I Owe You All A Bouchercon Recap, Don’t I? Part 2
You can find Part 1 of this update here.
Where were we? Right, I went to bed Thursday at 11:30 like an old man.
I woke up Friday morning at Half Past Too Damn Early (6:30am) and took my iPad down to the hotel restaurant to enjoy breakfast and clear my head of the unholy sound of Russel Mclean’s whiskey soaked snoring. I got a ton of work done and, with my editing project complete I was able to start the conference right and party. So I went up to my room, took a shower, and promptly fell asleep for about three hours. When I woke up, I went over the conference center for one of the highlights of the con for me, introducing Michael R. Underwood to the amazing crime fiction community.
Mike is a great urban fantasy author, but he’s also the North American Sales and Marketing manager for one of my favorite publishers, Angry Robot Books. Well you might not know this, but AR has a crime fiction imprint called Exhibit A. So being the savvy sales guy he is, Mike decided to jump into the deep end of the crime fiction community. And I think we welcomed him with loving, open, and alcohol-laden arms. But Mike and I had a great lunch of food truck BBQ and talked about mystery books, the state of publishing, the state of the genre, and we talked a lot about the wind. It was REALLY windy.
So after lunch, Mike and I wandered the book room where I gave him a crash course in what I love about crime fiction. I’m sure I came off as a know-it-all tool, so he now has the impression of me all of the rest of you do. Welcome, Mike.
With my lesson for the day out of the way, I went to a few panels, found a few friends to chat with, and generally had a grand old time in the traditional conference fashion. I was able to meet Lisa Lutz, who I absolutely adore, but I’m pretty sure she got the worst possible impression of me she could have. Whatever. I still love her. I followed people around to a few publisher parties and ended up in the bar talking with Ben Leroy for a long time about baseball and our work at home routines. It was a delight.
At some point either Thursday or Friday, I ran into Laura Lippman on the street and followed her to a Rite Aid that was nearby but I had been unable to find. I was in desperate need of over-priced DayQuil so she led me to the promised land. We also had a fun chat about everything except books. She bought cheap plastic cups and crappy bar snacks and I’m not sure I ever want to know what it all was used for. These are the kinds of meeting though that Bouchercon is great for and it was one of my highlights even if I can’t remember when exactly it happened.
I had dinner with a few folks in the hotel restaurant and then moved on to the official Friday Bar Night. I dressed myself all up fancy in my Book of Mormon t-shirt with a tie on the front because I’m a classy fella. I stayed up until 2:30am and was quite proud of myself.
Saturday I headed up with some friends to the more populated and less Detroit-like parts of Albany. We were up in the Lark street area, which reminded me of a blue collar version of Brooklyn. It was great. We ended the day at a divey British pub down by the river and had a great talk about religion and Hooters. The waitress enjoyed our conversation so much she kept eavesdropping in and commenting.
I walked back to my hotel by myself and was expecting to clean myself up and head back down for Saturday Bar Night. But somewhere between the pub and my hotel room, my insides exploded and I thought I was going to die. I’ve never had such awful pain in my lower abdomen. At one point I was convinced I was going to have to call 911 and they were going to find me hunched over the bathtub with my pants around my ankles. I was also wondering what the cost of an ambulance under my new insurance was going to be. Two hours later I finally got out what ever demon had been possessing my guts and passed out. I woke up around midnight, called housekeeping to come up and clean up the bathroom, packed and went to bed.
Sunday the airlines lost my bag, but I got upgraded to first class (the two are not related). I still feel a little sick so I’m not sure what it was I had, but I don’t veer want to feel like that again. I was crushed that I wasn’t able to say goodbye to everyone, but we’ll always have next year.