The virtual version of Bouchercon, which was originally set to be held in Sacramento, California, happens online the middle of October. I’m truly glad they’re going ahead with a virtual event, in light of the Covid-19 crisis. But, seeing the posts this week about the upcoming convention has got me feeling a bit blue about missing the in-person connections of conferences, and has me reminiscing about past in-person mystery community gatherings. So, I’m flipping through my virtual scrapbook of conventions.
On my very first trip to Malice Domestic, which has an emphasis on cozy/traditional mysteries, I met Laura Bradford, who I may have fan-girled over just a little. In the picture here with her, my face is red because I’d had a glass of wine. Lucky for me, daiquiris and margaritas don’t make me blush. I also met fab author Cindy Brown, who was nominated for Best First Novel. She was sweet enough to give me one of the little hats she had given out as party favors at her table. (Disclosure: I was bold enough to ask if she had any extras.)
At the Writer’s Police Academy, held in Appleton, Wisconsin, I had a great time doing a hands-on fingerprints lab session and handcuffing a very nice lady, who also handcuffed me. For the record this was all serious writer research. (Okay, so it was also recreational.) Additionally, I had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Catriona MacPherson, who was national Sisters in Crime president at the time. (Tip: Never shoot up people’s noses like I did in this selfie with Catriona!)
At O’Hare Airport in Chicago on the way to my very first Malice, I ran into authors Molly MacRae and Sarah Wisseman. Actually, I didn’t just happen to sit next to Molly. I had spotted her earlier and stalked her, in the nicest possible way, to the waiting area at the gate. She and Sarah were very kind, and asked me to share a van ride with them to the hotel when we arrived in DC.
I’m geeked out that I’m doing a virtual event with Molly MacRae and Debra Goldstein this Wednesday (Oct. 7) at 7 p.m., sponsored by Nicola’s Books. We were originally scheduled to do an in-person event at the bookstore in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Sigh. Oh well, it will still be a lot of fun to chat with them – and with as many of you as can join us! (The discussion/Q & A event is FREE. Click here to register, so you can get the Zoom link.) The people I miss seeing the absolute most are pictured in the header on the Chicks’ home page. Even before Covid, due to some back issues, I had to miss seeing pal Ellen Byron win the Agatha for Best Contemporary Novel at Malice last year. Sniff. But, I was in the house the year our dear Cynthia Kuhn brought home the teapot for Best First Novel – yay! I have a feeling the Chicks will be having another Zoom cocktail party soon. Hey guys, I’ll bring the Jack Daniels!
Which in-person connections are you missing these days? Are you coping through phone calls, social media, Zoom or Skype connections?