Monday, October 19, 2015

The Guestroom Bed is Full or My Bouchercon Booty of Books and My Bouchercon Wrap-Up

So, my boxes have finished arriving from Bouchercon, and I have laid my book booty out on the guestroom bed where I can ogle it appropriately.  Soon, I'll feel compelled to shelve the books, but for now, I just want to enjoy looking at them and remembering what a great time I had at Bouchercon meeting my favorite authors and meeting new favorites.

Books that I took with me to Bouchercon included ones not yet signed by my favorite authors since my first Bouchercon in 2013.  Authors include Hank Phillip Ryan, Elly Griffiths/Domenica de Rosa (and Dom's publisher rep, Katrina Kruse), Anne Cleeland, Deborah Crombie, Rhys Bowen (and her dapper husband, John), Susan Elia MacNeal, Karin Salvalaggio, Laurie R. King, Catriona McPherson, GM Malliet, Susanna Calkins, and Carla Buckley.    I love these authors dearly and am so proud to know them.  Of course, I picked up some more from these authors, too, as I'm trying to go back and get all the Laurie King's Mary Russell books in hardback, and I'm collecting Elly Griffiths' British covers for her Ruth Galloway series.  I also bought GM Malliet's latest, The Haunting Season.  I'm a a bit behind on Susanna Calkins' Lucy Campion series, but I will be catching up on those this winter, as I'm crazy about seventeenth century England and Lucy navigating it.  Also accompanying me to Bouchercon were some new authors I've just started reading and love.  James Ziskin and his Ellie Stone series went with me, but, everytime I saw Jim, I didn't have his books with me.  Say, bookplates.  Right before Bouchercon, I was able to fit in the first Deborah Knott by Margaret Maron, and needless to say, I bought the rest of them and got them signed by Margaret.  Yay!

And then there are the new authors I met and bought and can't wait to read.  Kristi Belcamino was such a delight and has the brightest smile, and I have it on expert authority (Kristopoher Zgorski) that her books are as great as she is.  Julia Dahl was a sweetheart, too, and I added Invisible City to my signed and TBR pile.  Laura DiSilverio had already sent me a copy of The Reckoning Stones and signed it, but I was able to meet her and thank her and see what a lovely person she is.  I was so excited to finally meet Lori Rader-Day and get her to sign The Black Hour for me.  She is full of life and laughter, and seeing her speechless when accepting her award for The Black Hour was priceless.  Meeting online pals Edith Maxwell and Kaye Barley, authors and classy ladies extraordinaire was another highlight.  Other amazing author meetings were Annamaria Alfieri, Allen Eskens, Terry Shames, Jonathan Moore, SJ Rozan, Reed Farrel Coleman, Matthew Clemens, Diana Chambers, Leslie Budewitz, and Alafair Burke.  Matthew Clemens gets my award for most hugable, and I love to hug.  SJ Rozan has promised me a calendar with goats from her exotic travels.  I bought her accordion calendar last year, and it was fabulous!  Another new person that I couldn't wait to meet and finally did was Dru Ann Love, famed blogger of Dru's Book Musings.  She is so sweet and always has a smile.  And, the first new person I met was Ali Karim, with whom I took a cool sunglasses picture.  I even met new relatives. Standing in a line behind author Stacy Allen, we discovered that my great-great-great-great uncle Daniel Boone is her great-great-great-great grandfather.  And, then there was the marvelous girl from my hometown that I finally caught up with, Teresa Smith Wilson, who worked so hard to help make this Bouchercon a success.   

And how could I list the people I loved seeing at Bouchercon without some of the most important and treasured book friends I have.  Kristopher Zgorski of BOLO Books is my guru, my enabler (of many books), and someone who I truly adore.  My travel buddy and friend since my mother taught us kindergarten, Susan Matchett, has been to both Bouchercons with me, and she makes my running around trying to see everyone go so much more smoothly than it could ever without her.  She is one of my truest friends, and I love her dearly.  John Bychowski and Meredith Taylor are fellow Friends of Laurie (King), and they are two of the most fun and reliable people I know.  John, of course, takes a few pictures of all the goings-on (around 1,700?) and chronicles Bouchercon in photos that are professional and flattering to us all.  Meredith is just about as crazy as I am, and I was so happy to finally spend some time with her.  It was great reconnecting with a friend from my first Bouchercon, Connie Smith, and sharing some meals with her.

I've tried to remember most everyone that I was able to have a moment with, but I'm sure that I've forgotten someone, and that will gut me.  So, I may be updating this post to accommodate my aging memory.  I'm just in awe of all the people that made this event so special for me, whether we shared a meal or just a quick talk.  

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