Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Reminiscing about Mystery Cons

For a blog I was writing about going to cons and conferences for my upcoming blog tour, I started reminiscing about all the good times, the fun places we've visited, and the great people, authors and readers, we've met along the way.

At Left Coast Crime in Alaska, I met two young Native sisters--or as they prefer, Eskimos, who came to the con as mystery fans. I spent quite a bit of time with them. The older sister, Katina, and I have kept in contact since then via email. I always send her my latest book and she's sent me all sorts of things including an Eskimo cook book and several smoked salmons. When Bouchercon went to Anchorage, I let her know I was coming and she invited me to stay a few days with her in Wasilla. We had a grand time together.

When Left Coast was in El Paso TX, a place we'd never considered visiting, I became friends with David Cole who writes wonderfully dark mysteries with Native American threads running through.

Bouchercon is the biggest mystery con and of course I've run into and made friends with all sorts of people at this one. My very first one was in Monterey where I was on a panel and had no idea what I was doing there as I had no copies of my book with me. Penny Warner's husband took pity on me and visited with me during the booksigning phase where I sat all by myself with nothing for anyone to sign.
Other places we've visited for Bouchercon are Milwaukee and Madison WI--loved both places. Got to see Joe Konrath's car all decorated with the cover of his book and was duly impressed. A Bouchercon in Las Vegas began our friendship with former private eye and now author as well as other exciting pursuits, Joyce Spizer Foy. We even had breakfast with Joyce in her penthouse suite. We've run into each other from time to time and she graciously came to the Public Safety Writers Conference in Las Vegas this year as one of our keynote speakers.

Really got to see Joe in action at Love is Murder in Chicago. Getting there was exciting because we flew in along with a snow storm. This is also where I met Morgan Mandel and visited Mary Welk's home. Mary had become a friend at several conferences, including Malice Domestic. I also got to meet Robert Walker and read some of his wonderful books.

Going to Epicon has taken us many interesting places and we've stayed in a couple of very haunted hotels: the Queen Mary in Long Beach and an old hotel across from the Alamo in San Antonio TX. Epicon has also taken us to Oklahoma City, Bellevue Washington, Henderson NV, Tampa FL where we spent a lot of time with the famous Piers Anthony, and our first trip to Omaha NE was because of Epicon. Usually my husband is my roommate, but not always. My first Epicon I stayed with Gaye Totl Kinman and we've been roommates since. We even went to New York to the Edgars together, visited the Museum of Modern Art and headed down to DC to go to Malice. I met new publisher of my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mysteries, Dan Rietz of Mundania Press at Epicon.

Omaha NE was not a place we'd ever had a desire to visit. At a Bouchercon I ran into a bookstore owner who told me she'd give me the best booksigning I'd ever had if I came there--and she did. We have fallen in love with Omaha and returned many times to attend Mayhem in the Midlands. Because it's a small conference compared to LCC and Bourchercon, I've had the opportunity to meet some great people including Evelyn David who I post with on the Stiletto Gang blog, http://thestilettogang.com and Mary Welk, Radine Trees Nehring, Jan Burke, Wm. Kent Krueger, and many more whom I now consider my friends. Other good friends from Mayhem include the mother and daughter team of Benay and Sara Weiss. At a con in Austin, Sara took me and a couple of others on the wildest ride to the very best barbecue in Texas.

Of course I'm heavily involved with promoting and handling the program for the Public Safety Writers Association's conference which has been in Las Vegas the last few years. I've been thrilled with the caliber of writers and speakers we've been able to recruit including Betty Webb and forensic handwriting expert, Sheila Lowe. It's also where I met the publisher for my Rocky Bluff P.D. series, Billie Johnson of Oaktree Press. Mystery author Michael Black came this year and has agreed to give a presentation for next. We have a whole slew of folks willing to share their talents next June. Take a look at http://www.publicsafetywriter.com to check them out.

I can't remember all of the wonderful places and people I've met and if I did this blog would be far too long. As you can probably tell, my life has been enriched because of mystery cons.

Don't forget, my latest Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery, Dispel the Mist, is now available from the publisher and all the usual places.


1 comment:

Mark Troy said...

I also met David Cole at LCC in El Paso. That was a great con. My favorite con moment came at Conmisterio in Austin. Jane Cleland, Keith Raffel and I spent an evening drinking and talking with James Crumley. Crumley passed away a few months later.