other FOLs. I began to understand what it might be like to have to mingle with strangers who read your work and have opinions about it. I wondered what it must be like to have strangers wanting to be recognized by you. It was all new and daunting for me. Yet, I learned a lot from fans and authors alike. Authors sometimes enjoy fans while keeping limits at the same time. Authors are people just like everyone else. Not just like, but you know what I mean… It is a gift to an author to admire their work. It is a gift from the authors to share the inner workings of the story teller’s mind. I went away with many impressions to consider. Bouchercon seemed, in the final analysis, a safe and happy place to be.
    I am in my quiet way a FOL and proud to be so named by LRK. I have read all your books. Thank you for them and, as Merrily said, for your gracious and generous way with your fans.

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