Saturday, October 11, 2008

Bouchercon IV: All the schmooze that's fit to print

(From left: Declan Burke, Donna Moore, Christa Faust, Sandra Ruttan)

And I hope this one doesn't sound too much like the extended-play version of the "I see ... " routine at the end of Romper Room.

Glenn Harper, the keen critical mind behind International Noir Fiction, arrived at Bouchercon today and mingled with your humble blogkeeper and J. Kingston Pierce of The Rap Sheet. The mingling lasted just long enough for one onlooker to refer to our few square feet of the Sheraton as the center of the blogging universe. I was chuffed, but then, seeing the people whose work one respects is part of the fun of a convention. And being seen is kind of fun, too. People of accomplishment in crime fiction were coming over and introducing themselves to me as if I were a Dagger winner or something.

The schmoozing and boozing is a guilty pleasure, of course. It's fun to hang out with Sandra Ruttan for lunch and lighthearted rehash of old controversies. It's fun to hang out with Scott Phillips and Christa Faust and the Philly Poe Guy.

(Jason Goodwin and Ali Karim)
But the schmoozing has a sneaky way of leaving me awed at the brains and talent of my fellow diners and imbibers. I'd always figured that Stacia Decker must be an editor of taste and judgment. She had, after all, signed John McFetridge and Declan Burke. Then, when I asked her what I should know about Allan Guthrie and Ray Banks, authors of hers whom I had not read, she discussed their work with such precision, brevity and intelligence that I felt I knew not just that they were good, but what they were all about.

I've been a fan of authors, of course, and even of several publishers. Now, for the first time, an editor's name has become a selling point with me.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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15 Comments:

Blogger Kerrie said...

Do speak to Roger Ellory for me if you get a chance Peter. I've just commented on his blog that I have spies everywhere. I think you will find him in company with Ali Karim.
And if Maddy from 4MA gets an award for the Special Services category you are hereby allowed to congratulate her and say that Kerrie from Oz sends her congratulations.
There are so many at Bouchercon whose blogs I follow - also Martin Edwards, Sandra Ruttan, Declan Burke

October 11, 2008  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Oh and look for Fran Read who is hanging out with the 4MA women, and comes from Tassie and is a member of oz_mystery_readers, and the crowd who met up at MWF in August.

October 11, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

If they are awake and about and if my reflexes and senses have not degenerated too drastically, I will look for them in the morning.

October 12, 2008  
Blogger Sandra Ruttan said...

Forget all the fun for a moment - you MUST read Al and Ray! In fact, that brings to mind another old controversy we could discuss...

October 12, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

"In fact, that brings to mind another old controversy we could discuss..."

I'll meet you in the lobby in twenty minutes.

October 12, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Kerrie, I found Roger Ellory sitting with Ali Karim at a panel of which Declan Burke was a member. Nice guy. He took my card and address and says he'll send along a book. The old TBR pile has just experienced the biggest four-day growth spurt in its history.

October 12, 2008  
Blogger Kerrie said...

Excellent Peter. I'm glad you got together

October 12, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I joined him along with Ali Karim and the rest of the Rap Sheet gang plus Sandra Ruttan and Brian Lindenmuth for dinner this evening. Roger chose the wine. I'm not sure if he made his choice based on his wine knowledge, or because this particular wine was called Novelist.

October 13, 2008  
Blogger Uriah Robinson said...

Peter how come that Dec guy always gets his photo taken with the women?
See here http://camberwell-crime.blogspot.com/2008/06/talent-of-bloggers-at-crimefest.html

October 13, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Because he's "Babe Magnet" Burke.

October 13, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And he's really posing with that bottle of Harp. The women just happened to be there.

October 13, 2008  
Blogger Declan Burke said...

Chaps - there used to be a definition of an Irish homosexual, who was a man who preferred women to beer ... I have to say, I'd prefer those women to beer any day. Or night. Even though you cut out Donna's boots!
Cheers, Dec

October 13, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Mistress Christa has the boots.

October 13, 2008  
Blogger The Clandestine Samurai said...

I can only imagine how fun that must've been to mingle with published authors, drink with them and get in their heads.

October 17, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

And for getting books. More than once I asked an author in mid-conversation if I had time to dart off to the book room and return with a book to be signed. More than once, the response was, "Never mind I have a book right here."

But the set-up for mingling was perfect. The weather encouraged outdoor lounging, and the prime spot for this was a broad promenade right outside the hospitality room. This promenade gave onto a walkway that connected the two convention hotels, which meant that everyone going from one to the other had to pass through it. Several of the folks I've written about in these posts, I met on that promenade.

October 17, 2008  

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