Friday, 27 September 2013

Appleby Fair for Crimewriters #Bcon2013

I just came back from Bouchercon, a crime-writing convention that is held in a different US city each year. This year it was in Albany, New York. It’s an opportunity to catch up with old friends and make some new ones. There’s a mix of writers, readers, editors, agents, publicists, reviewers and booksellers. There's gossip, scandal, intrigue, jokes and parties. And books. It’s Appleby Fair for crimewriters and it’s wonderful. I have already registered for next year.

This year I was on two panels. I talked about methods of murder with Meredith Anthony, Matthew Clemens, Chris Ewan, Sarah Weinman and Hilary Davidson. I talked about creating the perfect villain with Michael Dymmoch, Joe Lansdale, John McFetridge, Steve Hamilton and Barbara Fister. (I don't have any photos of the second panel, sorry.)

I talked and talked and talked and talked and talked. By Sunday, my voice had almost gone. But it was so much fun.

Thanks to everyone who came along to the panels. There are dozens of them each day, and each one was packed out, which is a testament to the skill of the programmers and the warmth of the audience, many of whom came up afterwards to chat to panellists and tell them how much they'd enjoyed listening to (and, if they asked questions, participating in) the debate. It takes a lot of work to put the panels together, so thank you to Judy Bobalik and Jon Jordan for programming the event.

Bouchercon is staffed entired by volunteers, so that everyone - including the organizing committee, the programming committee, the registration desk, the timekeepers, and so on - is doing it for a love of books. A big thank you to everyone who made it such a brilliant event.

Interested to know more? There are write-ups from Greg Herren (I love that man!), Lee Goldberg (love him too) and Max Allan Collins (and I love him.)

Want more photos and gossip? Well, I partied with Thomas & Mercer, Crimespree, the Mystery Writers of America and everyone in the bar. You'll have to buy me a drink if you need the confidential details. Here's what I can tell you:

My old friends Johnny Shaw and Dana Cameron won Anthony Awards. My new friend Alison Gaylin won a Shamus Award. Laura Lippman was wearing the most amazing blue boots.

When I went to Bouchercon for the first time last year, I was clutching metaphorical letters of introduction to all the fun people from Lauren Henderson, like a Victorian gentlewoman (but with more swearing and drinking).

She made so sure the event went well for me, I mentioned it in the acknowlegments in my book (see right).

This year Lauren was there in person, and we had double the fun.

There are too many names to mention, but if I saw you there and I told you I loved you, I meant it.

See you in Long Beach or London.

Still not seen enough photos? Try here.


cathy said...

Great to read, Helen... and enjoyed the photos too. Yup, was a fun Bouchercon. Always great folks there!

Helen Smith said...

Yes, it's the people that make it such a fun event. Thanks, Cathy.

Dru said...

It was nice to finally meet you Helen. I'll see you in Long Beach next year.

Helen Smith said...

Dru, thank you. It was great to meet you at last and discover that you're just as lovely in real life as you are online. See you in Long Beach!


Ah yes . . . as one of those crime/noir/thriller author/promoters you met at the bar, at the bar, at the bar -- oh yeah, and impressed at the panel . . . I was certainly glad to run into your wit and bon vivant charm, dear Helen.

Long Beach -- unless we dazzle around WebTowne streets as well.

~ Absolutely*Kate

Helen Smith said...

It was great to meet you, Kate. Thanks for saying such nice things about the panel. See you in Long Beach!