It has been a busy two weeks. July 31 my husband and I left for a Danube River Cruise and it was awesome! Definitely the way to travel. I will share pictures next week.
We came home on Thursday and on Friday we left for an author’s festival in Suffolk Virginia. Wow, it was fun. Got to speak to the featured authors, who were all lovely, and to many aspiring authors as well. And of course I got to do my favorite thing: talk about my books.
Next week I go to Mechanicsburg for another author event. It is connected to the Mystery bookshop there but will be held in a local church. 9:30 – 2:00.
Another great Malice – except for the renovations to the parking lot and hotel, Nightmare. I heard via the grapevine that next year will be in a different location. I love the area around Bethesda but the struggle to navigate the parking garage was too much.
Below is a picture of my favorite panel: Murder Most British. I was so captivated that when a friend said hello I jumped a foot. Although I don’t write mysteries with a British setting, I love to read them.
I also have to give a shout out to the interview with Elaine Viets and Ann Cleeves, two favorite authors. Very very funny. Best line of the weekend: the sandwich looked like an autopsy on bread.
As I have mentioned before, I love attending Bouchercon. Not just because it is fun, although it is, but because it is so inspiring. This time I was put on a panel with other authors I have read, except for the one whose book has just come out. And one of my favorites as well: Laura Joh Rowland. I attended the interview of Harlen Coben by Michael Connolly – two heavy hitters. And the panel on social media. Well, I don’t need to continue. The point is that listening to other writers talk, about problems I struggle with – and sometimes they even have solutions – reenergizes me.
And the opening ceremonies with the faux Mardi Gras parade! Words cannot express. I wish I had taken some pictures but I was so caught up in the moment I never thought of it – even for the dragon float.
Holding the conference in New Orleans was wonderful as well. The people are so friendly and the food is great. We also took a few tours. My two favorites: the Mardi Gras World and the Whitney plantation.
I saw the two pretty plantations: Oak Alley and Laura.
The Whitney Plantation focuses on the lives of the enslaved.
This is detail from the wall listing all the enslaved at Whitney. I did not take many pictures; it was so sad and horrifying.
If you go to New Orleans try to stop by Mardi Gras World
B-Con is over for this year. I have already registered for next year. Why do I go to Bouchercon?
Well, I have always been a reader and I love the opportunity to find new writers. I use the little book that lists the panels as a reading list. (I admit, I am having some trouble keeping up with all the authors but what a good problem to have!)
I also find the panels interesting. Some are fun and some are perfect for writers. I attended one this time on pacing. Sounds boring? For me, it wasn’t. Other panels talk about diversity, characters and humor.
I like to serve on panels also. It gives me a chance to meet and talk to other authors. I have made friends this way.
All in all, a win in every way.
I am getting very excited about Bouchercon, this weekend in Raleigh, NC. This will be my fourth. Each one has been in a different part of the country and has been very fun.
My excitement is tempered somewhat by the weather. Flooding in South Carolina. Parts of 95 closed. We are coming from New York but my heart goes out to those just one state away. For those in New York who are planning to fly, the New York airports have delays. I hope that clears up in the next day or so.
My parents retired to Conway, SC and it is strange and creepy to see the areas around them – that I recognized – flooded.
They say that only Death and Taxes are certain. I think weather should be added to this aphorism. Yipes.
I spent last weekend in Maryland at Malice Domestic. This was my first Malice and I had a great time. I had planned to take lots of pictures but got caught up in the activity and only took two, of a fairly early panel.
At least this one was with Sara Paretsky.
I always find listening to other authors interesting as I discover how similar our experiences are.
I also try to read something by all the authors new to me. I go home with bags of books.
What fun Bouchercon was. And what a let down to return home. Besides the pleasure of California’s climate, the panels were wonderful.
Although it was odd to see Christmas decorations against palm trees.
Here’s another shot of the wreath. Am I the only one that thinks Christmas decorations before Thanksgiving is wrong? But I digress.
I served on a panel of historical mystery writers including Charles Finch, S K Rizzolo , Emily Brightwell, Susanna Calkins I was glad to hear that they too struggled over questions of accuracy and language. I also attended several panels. One, with Barbara Hambly, Edward Marsten, Caroline (charles ) Todd, Kim Fay and Tasha Alexander was particularly interesting in that they discussed the difficulty of balancing historical accuracy in all its ugly glory with modern sensibilities.
I’m already looking forward to Bouchercon in Raleigh, NC, next year.