Saturday, October 07, 2006

And a Grand Time Was Had By All

Rick’s blog tells it all – Bouchercon was a blast. The high point for most guests had to be the Meet the Canucks gala gathering and game show. Rick got to give away loads of great books all while raising awareness of the CWC and its members. I got to spend the night explaining why an American from New York is a member of the Crime Writers of Canada.

Now what’s the sense of going to something like Bouchercon without the chance to drop names? To save time, just assume that I was rubbing – and bending – elbows with the biggest names in crime fiction. Let me tell you folks, I was chatting up a storm and I could tell by the look in their eyes and the tone of their voice that these Big Name writers were wondering who was responsible for letting me in the room.

Madison itself if a quaint little place with an impressive capital building right there in the center of town. The place is teeming with college students, each one there to remind you just how frickin’ old you really are. Case in point: In a CD store I asked the fresh-faced clerk where I could find the Ramones CDs (there are rumors of an excellent bootleg concert CD floating around). The wee lad looked up, pointed to the section to his right and said, “Try Easy Listening.”

I had the honor of hosting The Architecture of Murder panel discussion featuring Mary Logue, Harry Hunsicker, fellow Poisoned Pen Press author Fred Ramsay and fellow CWC member Louise Penny. I read a book or two by each of the panel members and did all this background research – it was a wonderful way to procrastinate, especially since the books were so good. I had read books by Mary, Fred and Louise first – perfect cozies and great reads, filled with warm, real people who you’d want to spend time with over a piping cup of chamomile and set in towns you’d want to move to or at least visit in autumn when the leaves are changing and there is a nip to the air. Then I read Harry’s book, Still River. From the opening line I knew I was in for something different. “Vera Drinkwater had been a slut in high school, or so they had said.” I switched to Old Smuggler whiskey when I read Harry and vowed that if I ever do visit Dallas, I will avoid hanging out with Hank Oswald. Good stuff – the whiskey and the book. I still haven’t forgiven Dallas for embarrassing the Bill’s in Superbowl XXVII.

Next year Bouchercon will be in Alaska. I gave them my registration on Saturday.

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