Wow! Bouchercon in Indianapolis was wonderful! Absolutely fabulous! Okay, I admit that part of my excitement is from winning the Barry Award and Anthony Award for State of the Onion, in the Best Paperback Original category. I was utterly and completely stunned.
This is the Barry Award. Named for Barry Gardner, it is given by Deadly Pleasures and Mystery News magazines. George Easter (who runs Deadly Pleasures) was just about the nicest man ever. He was so sweet and so great. And I was happy to have met him because then we were able to chitchat here and there over the rest of the conference. Going into the award ceremony I was certain I had zero chance of winning this. I can't tell you how surprised I was. Just amazed.
Winning these two awards was the thrill of a lifetime and I still can't completely believe it. In fact I've been looking at some pictures that are appearing online, such as this one of the Anthony Award ceremony: Riordan's Desk and I've noticed something. Most of the other award winners are actually holding the award as they speak. I'm not. The very kind and perceptive Joe Stanko (Jane Cleland's husband who assisted in the award ceremony) waited to give me the actual award until after I was finished at the microphone. What a smart man!
I am so happy, so grateful, so honored to have been in the company of Vicky Lane, Christa Faust, Max Allan Collins, and the PJ Parrishes - Kristy Montee and Kelly Nichols. Kristy and Kelly in particular were so warm, so gracious, and so kind, before and after the ceremony. I have always looked up to them and I'm thrilled to have been able to interact with them a little bit at this Bouchercon.
Into every life some rain must fall, or however that goes...
So, there had to be something that went wrong, right?
I've mentioned the HOT TICKET event here a few times and I tried to promote it wherever I could. The Midwest Chapter of MWA was sponsoring this small-group meeting with Big Name authors. As Midwest president I was able to interact with some of these authors (PJ Parrish - above, as well as the lovely and wonderful Carolyn Hart, and the incomparable and fabulous SJ Rozan). I was also supposed to interact with Sue Grafton on Saturday. She was one of my assignments and, of course, I was excited about meeting her.
Guess what? I had so much going on Saturday morning that I forgot about my appointment with Sue Grafton. Actually, I didn't really *forget* - I just lost track of time. Easy to do at Bouchercon, but still incredibly stupid. I had my list of stuff to remember, and I consulted it, but somehow just lost track of time ticking by. I had intended to give her a copy of Mystery Muses, the award-winning anthology of essays from Crum Creek Press because in it I have an essay written about ... you guessed it ... Sue Grafton.
Oh well. It isn't as though she would have missed me. She had Beverle Graves Myers and Jess Lourey there and both of them are wonderful Midwest chapter authors. Bev and Jess took care of the HOT TICKET event with their usual panache, and all was well.
I'm flying high and every time someone calls the house today they ask what's up because I'm so cheerful. This has been a wonderful, wonderful weekend and I thank everyone who had anything to do with Bouchercon, Indy. A superbly run conference and great people. Thank you!!!
I'm mad at myself for missing the opportunity to meet Sue, but at least no one was hurt by my oversight. The only one who suffered was me. And that's okay.
The rest of the day (Anthony Awards) was pretty darned spectacular, so I am *not* complaining.
I'll be posting more about the awards and celebrations tomorrow on Mystery Lovers' Kitchen, so if you care to, please stop by. There's another contest running, too!