Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Backstage and Onstage at Bouchercon

The epic Bouchercon - Murder at the Beach is over. I think it's fair to say it was epic, in a positive sense, for almost everyone. It was for me. It was also epic in terms of how I was busy almost all day every day (as part of the organizing committee) and how I felt responsible for everything going well. The hardest part was not taking personally any criticisms I heard (I didn't hear many, thank goodness).

I was fortunate to be on a couple great panels, including one on "the setting as a character" with the winner of all awards (for the fantastic Ordinary Grace) William Kent Krueger, as well as the ever hilarious John Connolly (not to mention Mark Pryor and Julia Spencer-Fleming). I was just happy to be on the same stage as the rest of them ... but even better, I came out of it with my favorite panel photo ever (l to r: Connolly, me, Krueger, Pryor).

A close second was my selfie with Jan Burke, fellow (and actually famous) Long Beach author, before the start of our panel on research.

I was also lucky enough to moderate the closing panel featuring all the guests of honor—and believe me, there was little for me to do besides point the ship. They were all funny and warm, true pros to the end. And I was able to get a photo with my pal, Simon Wood, and the delightful Eoin Colfer, author of the Artemis Fowl books (you need to read them, trust me).

A few other good memories ... sitting in the bar/atrium area, chatting with friends and watching the mystery world walk by. Standing on the empty stage at the Terrace Theater, prepping for the Anthony Awards, and wanting to belt out "Starting here, starting now..." (but resisting the urge). I did take a photo of Ingrid, the convention organizer, however, with the empty house behind her.

Other memories? Cadaver dogs in a session (they sniff out bodies or people or bones). Hanging out with my friend Rochelle Staab and Bogie (in the women's bathroom at the Sky Room).

And watching my fellow Poisoned Pen Press author Reavis Wortham cheer with a team that gave us an impromptu show in the hotel lobby. See if you can pick him out of the crowd....

Then there was the backstage look I got at the awards—the really amazing Anthony Awards for this year, which featured a crow on a beachball, for murder on the beach (a murder of crows, right?). Here's a set of them awaiting nameplates. And then there was the box of murder.

But maybe my favorite photo of all about Bouchercon actually happened a week before the event. It was taken by Brittany Murray, a staff photographer for the Long Beach Press-Telegram, and it featured me and Ingrid Willis, the event chair. We laughed through the whole photo shoot, as we reclined on a pile of books and smiled for the camera. Because it's all about the books.

See you at Bouchercon 2015!


  1. Some people are just so naturally awesome that they attract other awesome people like an awesomeness magnet -- you seem to be such an epicenter. Thanks for all the work I know you did to help pull off a magnificent Bouchercon!

  2. Awww, so sweet. And why do we never get a photo together at these?!?! Next time!

  3. I love it! Thanks, Tammy, for doing so much to make Bouchercon 2014 such a grand success.

  4. Bouchercon was awesome! You all did a fabulous job. Thanks for all the hard work you put into it!!!

  5. Oh, wow, what an experience. I hope to go to a Bouchercon one day myself :)


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