I've been back from St. Louis for three days now, and I'm anxiously awaiting the weekend so I can get some real rest.
St. Louis, you ask? Why were you in St. Louis?
For Bouchercon, one of the largest mystery conventions in the country.
I started going to Bouchercon in 2005, when my first book SACRED COWS, was published. I met Alison Gaylin, Lori Armstrong, and Jeff Shelby there in Chicago, and we started the now infamous First Offenders blog. First Offenders is defunct now, but Alison, Lori and Jeff and I are still good friends. Jeff couldn't come to St. Louis, but Alison and Lori and I got part of the band back together and shared a room.
Bouchercon is a little like college in that there are a lot of late nights in the bar, thus, the reason I'm a bit wrecked. But it's an incredible amount of fun.
Some highlights of the weekend:
Lori winning the Shamus Award for her book NO MERCY. It was so great to be able to be there and share that with her.
Meeting Eoin Colfer of ARTEMIS FOWL fame and Daniel Woodrell, who wrote WINTER'S BONE, one of my favorite books.
Lunch with Reed Farrel Coleman and three lovely ladies who "bought" a meal with two mystery writers.
Meeting Mary Jane Haake, a tattooist from Portland, Oregon, who is featured in the book that convinced me to write the tattoo shop mystery series: BODIES OF SUBVERSION: A HISTORY OF WOMEN AND TATTOO by Margot Mifflin.
Sharing Linda Brown's (of the now defunct Mystery Bookstore in L.A.) excitement about traveling to China to meet her new daughter soon.
Explaining to a waitress that while Trey Barker really does have a gun, he wouldn't actually shoot her if she gave the check to me and not to him.
Having Harlan Coben give me a nickname (although I'm still not sure about it).
And seeing and chatting with: Sean Doolittle, Steve Hamilton, Wallace Stroby, Con Lehane, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Jim Benn, Lyssa Keusch, Peter Spiegelman, Jim Fusilli, John Connolly, Lauren Henderson, JT Ellison, and loads of others I just can't think of right at the moment. Like I said, I need a really good night's sleep.
Next year: Cleveland.