Saturday, October 23, 2010

Bouchercon - Day 2

Friday at Bouchercon started with a fabulous panel at 8:30, led by Crimespree brother Jeremy Lynch. Jeremy and I share the bond of first time moderators this year and I threatened to sit in the front row and make faces at him. I did sit in the front row, but I was so captivated by the panel that I forgot to make faces. And anyway, he would have just made faces right back at me!

The panel was called "The Hard Breed" and featured Gregg Hurwitz, Duane Swierczynski, Robert Ward, Lou Berney and Hal Ackerman. The great connection with all of these men is that they all do more than write novels. Some write for TV or movies, some write comics/graphic novels, some teach the craft...Gregg, he does it all. They compared the formats they write in, talked about how one may or may not influence another, and they joked with each other through it all. It was lively, informative and fun. Kudos to these men for managing all that at 8:30 in the morning!

Following the panel, I made my way down to the bookroom, moseyed around and then took a turn manning the Bouchercon 2011 table. While I was doing so, I got to meet Daniel Woodrell! And he is fabulous! He's a bit on the quiet side, very personable and FUNNY! I'm looking forward to seeing him again in St. Louis.

A few minutes later, I look over and see my friend Judy Bobalik hob-nobbing with none other than audio book narrator, Scott Brick! Yes, he too was in attendance at Bouchercon. You just never know who you're going to run into at this conference.

Val McDermid came to hang out at the Bouchercon 2011 table, decked out in her St. Louis Cardinals jersey. Meeting and talking with Val was definitely a major highlight of this conference for me. She'll be the International Guest of Honor in St. Louis.

After lunch I made my way to the Mulholland panel, "Murder by Proxy." This was my first ever opportunity to experience both Mark Billingham and Daniel Woodrell in the panel setting. They are both flat out AMAZING. Whenever you have the chance to see either one, don't miss it. Their insights into the genre, writing, and life in general are fantastic. Daniel Woodrell's deadpan comments about his neighborhood were hilarious. His outlook on his writing style is simple and exquisite. He simply never thought to write any other way.

I definitely enjoyed the peek into Mulholland's new line-up of crime writers. John Schoenfelder and Miriam Parker did a fine job of highlighting all of the talent on this panel, which also included the very humorous Duane Swierczynski, Marcia Clark, and Sebastian Rotella. I'm looking forward to keeping a close eye on Mulholland Books.

To continue the Mulholland themed Friday, Judy Bobalik and I headed over to their party at the Gordon Biersch Brewery. We were only able to stay a short while because we had tickets to the Shamus awards, but it was enough time for me to meet Jeff Pierce from The Rap Sheet, chat with Ali Karim and Roger Ellory, and get this fun picture with Mark Billingham, thanks to Miriam Parker, photographer extraordinaire.

Judy, Jeff, Ali, Roger and I caught a cab to China Town next for the Shamus Awards dinner. The room was filled to capacity, but Reed Farrel Coleman and S.J. Rozan had saved us seats at their table with Michael Wiley and Parnell Hall. We had an excellent time.

The dinner was wonderful, seeing Brad Parks win his Shamus for Best First P.I. Novel was even better.

We returned to the hotel where the Reacher Creature party was in full swing at the hotel bar. I met up with Alafair Burke and got to ring in her birthday with her. I think that's a pretty darned awesome way to end an incredible day!


bermudaonion October 23, 2010 at 9:49 PM  

I knew you were the Queen of Bouchercon!

Naomi Johnson October 23, 2010 at 10:19 PM  

Yah, what bermudaonion said!

Beth Groundwater October 23, 2010 at 10:49 PM  

I'm really enjoying reading your reports, Jen, since I didn't attend this year. I can't believe how much energy you had during the conference! I get exhausted just reading all the things you did.

le0pard13 October 23, 2010 at 10:56 PM  

More awesome B'con exploits! Sounds great, though.

kathy d. October 24, 2010 at 6:06 PM  

Fantastic report.

Wish Bouchercon would produce podcasts, dvd's or audiotapes of the panels.

Oh...maybe someday.

nomadreader (Carrie) October 25, 2010 at 12:17 PM  

I'm really enjoying your recaps of Boucheron! I hope to go soon: perhaps next year, but definitely when it's here in Albany in a few years!

Christine October 28, 2010 at 4:54 PM  

I'm so glad you reported on "The Hard Breed" panel. That was one of those times when there were several panels that I was interested in going on at the same time.

You're quite right about Daniel Woodrell! Totally enjoyed the panels that included Mark Billingham and Val McDermid!

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