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September 07, 2005


Jim Winter

On that note, the funniest moment was when Jim Warren and I were chatting. JA Konrath joined in. After a few minutes, he said, "Excuse me a second," and dumpster-dived the donation bin, coming up with seven copies of BLOODY MARY.

He holds them over his head triumphantly and says, "I can sell these!" (Told his publisher not to do the freebie bag. Didn't stop me from keeping my copy.)

Jim Winter

Also, why does Deon Meyer's publisher insist on dumping 8 million copies of HEART OF THE HUNTER every year? Next year, it'll be three copies of the audiobook to every freebie bag.

Jon Jordan

I noticed only three crimespree's in the donation bin. Very nice.

Truthfully, there was almost nothing in it this year.

There was a lot of buzz about Simon Kernick.

David J. Montgomery

I can't say that I heard much buzz about any particular book, although a few writers seemed to generate a little heat.

People had nice things to say about Barry Eisler and Jim Born, and everyone was really happy for Kent Krueger.

Brian Freeman got a big push from SMP, as they took several reviewers out to lunch.

Theresa Schwegel got good attention for her new one, since her agent threw her a lovely party and invited all the right people.

The freebie bags had some good paperbacks (including the latest from Kent Krueger, Jon King and Laura Lippman). PBs by Jeff Long and Deon Meyer got tossed in large numbers (Poor Meyer, suffering the same fate 2 years in a row for the same book.)

Joe Konrath's Bloody Mary was the hardcover this year, and many were dumped as the hardcovers always are, but not nearly as many, it seems, as the last couple were.

Some of the bags had a trade paperback of Best American Crime Writing (intro by James Ellroy) that Jim Fusilli raved to me about. I'm not sure how many people got that one, though. (I think it was Fusilli.)

I'm trying to remember if anyone told me that there was a particular book that I needed to read, but nothing comes to mind.

Oh, except for Cornelia Read's, which Lee Child again told me was fabulous.

There was a little talk of the Plots with Guns anthology, as contributors were signing it for Dennis McMillan, but I don't think it's crossed over into the fans' minds yet.

Maybe others heard stuff that I didn't? If so, please share, as I'd like to know, too.


Heard no buzz, though probably Eisler is being talked about. Good for him. He writes very well and is a superb promoter. Besides he's really cute.
My daughter adopted Konrath, reading it on the way home and calling it a page-turner. I took Landay's MISSION FLATS. No comment yet. I'm still finishing BANGKOK 8.

Cornelia Read

David, if I didn't know how broke I am and how broke Lee's not, even *I* would think I was paying him to talk up my book.

And he keeps insisting he's not a nice guy. In that regard, at the very least, the man is totally delusional.


The Plots With Guns anthology was talked about quite a bit - and a fine looking book it is too. Also Neil's Psychosomatic which, sadly, was not available to purchase (so I ordered it as soon as I got home). The wee limited edition poetry collection by Ken Bruen, Reed Farrel Coleman and Peter Spiegelman waas flying off the table. Jason Starr's Twisted City was talked up a fair bit (and well deservedly too) Hmmmmm, can't think of any others that I heard mentioned a lot, although I DID hear a couple of omments along the lines of "X is a pain in the ass. I'm never buying his book"



In addition to the books already mentioned, on late Friday afternoon, someone put many copies of Elizabeth Becka's book on the freebie counter in the hallway. I managed to grab a copy before there were none left.

Sarah, you were MISSED!

David Terrenoire

We all missed you, Sarah.

The three titles recommended with enthusiasm were Bangkok 8, the PWG anthology and Creepers.

Your mileage may vary.


Of course not everyone got the same books, but was anyone else croggled to get a pb of Mystic River? I mean I know he was a GoH but come on - if you wanted that book by now, you own it. I dumped most (would have kept more but traveling alone made it hard to schlep heavy stuff) and kept maybe 3 paperbacks I'd never heard of. I admit to dumping the Coben and the Lehane, along with the hardcover (can't remember if I got more than one of those), kept the magazines including Strand for Stu and the one with the Muller/Pronzini story for sure.

I'd LOVE to know more buzz , you lovely charming, intelligent, savvy people because I'm supposed ot be writing up the con for a magazine and I wasn't privy to enough of the buzz myself. And wondered. PLEASE for David's journalistic future and mine, DO TELL.

Hot panels/moderators too if you're so inclined (write me if you don't want to use up Sarah's pixels) because that knowledge will help create better future programming. Honest it will.

Well, Lee is right, but he's not a nice guy. I mean what a bum, didn't buy a single drink for anyone at the convention (snort, heh-heh). But he's right about Cornelia's book.

I DO wonder about the publishers - I mean the free book thing is nice but NOT if they're providing the same book every year and/or old enough books that no one will get excited about. It's awful thinking about contacting the publishers and trying to find a way to say "hi, I'm doing a convention, please send books but OH, can you make sure they're groovier than last year's?" but the truth is, otherwise, they will get dumped AGAIN and there are only SO many library copies of something that a library will want. (hmmm, note to self, make sure to have committee member with van/truck and handtruck for post con book removal).


Oh yeah, and Steven Torres told me to read Will Thomas. I was SO convention tired and dumb (it WAS Sunday) that I said "ok, sure" got home and Stu reminded me that DUH, I'd READ Will Thomas and liked him. Sigh.....

Dave White

I bought the books I heard buzz on. Schwegal's OFFICER DOWN, Plots with Guns and Zoe Sharp's FIRST DROP


Actually, Andi, we kept our Mystic River PB, because we didn't own it. When we read it, it was from the library. The Laura Lippman "By a Spider's Thred" went into the donation bin because we own it in HC.
What totally croggled me was getting "Bloody Mary" in the bag...signed. WTF? But it did motitvate me to go out and finally buy Whiskey Sour, for which Joe Konrath gave me a hug.
I must be behind the times, because I hadn't heard of william Kent Krueger before I got "Blood Hollow" in the goodie bag. I almost tossed it until I saw it won the Anthony, and then I almost tossed it because I was mad that Bruen didn't win. Then started reading it on the plane and I'm hooked. It's damn good. Sorry, Ken...

Anthony Rainone

I heard buzz on Zoe Sharp, as well. I picked up Ken Bruen/Reed Coleman/Peter Spiegelman chap book of poetry -- simply brilliant. These guys should be publishing poetry as well as crime fiction (Spiegelman does, I think). Great stuff.


I didn't get the Krueger book in my bag - damn it.


Dusty - I guess I only thought everyone had that book. Me? I got it from the library and I don't think I finished it (I'm one of THOSE).
And I'm a fan of Kent K but did NOT like this particular book in the series at all; I'll read the next one, though, it's not like that but BLOOD HOLLOW did not work for me AT All.

Trivia for the day - Kent Krueger won the "best first" Anthony at the Milwaukee Bouchercon held in 1999 for Iron Lake. That's NOT a very long time between "best first" and "best novel" is it? And I have no idea, but I don't believe too many other authors have won both.

Had I gotten the Lippman I would have kept it, even though I have either an ARC or a hardcover; probably to send to my sister.

Didn't notice if the Konrath was signed - never opened it, didn't keep it but that is weird. Not an author I'm going to read.

Poetry anthology? Hmmmmm, I got some chapbook like stuff but that's not ringing a bell. BOY do I still have stuff to unpack/put away/organize.

Naomi Hirahara

Not directly related to Bouchercon, but I saw the movie trailer for "Ice Harvest" in L.A. before a screening of "The Constant Gardener." It's hard to capture black comedy in a minute or two, but I have my fingers crossed -- hope the film's good and that it'll bring more interest to the book. In the future, it would be fun to have a special Bouchercon screening of an upcoming film based on a mystery/thriller.

David J. Montgomery

I got Naomi's book in my bad, too.


Hmmmm, a screening of a movie. Gulp. Um, see, um, well, okay, here's my take on it. It MIGHT be possible, though I don't know that a major convention has had such an advance screening since Worldcon showed Star Wars back in mumblety- mumble. And I'm not against it, BUT my concern is that it would take a block of time and would most likely cost because you'd have to reset a major room for "theater" seating and then set it back for panel seating. Every time you do that, it costs money. And takes time - hours sometimes, depending on the size of hte room, and assuming it's a big deal film, we' d need a big room. But the truth is space is usually the issue; we often need every room of decent size for programs, the dealer's room and the banquet.
As for the block of time - it would have to be evening, as resetting a room midday would take away hours from program and that' usually not looked on with favor by attendees OR folks who'd like to be on program. Evenings? Do we think folks would go? I've always wanted more evening stuff to occur at mystery conventions but my experience is folks wnat to do dinner, hang out, socialize. That's about it; except for really good auctions. Speaking of which, anyone know how much was raised at the Bcon auction (which seemed awfully late at night for a really good turnout).

Can you tell I'm in con-running mode at the moment?

Naomi Hirahara

Dang, Andi, you are in con-running mode! I'm a wealth of no-good ideas, although occasionally I may strike gold--so take my comments with a grain of salt. I was thinking (oh, no, here it comes) that it would be cool to merge the two mediums--book publishing and movies--a little better at these events. Is there any money to be had from the movie industry to support the convention in any way? (Advertisements, etc.?) Or maybe two should remain separate.

And David--did you hang onto the book? Was it BIG BACHI? Cool.

David J. Montgomery

Naomi, actually it was GASA-GASA... and ummm... no, I didn't bring it home. Since I already have a copy (actually I think I have 2), I donated it so that someone else would have a chance to read it.

Jim Winter

"I was thinking (oh, no, here it comes) that it would be cool to merge the two mediums--book publishing and movies--a little better at these events."

I heard Eddie Muller say the same thing.


The movie-book thing is what Crime Scene in London is supposed to be. This year however the movie part seemed to take over, although the literary events that were left were really good.


I didn't hear too much buzz, but maybe I spent too much time in the bar. But-Speak of the Devil by Richard Hawke was in my bag and I can't put it down. I think this guy will hit it very big next year (pub date is Jan/2006). Check him out Sarah! And yeah, you were greatly missed!


I think, regarding merging book publishing and movies that it's doable at a Bouchercon if you have enough interest and a committee person who knows movies and is willing to take on this task. Bcon is the "World Msytery Convention" and the biggest event with - again - bigger space that might make it worth it for a studio to show a preview; other conventions are smaller. The rooms are smaller, the convention committees are smaller, the expertise may not be there. There are minor issues too that involve permissions and showing a film at a hotel (which may require a union projectionist and OY, I can't quite deal with the idea of that cost.
Ads? At least for LCC, I'd rather go after publishers since the focus is on books and magazines. Again, if a convention wants to do it, I think it's feasible but you have to have people who know how to reach the publicity departments, etc.
There's always the possibility of running some fave films somewhere late at night, and I think it's been done more than once but again, people fade early or want to hang out in the bar, set-up and room set-ups are costly and if you go too late, I bet they're MORE costly, and using a "regular" hotel room is a horrid alternative.
Keep in mind that a "regular" convention requires people to plan panels, run registration, work with the hotel, write and publish a program, organize award ceremonies, keep in touch with guests of honor, run a dealer's room, offer hospitality, run the website, write and disseminate progress reports, host the auction, seek advertising, write up city/dining guides, and organize volunteers. So it's possible, but not a top priority, based on numbers and interest and expertise.
Aren't you sorry you asked?

David J. Montgomery

To be honest, I can't imagine many attendees at something like B'con going to watch a movie. Who has the time? 2 hours of sitting in the dark with no schmoozing or drinking?

Although at LCC this year, David Morrell did introduce and screen an episode of Route 66, the show which inspired him to become a writer. The intro was great, but I didn't stay for the show.


At LCC in Monterey Eddie Muller and Dark Marc (whose last name I can't spell but is something like Dolezal) showed films noir over the Friday and Saturday, plus there was a special noir night presented by Eddie with a brilliant little film he'd put together using clips of films to show all the aspects of film noir, and a competition to win books and stuff. It went down very well, and the things I went to were very well attended. It was great to get a chance to see some stuff I had never seen.


I agree with Dave-Bcon's and other cons are for books, not movies. Not that some of the presentations mentioned here were not well done and appreciated, but let's keep the subject matter pertinent to what we're supposed to be doing - and that is celebrating books.

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