Started out with the Guest of Honor interviews. Pictured above they are (left to right ): Colin Cotterill, Charlaine Harris, Oline Cogdill (the panel moderator), Val McDermid and Robert Crais. It was an informative and raucous hour filled with anecdotes, confessions and the usual sharp humor.
|Colin Cotterill trading quips & signing|
With my character who is 74 years old I couldn't see him being around for twenty years . And that's why there are 11 minutes between each book. Sometimes less.A huge wave of laughter followed. But nothing compared to the tsunami of laughter that resounded when Val McDermid told an anecdote she wanted to use in a book that involved a friend's visit to a spa and the line "And then she choked on his penis" to which someone inquired "But how did he get it around her neck?" An exchange she has wanted to put in a book for years but has yet to find the right scene and the right book.
I spent a lot of time waiting in line to get books signed, too. Chatting up the other collectors waiting on line with me, sharing likes and dislikes in books and subgenres, and occasionally remembering that I brought my camera to get candid shots of the writers. I've spread a few throughout this post. Still none of me yet. I told you not to get your hopes up.
|Charlaine Harris signing away|
|Max Allan Collins apparently doesn't have all the answers|
We had a very enjoyable meal with lively conversation. I found out one woman, Beth, is employed by Permanent Press, a small publisher in Nashville and the other, Jennie, is a writer who has a series of home repair mysteries published by Berkley Prime Crime. We talked about our past and present jobs, lives in the theater, our mutual distaste for the vampire phenomenon in thriller fiction (laying waste mostly to the Twilight mania), and a respect for the vintage writers.
Maria Lang that I would probably like but sadly none of her books have been translated into English. Finally, I mentioned the only Norwegian writer I know of from the pre WW2 years, Frederik Viller, who wrote an excellent mystery called The Black Tortoise (1901) that was translated into English in the 1920s.
I'm having more fun than I thought I would. The surprise dinner invitation is the kind of thing you can never predict but is so typical of this amazing community that exists in the Bouchercon world. Bruce DeSilva, who won a Macavity for his novel Rogue Island, made a heartfelt and eloquent acceptance speech that commended the welcoming spirit and camaraderie of the crime fiction world and noted how unlike it is from any other writing community. I've read this before and heard it before and now I know it to be true.
Tomorrow I'll write about the late night panel I just returned from. The topic? "Sex, Violence and Everything That Makes a Great Book." You can imagine the quotable quotes I pulled from that discussion.