Monday, September 27, 2010

Calling all volunteers!

Many of you have offered to spend a bit of time volunteering over Bouchercon weekend.

First, thanks!

Second, we have jobs for you.  We'd love an hour or two of  your time, when you're not otherwise occupied having fun (remember, fun is our primary goal  ;-)

Here's where we need your help. 

Before Bouchercon begins
  • Monday and Tuesday:  stuffing envelopes and general administrivia (and help Rae to keep from pulling out what's left of her hair - tough job, but someone's gotta do it  ;-)
  • Wednesday:  5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.
  • Thursday and Friday:  7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
  • Saturday:  7:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
Day Passes
  • Thursday, Friday and Saturday:  7:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m
Panel monitors
  • This is fun for a panel you're attending.  You set out the name cards, make sure there's water for the panelists, and let the moderator know when time is running short.
Opening Ceremonies
  • Thursday starting at 6:00.  This is helping to keep things moving, and helping with activities after the Opening Ceremonies
Signing area in the Book Room
  • Thursday:  9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Friday and Saturday:  8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday:  8:00 a.m. to noon
Anthony Banquet on Sunday morning

If you can help, write to the Ever Fabulous Judy Bobalik at, and let her know what you'd like to do, and what times you're available. 


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Guest Blogger: U.S. Guest of Honor, Laurie R. King

Note from Rae:  Not only is Laurie R. King a fabulous writer, she's also a long-time citizen of Bouchercon Nation.  Here, she talks about how she discovered Bouchercon.


Photo Credit:  Red Bat Photograp

I first heard of BoucherCon from the woman who was my English agent at the time, when I was planning a trip to England in the fall (pardon me—autumn) of 1990.  At the time I had precisely nothing published.  I had nothing under contract.  I did have an agent—two of them, in fact.

“Boucher what?”

“Con.  It’s a conference.  Of crime writers.”

“An entire conference of crime writers?  Oh, I don’t know about that.”

I wasn’t a conference sort.  I wasn’t a real writer.  I wasn’t even a head-over-heels fan of crime fiction.  Still, an agent had suggested it, and I was going to be in London anyway, so I signed up, and spent the better part of two days wandering around with my mouth hanging open.
A large part of that sense of alienation, I later realized, was because of the setting: King’s College, London is not a space designed for hanging around and schmoozing with people.  As I wrote for the Baltimore BCon—

My first BoucherCon experience was at King’s College London, a cold and confusing building where you had to go down a flight of stairs and around half a mile of frigid corridor to get a cup of weak coffee in the linoleum-and-formica dining hall. These posh English colleges…

A few years later, I went briefly to Seattle for the BoucherCon there, since I had been nominated for their best first Anthony award (my book lost, to Nevada Barr’s Track of the Cat, deservedly) and my most vivid memory is being on a crowded elevator and having a blue-rinsed lady spot my author badge and ask if I wrote serial killer books.  Wondering if I was looking particularly psychopathic that day, I said, Well sort of, but not really as a habit.  She turned away, disappointed, and announced to all, “I just love serial killers.”  The elevator emptied rather rapidly.

My third BoucherCon was in Nottingham, England, where we were greeted for the dinner by knights, blazing torches, jugglers, and Robin Hood, complete with merry men, and women.
Which basically boils down BoucherCon for you: the hero’s alienation, a sense of loss, psychopathic murderers, and the glorification of the criminal classes.

The very essence of crime fiction, in fact.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Craft Room schedule! REVISED!

Note!  (Saturday, 9/25) We've made a few changes - check it out and get ready to be creative!

Man, I wish I had any sort of crafting skill.  I so do not.  And I don't see myself picking up new skills any time soon...unless napping after Bouchercon is considered a craft.  I'm viewing it at this point as more of a life saving necessity  ;-)

Anyway, the Craft Room schedule is here, thanks to the fabulous Camille Minichino.  Take a look, and email her at to sign up.  

Create a fascinating paper piece inspired by the Steampunk movement!

8:30-9:30 – MONICA FERRIS
Make a personalized, hemstitched bookmark!
Learn to upscale vintage jewelry into an everyday accessory!
11:30-12:30 – BARBARA GRAHAM
Perfect patchwork coaster--learn English Paper Piecing!
Make your own tiny desk blotter and basket of books!

8:30-9:30 – PENNY WARNER
Create a mysterious clipboard to use at Bouchercon panels!
 11:30-12:30 – ANGELA DANIELS
Decorate a composition book!
What is Rubber Stamping anyhow? Come and see.
4:30-5:30 – ANGELA DANIELS
Make and decorate a book safe to hide something exciting!

By the way, this is my plan for Sunday, October 17  ;-)

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

They're here!

Yes. The moment has come.

 Traditional panels have been posted to the site.

We're still finalizing Continuous Conversation and 20-on-the-20.
They'll be up in a few days.

Big, fat, caveat

There will be changes, and additions, and deletions.  Life happens, there are at least three weeks until Bouchercon starts (there'd better be, I have a lot to do  ;-)  So keep checking the program page, and watch your email for newsletters, we'll be sending out at least two more between now and October 14. 

And a contest!

What's the secret behind the panel titles?  The first person to tell me after Bouchercon starts on Thursday morning will win a fabulous prize.

And speaking of panels....

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Let's go out to the movies....

But wait! We're watching movies right inside the hotel on Wednesday night!

By the way, does anyone out there remember actually seeing these little gems of films at actual drive-ins? I do. Yes, I'm that old.


It'll be a triple feature on Wednesday night, with evening registration just outside our 'theater', and popcorn before, during and after intermission. We might try to scare up a few hot dogs, too. (Don't even bother to tell me they're bad for me. I know it. Nothing that yummy could possibly be health food.)

Now, here's the question, and it's a big one.


I certainly have my own ideas.

There's this guy.......

...and this guy.....

We could go for the lighter side....

...or darker.....

...or forget crime altogether, and go for the funny bone....

The point is, what do you want to see?

This is your chance to tell me which movies set in San Francisco (that I can get on DVD) you'd like to watch. I will tabulate the results, do careful math.....who am I kidding? I'll read any comments, think about it, and then head for the video store to see what I can get my grubby little mitts on. But I would like to hear your opinions.

While you're thinking, here's another intermission clip. This stuff makes me really love YouTube.....

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A sad day......

...the mystery community suffered a loss today when we learned of David Thompson's death.

I can't claim to have known David well, but I do know that his passing leaves a hole in our community. His enthusiasm, spirit, and decency will be sorely missed.

Sending good thoughts to McKenna and to David's family and friends....

Sunday, September 12, 2010

It's past my bedtime on Sunday night....

...and Bouchercon just keeps getting closer.....

But it's all coming together, and it's going to be soooo fabulous.......

Moving right along...

The Answer Department

I've had a few questions about attire for Bouchercon - it's definitely casual, but bring layers and comfy shoes. I've also been asked if our Disco Dance is a costume party.

I say, why not?

Feel free to wear your shoulder pads, acid washed jeans, and Members Only jackets - or not. But you've gotta wear your boogie shoes ;-)

A word about the programming...

(And yes, I'm wearing my cranky pants, which are larger than usual because stress makes me eat. Everything.)

Judy Bobalik, who is a goddess, has begun sending out emails to people who will be participating on traditional panels. Over the next few days I'll be emailing people who've been chosen to be part of our Continuous Conversation, and then we'll start talking about 20 on the 20.

For the most part, people are very excited and enthusiastic, which is way cool and makes us very happy - as if we're doing a Good Thing for Good People. It's a 'let's dance' sort of a feeling....

A very few people are whining, which is unseemly and provokes this reaction amongst your local friendly Program Committee......

If you're bitching and moaning and complaining (so that we can hear you), think about this: the same few people will be working on the program for the next three or four years. We're crabby, and we have long memories. Just sayin'......

OK, cranky pants off, jammies on.....

I have to tell you, this is all being a lot more fun that I thought it would be. It's an incredible amount of work, and there are lots of scary moments ("Oh crap. I totally forgot about the X!" and "You told him he could do WHAT????") There's some Mickey and Judy to it all....

....but a lot of talented people are working really hard to make it all happen, and I'm really grateful to be part of the fabulosity.

So, as Judy always says.....

Have a great week, everyone!

Sunday, September 5, 2010


OK. The arrival of September sent me under the bed to visit with the dust bunnies for awhile......

But I'm back, with lots to report on.....

I've heard from Our Good Friend, Mr. Bob Randisi, from the PWA. Their banquet this year is on Friday night from 6:30 to 9:00 p.m. at the Empress of China in Chinatown on Grant Avenue. Robert Crais and Marcia Muller are being honored, and tickets are $50. For more info, contact Christine Matthews. (And can I just tell you how pleased I am to have been given a reason to add Hall & Oates to this blog? ;-)

And speaking of wine......

Larry Gandle tells me that there are a couple of spots left on his Napa Valley wine tour, on Wednesday the 13th. If you're going to be here, you should really try to go. Thomas Haden Church won't be there (see clip above - I think he's ever so dreamy ;-) but lots of yummy wine and snacks will. Email Larry to sign up.

So, why is this post about changes? Well, I was in the mood for Bowie, for one thing. But in addition, we've made some changes to the website. There are copies of our newsletters on the welcome page, we've added information about our support of deserving charities to the program page, and the registrations just keep coming.

Hope you're having a great weekend (and a great Labor Day holiday for our US friends). And here's a little more Hall & Oates just to keep things rocking....

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Next month!

It's September 1.

Bouchercon is next month, people!

Six weeks from tonight, we'll be watching movies, and eating popcorn (check the program page on the site if this is news to you ;-) and in general, beginning the merriment and mayhem.

I can't wait...