Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bouchercon 2008: Run by the Jordans, fueled by the Gordon's

Quite a lot happened after my return to Bouchercon Sunday evening. I:

– Enjoyed a convivial al fresco dinner overlooking Baltimore's Inner Harbor and moderated by the amazing Ali Karim. Completing the table were Brian Lindenmuth; Sandra Ruttan; Roger "R.J." Ellory; Jodi Pierce and her husband, J. Kingston; and Linda L. Richards. Roger chose the wine, a white meritage called, appropriately, the Novelist. (Read Brian's not-to-be missed account here. You'll almost hear Ali's voice booming off the old warehouses.)

– Returned to the hotel for the bar-closing noir gabfest described earlier.

(The convivial al fresco dinner. Clockwise from lower left: Ali Karim, me, Linda L. Richards, J. Kingston "Jeff" Pierce, Jodi Pierce, Roger Ellory, Sandra Ruttan, Brian Lindenmuth. Photo courtesy of our waiter.)

– Decided to stay over another night, which led to a post-everything chat with Linda Richards as she waited for her 2 a.m. shuttle to the airport, and to the next day's brief chat with Bouchercon organizers Ruth and Jon Jordan and Judy Bobalik. It was good to be able to thank them for their superb work, and Jon Jordan shed some light on a decision that likely contributed to the event's relaxed, sociable character: Attendees' conference badges identified them simply by name and location. There was no "author," "agent," "editor" and so on. The results will be apparent from the number of ecstatic Bouchercon wrap-ups filling the blogosphere. J. Kingston Pierce offers a welcome guide to those wrap-ups on the Rap Sheet.

So, whence this post's title? It's from Thursday's "Booze and Crime Fiction" session, which Ali wrote about in a rundown of Bouchercon's panels:

"They were excellent, even though my first one where I was moderator on 'Booze and Crime Fiction' was somewhat 'controversial', it turned out to be rather good fun, and I must thank my panelists Con Lehane, Michelle Gagnon, Jason Starr, Ken Bruen and Liz Zelvin. All those who thanked me for the panel, remember it was thanks to the Gordon's gin talking."
Therefore it was no surprise when I walked into the Arnaldur Indriðason party that evening, and Ali offered me a gin and tonic.

(Your humble blogkeeper with Christa Faust, courtesy of Sandra Ruttan.)

Finally, the pub quiz. Bouchercon was such a blast, and the organizers did such a superlative job, that I hate to call attention to one microscopic bump. I will say that when a woman with a cane sat down at our table, I asked her if its end was weighted, since I had a target in mind. (And here's a shout-out to my teammate Angie Johnson-Schmit of In For Questioning, a congenial schmoozing and question-answering companion and one of a dauntingly long list of folks whom it was my absolute pleasure to meet at Bouchercon.)

One of the quiz questions asked each team to draw a hypothetical tattoo for some crime author (I forget which one). Christa Faust was the captain of our team, though perhaps mistress would be more appropriate, and she knows a thing or two about tattoos. She drew our team's entry. We lost. Need I say more?

P.S. We didn't win, but I helped our team clean up in the section on international mysteries.

© Peter Rozovsky 2008

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Blogger Ali Karim said...

Hey - Peter, it was privilge to meet and spend time with you. I consider myself well read in the genre, but man you are THE MAN.

I will be posting stuff later, but had a nightmare at Charlotte Airport for my return to London - TAS airport security haver a job to do, but man they [as usual] selected me for a security screening and were confused by the large volume of crime-fiction books in my luggage.

I had to run and only just made my flight to London.

Anyway, one of the many, many, many highlights was meeting you and the last dinner was excellent

Just now to catch-up


October 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Sorry to hear about your airport troubles. Someone at the conference, perhaps you yourself, suggested that the touches of distinguished gray might have taken you out of the target demographic. I guess it did not. Maybe it would be safer and less suspicious for you to carry cozies when returning from abroad.

Now, get some rest, then start sending out pictures.

October 15, 2008  
Blogger angie said...

I still say we wuz robbed in the tatoo competition...

October 15, 2008  
Blogger petra michelle; Whose role is it anyway? said...

Tatoos? Sounded like a very interesting time, indeed! :))

October 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

I think the eloquent simplicity of Christa's design was too much for the judges' stunted sensibilities. Robbed? We sure wuz.

October 15, 2008  
Blogger Peter Rozovsky said...

Petra Michelle: In the bar one night, someone asked to see Christa's tattoos. She showed them.

October 15, 2008  

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