Bouchercon

Bouchercon 2018

Bouchercon was so inspiring! I’m energized from connecting with readers and fellow writers. Writing is hard, but attending events like this reminds me why it's so rewarding. Big thanks to the volunteer co-chairs that made this year in St. Petersburg, Florida happen: Erin Mitchell, Jon Jordan, and Ruth Jordan. Here are a few highlights:

Talking Golden Age mysteries with the two Shawns—Shawn Cosby (writing as S.A. Cosby) and Shawn Reilly Simmons—Martin Edwards, and Shelly Dickson Carr. Martin’s nonfiction book THE STORY OF CLASSIC CRIME IN 100 BOOKS won the Macavity at Bouchercon. So fun to nerd out with my fellow writers who have been inspired by the same books.

Talking Golden Age mysteries with the two Shawns—Shawn Cosby (writing as S.A. Cosby) and Shawn Reilly Simmons—Martin Edwards, and Shelly Dickson Carr. Martin’s nonfiction book THE STORY OF CLASSIC CRIME IN 100 BOOKS won the Macavity at Bouchercon. So fun to nerd out with my fellow writers who have been inspired by the same books.

Crime Writers of Color breakfast with old friends and new. L-R Elizabeth Mahon, me, Shawn Cosby, Vera Chan, Sujata Massey, and Naomi Hirahara (who’s taking the photo).

Crime Writers of Color breakfast with old friends and new. L-R Elizabeth Mahon, me, Shawn Cosby, Vera Chan, Sujata Massey, and Naomi Hirahara (who’s taking the photo).

Meeting Abir Mukherjee was definitely a highlight. His debut A RISING MAN was awarded the CWA Dagger Award and shortlisted for the Edgar last year. It’s a brilliant novel. Here we are with Sujata Massey, whose new historical mystery THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL is also terrific.

Meeting Abir Mukherjee was definitely a highlight. His debut A RISING MAN was awarded the CWA Dagger Award and shortlisted for the Edgar last year. It’s a brilliant novel. Here we are with Sujata Massey, whose new historical mystery THE WIDOWS OF MALABAR HILL is also terrific.

Abir, Sujata, and I donated an India-themed basket for the charity auction. Next to our books that’s a scarf from India from Sujata and Jaya Jones character art cards illustrated by my artist mom. I wished I could have bid on it, because you can’t get Abir’s latest book in the US yet—he brought the UK edition.

Abir, Sujata, and I donated an India-themed basket for the charity auction. Next to our books that’s a scarf from India from Sujata and Jaya Jones character art cards illustrated by my artist mom. I wished I could have bid on it, because you can’t get Abir’s latest book in the US yet—he brought the UK edition.

I attended the Nero Wolfe Banquet for the first time, and it was such fun! I was skeptical at first when told there would be singing, but it was a blast.

I attended the Nero Wolfe Banquet for the first time, and it was such fun! I was skeptical at first when told there would be singing, but it was a blast.

My fellow Archaeology Mysteries panelists Dana Cameron, Stacy Allen, and Mary Anna Evans. Who are our favorite fictional archaeologists? It’s a tie between Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones.

My fellow Archaeology Mysteries panelists Dana Cameron, Stacy Allen, and Mary Anna Evans. Who are our favorite fictional archaeologists? It’s a tie between Amelia Peabody and Indiana Jones.

Setting the Stage panel with Lisa Unger, Con Lehane, Steph Cha, Christine Carbo, and James Anderson. I moderated this great group. They made my job easy.

Setting the Stage panel with Lisa Unger, Con Lehane, Steph Cha, Christine Carbo, and James Anderson. I moderated this great group. They made my job easy.

Sisters in Crime’s new president Sherry Harris and immediate past president Diane Vallere. I love these women. Sisters in Crime has been such an important part of my writing career.

Sisters in Crime’s new president Sherry Harris and immediate past president Diane Vallere. I love these women. Sisters in Crime has been such an important part of my writing career.

Mia P. Manansala won the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award! Mia won the Malice Domestic Grant as well. Her work isn’t published yet, but I can’t wait to read it once it is.

Mia P. Manansala won the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award! Mia won the Malice Domestic Grant as well. Her work isn’t published yet, but I can’t wait to read it once it is.

At the Anthony Awards ceremony, the wonderful Lesa Holstine was given the David Thompson Memorial Special Service Award. And Lori Rader-Day won the Anthony for Best Paperback Original.

At the Anthony Awards ceremony, the wonderful Lesa Holstine was given the David Thompson Memorial Special Service Award. And Lori Rader-Day won the Anthony for Best Paperback Original.

Kellye Garrett won the Anthony for Best Debut Novel for HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE, which I had the great pleasure of giving a blurb before it came out. It’s such a great book, and her amazing speech highlighted the lack of diversity in the mystery genre, which she and others are working to remedy.

Kellye Garrett won the Anthony for Best Debut Novel for HOLLYWOOD HOMICIDE, which I had the great pleasure of giving a blurb before it came out. It’s such a great book, and her amazing speech highlighted the lack of diversity in the mystery genre, which she and others are working to remedy.

The 2018 Pitch Wars crew celebrating with Kellye! L-R Mia P. Manansala, Robin St. Clare, Sarah Nicolas, Kellye Garrett, me, and Jenna Lincoln.

The 2018 Pitch Wars crew celebrating with Kellye! L-R Mia P. Manansala, Robin St. Clare, Sarah Nicolas, Kellye Garrett, me, and Jenna Lincoln.

Congratulations to all the Anthony Award Winners!

BEST NOVEL: Bluebird, Bluebird – Attica Locke. BEST FIRST NOVEL: Hollywood Homicide– Kellye Garrett.

BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL: Winner: The Day I Died – Lori Rader-Day.

BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES: Y is for Yesterday (Kinsey Millhone #25) – Sue Grafton.

BEST ANTHOLOGY: The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir – Gary Phillips, ed. 

BEST SHORT STORY: “My Side of the Matter” – Hilary Davidson, Killing Malmon.

BEST ONLINE CONTENT: Winner: Jungle Red Writers – Group Blog.

BEST CRITICAL/NONFICTION WORK: Winner: Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI – David Grann.

Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans

Bouchercon was a whirlwind this year, and not only because I fell into a Twilight Zone episode for a day (I broke my glasses!). This is the "world mystery convention," the biggest of the mystery conventions, and there were over 1,800 attendees this year. 

The day before Bouchercon began, Sisters in Crime presented a SinC Into Great Writing workshop for writers. This year the topic was Writing to our Differences: Doing Diversity Right. Walter Mosley was the keynote speaker, and he gave a brilliant talk about writing authentic characters.

Walter Mosley was the keynote speaker at Sisters in Crime’s SinC Into Great Writing workshop. He is absolutely amazing.

Walter Mosley was the keynote speaker at Sisters in Crime’s SinC Into Great Writing workshop. He is absolutely amazing.

The other speakers at SinC Into Great Writing were Linda Rodriguez, Frankie Bailey, Greg Herren, and Cindy Brown (with Midnight Ink editor Terri Bischoff joining the Q&A session), who spoke about being true to both life and your books by writing characters who are racially diverse, LGBT, and with disabilities. 

SinC Into Great Writing presenters: Terri Bischoff, Linda Rodriguez, Catriona McPherson (moderator), Greg Herren, Frankie Bailey, and Cindy Brown.

SinC Into Great Writing presenters: Terri Bischoff, Linda Rodriguez, Catriona McPherson (moderator), Greg Herren, Frankie Bailey, and Cindy Brown.

On the first official day of the convention, the opening ceremonies were a blast--and unique.  A New Orleans-style parade was held inside the hotel ballroom, with each honoree riding down the aisle on their own decorated float. (Alas it was dark so my photos didn't turn out!)

My day had begun with a Sisters in Crime board meeting. I'm serving on the national board for a second year, both because it's a fabulous group and also because I've gotten so much out of the organization in my writing career that I want to give back to this wonderful community. This year is especially exciting because it's our 30th anniversary! 

Sisters in Crime board members and staff. Top row: Sarah Glass, Kendel Lynn, Lori Roy, Beth Wasson, Susan Shea, GM Malliet, Julie Hennrikus. Bottom row: Gigi Pandian, Catriona McPherson, Leslie Budewitz, Diane Vallere (incoming SinC president), Karen Pullen.

Sisters in Crime board members and staff. Top row: Sarah Glass, Kendel Lynn, Lori Roy, Beth Wasson, Susan Shea, GM Malliet, Julie Hennrikus. Bottom row: Gigi Pandian, Catriona McPherson, Leslie Budewitz, Diane Vallere (incoming SinC president), Karen Pullen.

To kick off SinC's 30th anniversary, I worked with New Orleans videographer Julius Evans of Red Clay Films to shoot some interviews with Sisters in Crime former presidents and members on the morning of the SinC breakfast.

SinC has so many amazing members, and one of my highlights from this project was getting to interview Sara Paretsky. We're editing these videos, plus creating more of them, and SinC will be posting the videos throughout our anniversary year.

Creating videos to celebrate SinC 30th anniversary.

Creating videos to celebrate SinC 30th anniversary.

Speaking of anniversaries, my favorite panel at Bouchercon was the Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 75th anniversary panel. I love the Golden Age of mystery fiction, so it was fun to hear stories about the team who created Ellery Queen and authors I love, like Clayton Rawson and John Dickson Carr. And yes, Shelly Dickson Carr is John's granddaughter! Her first novel is great, so talent definitely runs in the family. 

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 75th anniversary panel: Steve Steinbock, Otto Penzler, Janet Hutchings, Ted Hertel, Brendan DuBois, Shelly Dickson Carr, and James Lincoln Warren moderating.

Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine 75th anniversary panel: Steve Steinbock, Otto Penzler, Janet Hutchings, Ted Hertel, Brendan DuBois, Shelly Dickson Carr, and James Lincoln Warren moderating.

My own panel was a discussion of the solitary process of writing a novel, and it was so interesting to chat about how  different  each of our processes are! Learn to be Lonely panelists: Terrie Farley Moran, Julie Hennrikus, Gigi Pandian, Kim Fay, Wendy Tyson, Kate White, and moderator Hank Phillippi Ryan.

My own panel was a discussion of the solitary process of writing a novel, and it was so interesting to chat about how different each of our processes are! Learn to be Lonely panelists: Terrie Farley Moran, Julie Hennrikus, Gigi Pandian, Kim Fay, Wendy Tyson, Kate White, and moderator Hank Phillippi Ryan.

Since we were in New Orleans, of course I had to slip out of the conference hotel to do some exploring.

Stacy Allen, my partner in crime for the Haunted History hour and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum tour. Stacy and I are treasure hunt sisters, and I’m envious that she’s a diver so her treasure hunt thrillers feature underwater treasures!

Stacy Allen, my partner in crime for the Haunted History hour and the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum tour. Stacy and I are treasure hunt sisters, and I’m envious that she’s a diver so her treasure hunt thrillers feature underwater treasures!

Accidental Alchemist research at the historic New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

Accidental Alchemist research at the historic New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

Apothecary wares from the 1800s at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

Apothecary wares from the 1800s at the New Orleans Pharmacy Museum.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the haunted bar in New Orleans that’s been around since the 1700s.

Lafitte’s Blacksmith Shop, the haunted bar in New Orleans that’s been around since the 1700s.

I donated an item I'm very excited about to Bouchercon's silent auction: an original Jaya Jones work of art by graphic novelist Dale Berry. The drawing depicts my favorite scene in Michelangelo's Ghost (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery #4), and I printed a limited edition print run of 100 copies, which Dale and I numbered and signed.

The book comes out next month, so I'll be using the printed pieces as promotions, but first and foremost, I love that I now have an amazing Jaya Jones illustration for myself that beautifully complements the stunning book cover. 

Jaya Jones original artwork by Dale Berry, donated to the Bouchercon charity auction.

Jaya Jones original artwork by Dale Berry, donated to the Bouchercon charity auction.

A huge thanks to all the volunteers who made the convention come together seamlessly: Convention co-chairs Heather Graham and Connie Perry, Bouchercon board chair Jeff Siger, Mike Bursaw, Dave Magayna, Judy Bobalik, Jon Jordan, and the rest of the team.

Bouchercon 2015

Bouchercon is the World Mystery Convention for mystery writers and readers to get together each year. "Murder Under the Oaks" took place in Raleigh, NC, from October 8 - 11, 2015. I attend mystery conventions like this one as both a writer and a reader. With my author hat, I have business meetings to attend, panels where I'm a presenter, and book signings where I get to meet amazing readers. But as a mystery fan, the coolest thing about conventions is getting to hang out with other writers and readers to chat about mysteries.

Back row: Gigi Pandian, Debra Goldstein, Martha Reed (departing), Julie Hennrikus, Beth Wasson (executive director), Frankie Bailey (departing), Lori Roy, G.M. GM Malliet, Laura DiSilverio, Susan Shea, Diane Vallere, Simon Wood (departing) – Front: Sarah Glass (web maven), Cari Baker Dubiel, Hank Phillippi Ryan (departing), Leslie Budewitz (incoming president), Catriona McPherson (last year’s president)

Back row: Gigi Pandian, Debra Goldstein, Martha Reed (departing), Julie Hennrikus, Beth Wasson (executive director), Frankie Bailey (departing), Lori Roy, G.M. GM Malliet, Laura DiSilverio, Susan Shea, Diane Vallere, Simon Wood (departing) – Front: Sarah Glass (web maven), Cari Baker Dubiel, Hank Phillippi Ryan (departing), Leslie Budewitz (incoming president), Catriona McPherson (last year’s president)

SinC President Catriona McPherson handing the “Seal” to incoming President Leslie Budewitz.   I’m one of the new members of the Sisters in Crime board of directors, so the morning before the convention kicked off, I attended my first SinC board meeting (more details about the board and our roles can be found  here ). Are you a member of Sisters in Crime? If not, why not?  Here’s  why you should join.

SinC President Catriona McPherson handing the “Seal” to incoming President Leslie Budewitz.

I’m one of the new members of the Sisters in Crime board of directors, so the morning before the convention kicked off, I attended my first SinC board meeting (more details about the board and our roles can be found here). Are you a member of Sisters in Crime? If not, why not? Here’s why you should join.

This year’s  Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award  winner, Vera Chan, was introduced at the Sisters in Crime breakfast. One of my roles on the SinC board is to facilitate this fantastic award, which is now a yearly $1,500 grant, so let me know if you have any questions about it!

This year’s Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award winner, Vera Chan, was introduced at the Sisters in Crime breakfast. One of my roles on the SinC board is to facilitate this fantastic award, which is now a yearly $1,500 grant, so let me know if you have any questions about it!

It’s always a treat to hang out with Diane Vallere and Kendel Lynn. I met the two of them early in my writing journey. Kendel is now the editor of my Jaya Jones treasure hunt mystery series, but before that, the three of us collaborated on   Other People’s Baggage  , a collection of three interconnected mystery novellas. We’re still friends after writing a book together, so I know these pals are the real deal.

It’s always a treat to hang out with Diane Vallere and Kendel Lynn. I met the two of them early in my writing journey. Kendel is now the editor of my Jaya Jones treasure hunt mystery series, but before that, the three of us collaborated on Other People’s Baggage, a collection of three interconnected mystery novellas. We’re still friends after writing a book together, so I know these pals are the real deal.

Big thanks to Karen Pullen for arranging the Guppy Lunch, and to Jim Jackson for making sure we all introduced ourselves to put faces to the names we know on the online group.

Big thanks to Karen Pullen for arranging the Guppy Lunch, and to Jim Jackson for making sure we all introduced ourselves to put faces to the names we know on the online group.

And thanks to Art Taylor and Gerald So for arranging a lunch meet-up for the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

And thanks to Art Taylor and Gerald So for arranging a lunch meet-up for the Short Mystery Fiction Society.

Harriette Sackler (moderating), Art Taylor, Barb Goffman, Gigi Pandian, John Shepphird.    I spoke on a short story panel along with three of the authors up for Anthony awards for Best Short Story this year, so as you can imagine, we had a great discussion. We talked about the rising interest in short fiction, what draws us to this form, the craft of writing short stories, favorite stories that inspired us, and of course I brought up my love of  locked-room “impossible crime” short stories .

Harriette Sackler (moderating), Art Taylor, Barb Goffman, Gigi Pandian, John Shepphird.


I spoke on a short story panel along with three of the authors up for Anthony awards for Best Short Story this year, so as you can imagine, we had a great discussion. We talked about the rising interest in short fiction, what draws us to this form, the craft of writing short stories, favorite stories that inspired us, and of course I brought up my love of locked-room “impossible crime” short stories.

Raleigh is a foodie town, so there were many cute restaurants to check out, including the  Happy & Hale cafe with organic salads and green juice right across the street from the hotel. (Zoe Faust and Dorian the gargoyle would be pleased.)

Raleigh is a foodie town, so there were many cute restaurants to check out, including the Happy & Halecafe with organic salads and green juice right across the street from the hotel. (Zoe Faust and Dorian the gargoyle would be pleased.)

Three of this year's Anthony winners: Art Taylor, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Lori Rader-Day. The Anthony Awards were voted on by attendees and announced on the last evening of the convention.

Three of this year's Anthony winners: Art Taylor, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Lori Rader-Day. The Anthony Awards were voted on by attendees and announced on the last evening of the convention.

Another award given out during the ceremony was the David S. Thompson Award, presented by the Bouchercon Board to recognize extraordinary efforts to develop and promote the mystery and crime fiction community. Bill and Toby Gottfried were given this year’s award. The Gottfrieds live not far from me, so I’m lucky I get to see them on a semi-regular basis at Janet Rudolph’s Literary Salons.

Another award given out during the ceremony was the David S. Thompson Award, presented by the Bouchercon Board to recognize extraordinary efforts to develop and promote the mystery and crime fiction community. Bill and Toby Gottfried were given this year’s award. The Gottfrieds live not far from me, so I’m lucky I get to see them on a semi-regular basis at Janet Rudolph’s Literary Salons.

Huge thanks to the team who worked behind the scenes to make the convention a success.Last year was a blast, too, and I'm already looking forward to next year in New Orleans -- hope to see you there!

Bouchercon 2014

I'm home after four days at Bouchercon, the world mystery convention, which was held in Long Beach this year. On my way home on Sunday I was on a flight with several other Bay Area authors, and our conversation as we waited to board sums up the whole convention experience: even though we attended the fan convention as authors, we were most excited when talking about the new mystery books and authors we discovered over the long weekend.

I roomed with a pal who was attending the convention for the first time. This wasn't my first Bouchercon, but it was my first time with multiple books out and multiple events scheduled. In other words, it was the first time I felt like I was attending professionally. But since I was a huge mystery fan long before I became a writer, I had to set alarms on my phone so I'd remember to stop browsing in the book room, chatting with old and new friends, or attending cool panels -- so I could be sure to attend my own events!

Roomie Mariah Klein in front of the hotel.

My gorgeous book cover for The Accidental Alchemist was on display at the Midnight Ink table. The publisher gave away Accidental Alchemist mugs and I signed Advance Reader Copies of the book for readers. And it was great having a chance to get to know my editor, publicist, and fellow Midnight Ink authors better over the weekend.

The Midnight Ink booth at Bouchercon, with The Accidental Alchemist on display!
Here I am with my fabulous editor Terri Bischoff. 

At the "Author Speed Dating" breakfast event on the first day, writers table-hopped to tell readers about their books. I handed out goodies from a magician's hat, because stage magic is one of the overlapping subjects in the two books I've got coming out in early 2015: The Accidental Alchemist coming from Midnight Ink in January, and Quicksand, the third Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, coming from Henery Press in March. I paired up with fellow Henery Press author Susan Boyer, who writes the Liz Talbot mysteries, the first of which won an Agatha Award. We had fun until we started to lose our voices!

With Susan Boyer at "Author Speed Dating."

The Macavity Awards, given out by Mystery Readers International, were presented at the opening ceremonies. My locked room mystery "The Hindi Houdini" was up for Best Short Story. Up against fabulous short stories including Art Taylor's "The Care and Feeding of Houseplants" and John Connolly's "The Caxton Lending Library and Book Depository," I knew I wouldn't win, but it was such an honor to be nominated alongside those authors and stories. The Macavity went to to Art Taylor's story from Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine. You can see the full list of Macavity nominees here.

The opening ceremonies. Fancy!

It was only a little over a year ago that I participated in the New Author breakfasts at mystery conventions. I got up early to support the authors I knew with new books out. Plus, I had my own selfish reason for attending: I learned about several new authors I hadn't previously heard of but who are now on my reading list. (I've already downloaded Andrew Mayne's Angel Killer.) 

New Author Breakfast. Top row: Lisa Alber, Kathy Aarons, Annette Dashofy.
Bottom row: Tracy Weber, Ray Daniel, Sybil Johnson.

Appearing on the Locked Room Mysteries panel was a treat both because of the line-up (Jeffery Deaver's The Vanished Man is absolutely brilliant, and Marv Lachman's Heirs of Anthony Boucher makes him the resident Bouchercon historian) and because the subject is dear to my heart. I've always thought I was rather old-fashioned because I love locked room "impossible crime" stories that were most popular during the Golden Age of detective fiction between the two world wars, but I learned that I'm not alone! The audience was packed with well over 100 people of all ages. (I'll do a separate post on what we talked about, because otherwise I'd go on forever.)

On the Locked Room Mysteries panel with Marv Lachman, Janet Dawson,
Bill Gottfried (our moderator), Jeffery Deaver, and Laurie King.

With Jeffery Deaver, who in addition to writing brilliant books is the nicest guy.

Mystery conventions often raise money for local literacy charities through a silent auction and a live auction. Dozens of authors contributed to the auctions that raised money for the Long Beach Public Library Foundation and WriteGirl. Camille Minichino donated this hand-made miniature (check out all the miniature mystery novels!). I donated a Pirate Vishnu-themed treasure chest filled with San Francisco chocolates and a signed hardcover edition of the book.


Top: Camille Minichino's mystery miniature.
Bottom: my Pirate Vishnu treasure chest.

Conventions are always a combination of meeting new friends and catching up with old ones I don't see often enough. Diane Vallere and Kendel Lynn have been two of my stalwart writer pals since early in this journey. Sadly they don't live locally, but happily we all love attending mystery cons.

With Diane Vallere and Kendel Lynn. 

And then there are some people who feel like old friends as soon as you meet them. Steve Steinbock, who writes a regular column for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, is one of those people.

With Steve Steinbock.

Since there are far too many great books and far too little time, of the ways I decide which classic mysteries to read is by listening to Les Blatt's Classic Mysteries Podcasts, so it was nice to catch up with him in person.

With Les Blatt, who runs the excellent Classic Mysteries website. 

The Sisters in Crime breakfast was extra special this year because it included the presentation of the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award to Maria Kelson. I served on the committee that read through many outstanding applications. Maria's rose to the top, and I can't wait to see her book in print.

Eleanor Taylor Bland grant-winner Maria Kelson.

With Frankie Bailey and grant-winner Maria Kelson.

Laura DiSilverio handing over the Sisters in Crime presidency to Catriona McPherson.

I didn't remember to take photos at the Bouchercon Anthology signing, but here's the book. My locked room mystery story "The Haunted Room" appears in the anthology. (If you subscribe to my email newsletter, you may recognize the story from its original incarnation as a Halloween 2013 exclusive gift to newsletter subscribers. The new story is even better thanks to Dana Cameron's editorial guidance.)

The Bouchercon anthology, Murder at the Beach.

UPDATE: Thanks to Tanis Mallow and Rob Brunet, I have these photos from the anthology signing!




The Anthony Awards, named for Anthony Boucher, were given out at Bouchercon at a celebratory event on the last evening of the convention. The lovely Catriona McPherson won an Anthony for As She Left It.

Catriona McPherson with her Anthony Award
and our shared editor Terri Bischoff.

On the last morning of the convention, while not attending panels I camped out in the lobby in hopes of catching up with people I hadn't yet seen over the long weekend. It worked! Though I didn't manage to see everyone on my list (with over 1,600 people in attendance that would have been tough), in addition to two scheduled meetings I ran into several more people I hadn't seen all weekend. I'm glad I kept my own Bouchercon tips in mind, even if it was on the last day! Thanks to chair Ingrid Willis and all the volunteers for a great convention.

View from the Long Beach Hyatt.

Now that I'm home, I'm incredibly inspired to finish writing my latest mystery. If only I could pull myself away from all of these great new books.... Wish me luck. I'm going to need it.

Book Deadlines & Bouchercon

Yesterday I gave a draft of my latest novel to my critique readers (woo-hoo!), and tomorrow I head to Bouchercon to hang out with mystery readers and writers. I already shared my 5 Tips for Getting the Most out of Bouchercon, so I'm just popping in to share my schedule.

Surrounded by notes of all kinds as I wrapped up a draft.

Here's what I'm up to at the convention: 
  • Thursday, Nov 13 at 8:30am: “Author Speed Dating” breakfast, table hopping to chat with readers.
  • Thursday, Nov 13 at 1pm: Panel & Signing, Murder in a Locked Room, along with Bill Gottfried (Moderating), Janet Dawson, Jeffery Deaver, Marvin Lackman, and Laurie King.
  • Friday, Nov 14 at 11am: Signing Advance Reader Copies of The Accidental Alchemist at the Midnight Ink table.
  • Saturday, Nov 15 at 12:30pm: Bouchercon Anthology Book Launch & Signing.
Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention.

My short story “The Haunted Room” appears in the Bouchercon mystery anthology, released this month.

The Bouchercon 2014 short story anthology.
 Now I'm off to finish packing!

Bouchercon 2012 Recap: Back from the Mystery Convention in Cleveland

I'm back from a great four days in Cleveland for the Bouchercon Mystery Convention. Here are some highlights:

It's impossible to make it a few feet through the lobby without running into old friends and new. Below, I was meeting up with new author Susan Boyer (second from right) for lunch, when we ran into Juliet Blackwell (a good friend who writes the witchcraft mystery series), Victoria Laurie (whose books I adore but who I'd never met before), Chantelle Osman (Sirens of Suspense), and Lesa Holstine (of Lesa's Book Critiques).

Gigi, Juliet, Victoria, Chantelle, Susan, and Lesa.

The opening ceremonies took place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Thursday night. Since Bouchercon has a couple thousand attendees, not everyone fit right in front of the stage, so we were free to explore other floors of the museum. My favorite view was from above the stage.

View from above the stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

In the morning, I woke up bright and early for the New Author Coffee Hour, where I and over a dozen other new authors were speaking about our books. 7:30 a.m. Cleveland time felt very early for someone on California time, but as I was getting coffee I caught this gorgeous view. (Yes, Cleveland is beautiful! I posted more architectural detail photos over on the Gargoyle Girl photo blog.)


It provided an early morning thrill to have Scottish mystery novelist Val McDermid reading our book blurbs and introducing us.


After the presentations, the new authors went to the book room to sign books. I didn't know what to expect as a new author, but lots of people came to talk to me, several of whom bought Artifact. It was exciting to hear that Artifact sold out in the book dealer's room!

Twitpic posted by one of the people who bought the book!

Below, I'm at the signing table with Yves Fey, whose debut mystery Floats the Dark Shadow was recently released. It takes place in Belle Epoque Paris, so I'm looking forward to reading it.


After signing, I went to breakfast with Mysti Berry and Sophie Littlefield. There was lots of coffee and good conversation to be had. Did I mention lots of coffee?


Done with my own promo, I could turn to having fun and attending other panels! There were lots of great ones, and a few of my favorites that I remembered to photograph were: the paranormal mysteries panel with Sarah Zettel, Juliet Blackwell, Victoria Laurie, Judy Clemens, and F. Paul Wilson; the short stories panel with Laura Curtis, Shelley Costa, Terrie Farley Moran, John Floyd, Janet Hutchings, and Barb Goffman; the Sherlock panel with Laurie King, Daniel Stashower, Michael Robertson, Les Klinger, Dan Andriacco, and Sara Paretsky; the suspense panel with Norb Vonnegut, AGS Johnson, Ken Wishnia, David Bell, and Ted Hertel.


The Sisters in Crime Guppies chapter got together for lunch. 22 of us were in attendance, and here are photos of some of us below.


Even though there wasn't an awards banquet this year, I got dressed up with good friends from home, Juliet Blackwell and Sophie Littlefield. Anthony awards winners are posted here.


After the awards ceremony, I met up with old friends at new at the hotel bar. Clockwise from top left: Gigi Vernon (another mystery writer Gigi!), Darrell James, Roni Olson, Deborah Ledford, me, Ken Wishnia, Victoria Laurie, Juliet Blackwell, Nicole Peeler, me, Sheila Connolly, and Daryl Wood Gerber aka Avery Aames.


At lunch with authors Terry Shames and LJ Sellers before heading to the airport.


I'm looking forward to next year!

—Gigi