Friday, September 16, 2011

If you gave a leprechaun that much sedative, it would kill him! - My Day at Bouchercon

The day started a bit rocky.  I slept hard due to it being so cool in my house.  It took forever to get moving and Belle wasn't very cooperative.  I ended up leaving the house at 8:45 instead of 8 because a neighbor dog got loose and caused Belle and I to have to take an alternate route through the neighborhood.

I met my Goodreads compadre Kemper at the registration counter at the hotel.  I was slightly disappointed that he wasn't in fact a pistol-packin' monkey in a suit like his most popular Goodreads avatar.  Our meeting was a lot like this:

Or this:

Not sure which of the Blues Brothers I would be but I'm definitely Boba Fett in the second scenario.  The original version, not the post-prequels crap.

Anyway, I went to the registration desk and registered for the day.  The woman said it would cost $75 for a day pass until I showed her the special badge Goodreads issued me for being in the top 50 of all time (this may not have actually happened).  She waived me on through and saddled me with a bag containing roughly 300 pounds of books.  Kemper was kind enough to walk with me as I lugged them back to the parking garage to avoid carrying them around all day.

Once we were back at the convention, we went upstairs to the book room and Kemper got three books signed by the sultry Christa Faust, who complemented me on my Hardcase t-shirt.  It was around that time Kemper asked me if I was going to have anything signed.  I said something about not really being into having books signed by authors.  I'm mentioning this now since it will be pertinent later.

Next, we took in a panel on crime capers.  Since none of the writers on the panel actually wrote capers, it wasn't that great of a listening experience.  Except for Eoin Colfer.  You know, the Artemis Fowl guy?  Colfer was hilarious!  Here are some of the things he said:
  • On research:  "A medical doctor once jumped up during an interview about Artemis Fowl and said "If you gave a leprechaun that much sedative, it would kill him!"
  • On writing a book for the adult market: "I told me wife I was writing a book for big grown up people.  She said 'We just call them novels.'"
  • He also talked about inventing a town in New Jersey so he wouldn't have to research it.
Colfer was so funny that I went back to the book room and snapped up his new one, Plugged.  Again, Kemper asked if I was going to get it signed.  Again, I indicated that I wasn't really interested.

The next panels weren't anything either of us were particularly interested in so we hoofed it down to an Irish pub for lunch.  We talked about the Dark Tower and Matthew Scudder while downing brews, then had the Shepherd's Pie.  When the food came, I told him that I was one of the world's fastest eaters and that he probably wouldn't hear much from me until I was done eating.

The Pie was okay but the gravy tasted fake.  I was mainly trying to soak up the three beers that accompanied it.  FYI, I'm getting too old to have three beers with lunch and still be functioning at top capacity for the rest of the day.

We returned to the hotel and had a good sit while our bodies processed food and alcohol.  Several people commented on my Hardcase tshirt.  One guy even asked if I worked for them.  We went through the book room again as I was really wanting to find some Black Lizard paperbacks with photo covers.  I didn't find any but I did find a Megan Abbott book.  When I went to pay, the owner asked if it was signed.  I flipped through it to see if it was signed.  It wasn't.  The owner said "That bitch!" and asked if I wanted it signed.  I shrugged my shoulders.  He called Megan Abbott over anyway and she signed my book Megan "The Bitch" Abbott.  It was pretty funny.  She also liked my shirt, btw.

A quick side note, the same Kindle and pair of glasses was sitting on a table with no owner for at least two hours and it was still there when I left.

Anyway, the final event of the evening was an interview with Robert Crais.  Crais was funny as hell and his interview was both entertaining and informative.  He talked about winning a Marvel No-Prize when he was a kid and then having Stan Lee sign it when he worked on the Spider-Man live action show.  He also talked about selling his comic collection to raise money for a writing class, and went into his writing process. 

But the most memorable part of his interview was when the interviewer asked him who would win if Jack Reacher fought Joe Pike and that Child said Reacher would annihilate Joe Pike and that Child said Crais agreed with him.  Crais simply said "Jack Reacher would be Joe Pike's bitch!"  The crowd loved it.  Aside from a woman suggesting Steven Segal play Joe Pike and getting booed out of the building, that was pretty much it.  Crais was a class act and I'll definitely be giving him another read.

From there, Kemper and I left the hotel and went our separate ways, him to the Russian Roulette game he was excited about watching and me to navigate the labrynthine streets of St. Louis and go home.  It was a fun time.

In other news, I've been awarded the Versatile Blogger award by the talented and frighteningly organized Hildred Billings.  I will deal with all that entails tomorrow, when I'm not so tired and hungry.


  1. Good time today. Next time I'll wear a suit and bring the pistol.

  2. Frighteningly organized, eh? Damn, this means I have to get a notebook to write things in now!

    Also, that con sounds pretty fun. I've always enjoyed the writing centered ones the most. Back home we have a regional writers' conference with workshops and panels that I look forward to whenever I can go. Ugh, now I wanna go.