Monday, October 3, 2011

The Pokey Little Bouchercon Post

Yes, I'm still blogging about Bouchercon. Yes, it is a little sad on my part. In my defense I had three other planned posts for last week, and the last two posts I have are totally worth waiting for. Why you ask? Well let's take a look at Friday in St. Louis!

The morning started bright and early with a very nice breakfast co-sponsored by the Midwest chapter of Mystery Writers of America and The breakfast was held for librarians, bloggers, booksellers and other related conference attendees. Guests of Honor Charlaine Harris and Colin Cotterill spoke, while additional Minotaur authors hosted individual tables.

Brad Parks and Sabrina Ogden

Charlaine Harris

Colin Cotterill deep in thought about Charlaine's speech?

Ali is tweeting? Or Facebooking maybe?

Once we had full tummies, we could move on to the programming of the day. For me that started with a panel called "Shake and Finger Pop." It's a bit of a misleading title as the panel dealt with fight sports in crime fiction. The panelists included Jamie Freveletti, Tom Schreck, Christa Faust, and Frank Bill all moderated by Eric Beetner. It's fascinating to hear the way each of the panelists views fighting in relation to plotting and their characters. Tom Schreck and Frank Bill have more of a boxing background and Jamie Freveletti is a martial artist with a black belt in aikido. Christa Faust's character is a former porn star, and Christa pointed out parallels between the porn industry and professional fighting.
Jamie Freveletti and Christa Faust

Jamie Freveletti

Christa Faust and Tom Schreck

Tom Shreck and Frank Bill

The next session I attended was Ridley Pearson's interview by Jeff Abbott. I know from my own experiences interviewing Ridley, that he's a wonderful interviewee. Add to that Jeff Abbott is a fabulous interviewer and this session was outstanding! Jeff rocked the house with his self-deprecating sense of humor, his knowledge of his subject and his appreciation for Bouchercon as a fan conference. Sometimes participants forget that. This isn't a writer's conference. The fans come to know the writers more than the writing. The unfortunate part of this interview was its time slot. The charity bowling tournament was going on at the same time. I'm sad more people couldn't have enjoyed this wonderful interview. And sadly, I arrived a few minutes late, so I didn't get to record it. That was my biggest regret of the conference. But here are some pictures from the fun:

Jeff made Ridley really think on this question.
This picture says so much about the entire interview.
Ooooh, I think Ridley is telling a secret!

I just love this shot! Doesn't Ridley look like an excited little kid? So much fun!

Following Ridley's interview I opted to see Dark Angel: Morally Challenged Heroes. This was an extra special panel for me because two people I've gotten to know and really like through social media were teamed up here. Chris Holm was the moderator and Bill Cameron was one of the panelists. And I can attest that they are super great people and it was wonderful to get to meet them in person. Also on this panel were Blake Crouch, Theresa Schwegel, Michael Wiley and Leighton Gage. After a little unforeseen informercial, the panel was off and running and quite entertaining. The interesting outcome was that none of the authors really viewed their heroes as morally challenged.

Chris Holm and Bill Cameron

Theresa Schwegel and Michael Wiley

The programming element of the day ended with one of my highlights for the conference: Gregg Hurwitz interviewed Robert Crais. I'm not going to say a lot about this interview because I have it recorded for you to see yourself. If you didn't get to attend, here's your chance to see it. If you did attend and just want to relive you go. What I will say is that Gregg Hurwitz did an exceptional job. He understood the idea of the fan convention and created an environment where the fans could know the man behind the writing. It was fun, humorous and enlightening. Gregg has given me much to aspire to in the realm of interviewing. And that's enough from me. Here's the video:

Finally, I'll wrap with our gift to Robert Crais. The Craisies did a little brainstorming and with the initiative of Naomi Johnson (The Drowning Machine) we got jersey's that said "The Craisies" across the front. Then we each picked an RC character and had the name put on the back. He was gifted the #1 shirt:


Chris October 3, 2011 at 7:25 AM  

Thanks so much for the kind mention, Jen! It was a pleasure to meet you. So glad you enjoyed my panel (ahem, give or take a bizarre digression.)

Judy Bobalik October 3, 2011 at 8:16 AM  

Can't wait to watch the video later today.
Pleased that Chris' panel was fine after the commercial interruption. I knew he would do a great job.
I hate bowling, especially when trying to schedule panels.
As God as my witness I was thinking of shake and finger pop in the sense when you shake before a fight and then usually they pop their knuckles etc. I looked up the meaning of finger pop, oh my.

Keith Rawson October 3, 2011 at 10:41 AM  

It was the Bcon that wouldn't die because it was the BEST Bcon (Well, at least from my frame of reference. It was my first, there fore it had to be the best.) Can't wait to watch the videos later on tonight, Jen

Natalie~Coffee and a Book Chick October 3, 2011 at 12:00 PM  

Those shirts are fantastic! What a great event and can't wait to read more!

Christine October 3, 2011 at 4:57 PM  

I did see and really enjoyed the Shake and FingerPop panel! Gregg Hurwitz's interview of Robert Crais was such great fun...enjoyed watching the video again. I'm glad you posted that so I could share it with Brian. I loved getting together with the rest of the Craisies!

Jann October 3, 2011 at 10:20 PM  

Thanks for the peek into that wonderful experience! You and Elyse (and others) make it real for me!

Pop Culture Nerd October 4, 2011 at 10:47 PM  

Nice reporting, Jen, especially the videos. That's a LOT of work, and extremely generous of you to do for those who couldn't attend.

Jen October 5, 2011 at 3:39 PM  

Thanks for all the comments everyone. As you can see from those who attended, this was a great conference. It's rather magical when you get together with a thousand other people who love this genre!

Chris, tell Brian I'm not doing this for him every time. I expect him to accompany you one of these times! :-)

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