R.L. Stine, Heather Graham, David Morrell, Lee Child and ME!

What do the five of us have in common? We all attended Bouchercon 2016 in New Orleans and paraded together down Canal Street to the Orpheum Theater!

It was a crazy Friday night, following an action-packed day 2 at the World Mystery Convention. After attending the New Author Breakfast, where debut authors introduced themselves to attendees, I attended more of the panel discussions.

“Of All the Young Ladies I Know: Corsets and Crime” featured a panel of authors writing historical mysteries. Laurie King, Tasha Alexander, Lyndsay Faye, C.S. Harris, Deanna Raybourn and Susanna Calkins were all members of a panel moderated by Andrew Grant. I love to have ‘history in the mystery’ and include history in my own Family Secret Series. It adds so much depth to the story, I think.

The second morning panel I attended was “Leather and Lace: Cozy vs. Hardboiled.” Moderated by Thomas Pluck, panel members were Clea Simon, Linda Rodriguez, Chris Knopf, David Putnam and Linda Joffe Hull. I was interested in the views of these authors on how their mysteries were categorized and the future of mysteries in general.

The next treat for me was an interview of the Bouchercon Kid’s Guest of Honor, R.L. Stine, interviewed by Heather Graham. Stine was funny. Joined on the stage by his wife, Jane, the duo’s dry wit entertained and informed the crowd as he talked about his lengthy career, how he got into horror for kids, movies and tv shows based on his books and his upcoming projects. Loved, loved, loved this interview.

I attended one more panel that afternoon, “Common People: Amateur Sleuths,” moderated by Clea Simon and featuring panel members Suzanne Trauth, Marcia Talley, Tim O’Mara, Susan Oleksliw, and Con Lehane. I feature an amateaur sleuth in my mysteries, someone who is not a policeman, detective or private investigator, but an ordinary person thrown into a crime situation.

Then, it was time to gather for a Second Line Parade to the Orpheum Theater, about six blocks away. Special ‘floats’ carried the Guests of Honor. Accompanied by two jazz bands and costumed mascots (including one on stilts), the crowd of convention attendees marched down Canal Street in a light rain, waving at the watching crowd. I’ll never forget it!

Once at the theater, David Morrell received the Lifetime Achievement award and was interviewed by Lee Child. Morrell talked about his early life and how his writing interests developed. First Blood, (the first book featuring Rambo) was his first book. Morrell is a great speaker and a great teacher. His hour-long message required little prompting from Lee Child, who was a quiet partner on stage.

After an intermission, the evening continued with the presentation of the 2016 Anthony Awards. Best Novel was awarded to Chris Holm for THE KILLING KIND, Best First Novel was awarded to Glen Erik Hamilton for PAST CRIMES and Best Paperback Original was awarded to Lou Berney for THE LONG AND FARAWAY GONE. (Google 2016 Anthony Awards for a complete list of winners.)

But Bouchercon was only half over! Check back next week for more info on the convention!



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