New Orleans – Bouchercon Day 3


Day 3, early rise, sweaty gym – again. I hope this is not a pattern. I have a panel today, so off with the shorts and on with a shirt – presentable is the name of the game. It kicked off at 11.00am and there’s a green room in the hotel to meet you fellow panellists before hand. My fellow panellists weren’t there. I sat for fifteen minutes as ‘Jimmy nae mates’ before making my way to the room where my panel was scheduled. Ta da – there I find them all.

I know one of them, Susi Holliday and, like many of the others over here from the UK, I feel like we’ve all just jumped into the TARDIS to run a mini Bloody Scotland this side of the Atlantic. My other panellists were Sean McDaniel (A panel virgin), Nik Korpon (an American Glasgow Celtic fan), John McFetridge (all the way from Toronto) and the chair, Duane Swiercynski (very well prepared). The panel went well – it was funny, insightful and I swear it only lasted ten minutes.

‘Susi and myself on the panel – iced water at the ready.’

‘Our perfectly formed and enthusiastic audience.’

The audience seemed to like it all, and afterwards, at the signing, I sold and signed all the copies of my books – I now have no books for sale.

‘Julie Gerber and me – Julie was one of the mad fools who bought one of my book – thanks Julie.’

‘Lisa Brackmann, a fellow Bouchercon author, was sitting next to me at the signing table – Lisa wants to go to Bloody Scotland – I think she might have told me this one or twenty times.’

After the signing I’d arranged to meet up with the members of the panel I’m chairing on Sunday, at the coffee shop. I think I screwed up on communication as only Maegan Beaumont and Matt FitzSimmonds turned up. I’m hoping that Jim Sanderson and Mary Coley (the missing members of Team Gordon) make it along on Sunday. Maegan and Matt were in good form and, after we finished our meeting, we walked through the lobby where I bumped into Craig Robertson –  who was heading for lunch. Mmmm  –  a bit of a fatal encounter as lunch turned into watching the Liverpool v Chelsea game, turned into having a beer, turned into an afternoon in the bar. It’s a hard life.

‘There’s no such thing as ‘warm beer’ in New Orleans – especially in the bar we were in.’

I knew there was a parade on as part of Bouchercon. We arrived back at the hotel just in time to catch the parade starting off. Now this is/was/and shall, for ever be, a cool moment in my life. With marching bands at the top and tail of the parade, all the ‘Boucherconners’ marched through New Orleans, police escort at the front, traffic jam behind. The various stars of the weekend were on floats and I thought it a good idea to video it all. (click below).

So that’s another one off my bucket list – taking part in a parade in New Orleans.

We all arrived at the Orpheum Theater to watch Lee Chil interview David Morrell – the author who gave the world Rambo when he wrote ‘First Blood’ – and, in case you’re wondering, the name Rambo comes from the name of an apple – you’ll need to contact David for the full story.

‘Lee Child and David Morrell on stage at the Orpheum. Lee didn’t get to say much – boy can David talk – good though.”

This was followed by the Anthony Awards chaired, in part by Alexander Sokoloff – who, dressed in a lemon/green/yellow wig, did a fantastic job of holding it all together.

‘Alex announcing one of the winners. I believe she dresses like this on a regular basis.’

The evening finished as I stepped out into the, still warm, night that had wrapped New Orleans. The pub beckoned and I ignored it. Bed was calling.

I really am getting old.