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!