Leaving Daisy to guard the home fires
and Marco Polo to read my latest manuscript
I set off to Raleigh, North Carolina for Bouchercon.
“Go for the books, return for the love,” as blogger extraordinaire Kathy Boone Reel says. After a year of hard writing, I’m ready!
Bouchercon is an annual convention of writers and readers of the mystery-thriller-suspense genre. It’s a very broad, inclusive tent and all are welcome. This is a quirky group and, as Kathy says, we put the fun in dysfunctional! The event is run by generous volunteers, including writer-chairman Jeffrey Siger and Madame Mystery, Janet Rudolph. Over the past few years I’ve made some true friends, including authors Deborah Crombie, Susan Shea, (Terry Shames, making mischief elsewhere), and Karin Salvalaggio (who took the photo).
Every year there are great panels, with discussions ranging from historicals to thrillers post-Snowden. Sometimes I never get out of the hotel, but this year vowed to see a bit of the city. Karin had taken a Segway tour of Raleigh before I arrived and thus knew it all! Along with the delightful Ben McPherson, a British writer living in Oslo, we went exploring. Set in the center of town, the Bicentennial Mall is an expansive grassy area of government institutions and museums. The modern State Legislative Building was designed by Edward Stone who also did the Kennedy Center in DC and the US Embassy in New Delhi. Across the street, outside the Museum of Natural Sciences, is an enormous globe. Of course I had to get a picture there. (Instagram photo courtesy of Karin.)
In the State Capitol, we discovered Antonio Canova’s sculpture of “Giorgio Washington” as Roman general. He is seen writing his Farewell Address.
Here is Karin next to her book Bone White Dust at the downtown Raleigh library.
You run into everyone at the bar, where author James Ziskin presides with humor and warmth. Where I heard thrilling author news from Robin Burrell and got to be one of the first to hug her. The hotel lobby is another good place to encounter people you’ve known only via their writing or social media. I was excited to meet the brilliant wit, Ali Karim from the UK, as well as writer Chris Pavone, and (not pictured, but you can imagine her red lipstick, Deanna Raybourn.)
I cheered as dear friends won awards, including Julia Dahl, Lori Rader-Day, Catriona MacPherson, and spent time with future winners, no doubt. We shared some great meals
and great Bouchercon love.
Next year, New Orleans!
Until then, it’s me and my other BFF, Daisy Mae.