Beth and I had a wonderful time at Bouchercon 2012 in Cleveland. The organizers put on a first-rate conference, everyone we met was great, and the panels we attended included a lot of fascinating discussions. If you get a chance to attend Bouchercon 2013 in Albany, I highly recommend it. (This was my third Bouchercon, after Baltimore in 2008 and Philadelphia in 1999. It was Beth’s first.)
The absolute top highlight for me was being able to meet Mary Higgins Clark. She’s written 42 books, sold tens of millions of copies (closing in on 100 million, I believe), and she’s gracious to a fault. She was one of the guests of honor at Bouchercon, and she was interviewed by her daughter Carol Higgins Clark. She shared some truly funny stories about her experiences as an author.
I met Ms. Clark in the lobby of the hotel, where she very kindly took a little time to speak to me. I wanted to say hello and to thank her for her role in publishing Mary Higgins Clark Mystery Magazine back in the late 1990s. The magazine ran a short story competition for unpublished authors, which I was fortunate enough to win with “The Murder of Ernest Trapnell” (published in the Fall 1998 issue). It was obvious even in our brief conversation how much she loved the magazine, and how sorry she was that it didn’t last longer.
So… I got to meet Mary Higgins Clark! How cool is that?!?
I also got to meet and/or talk to a lot of writers whose work I love: Duane Swierczynski, Chris F. Holm, Seth Harwood, Johnny Shaw, and far too many others for a comprehensive list. It was also fantastic to meet some of the Shotgun Honey crew (hi, Sabrina, Jen and Joe!) and many other friendly faces I only knew from Twitter and Facebook. For folks who spend so much time sitting around concocting ways to kill people, they sure are nice.
Our favorite panels included “Bringing Back Noir” (Beth was especially impressed by Peter Farris), “Have Gun Will Murder” (writing set in the west with Shaw et al), “I Am Woman Hear Me Roar” (my surprise favorite panel of the event with the über-cool Zoë Sharp) and “Morally Challenged Heroes” (a great discussion including Holm and Harwood).
We also had a super time at the Noir @ The Bar event hosted by Snubnose Press, where Eric Beetner, John Kenyon, Dan O’Shea and other Snubnose authors read from their works. Bouchercon 2013 can’t get here soon enough!