New Orleans – Bouchercon Day 4


More gym this morning. I think this will be the end of the fitness phase for a while. Lying-in has its attractions. I pulled on my publishers t-shirt to show support today, that and it’s also a cool t shirt.

‘Ready for the day.’

My first stop was a healthy breakfast in McDonalds.

‘Wall St Journal, Egg McMuffin and a Tram.’

I bumped into an author while queuing for my McD. Charles Finch has written 10 historical novels. He was due on a panel shortly. Not having seen many panels to date I popped in to listen to the world of historical crime fiction with authors speaking about setting as diverse as 16th Japan, 18th Century Victorian England and 1974.

‘Charles, third left, talking history.’

My main event today was the launch and signing of the Bouchercon Anthology, Blood on the Bayou.

Authors had submitted short stories based on the theme ‘Blood on the Bayou.’ I was lucky enough to be one of the twenty two selected for the anthology. My story is called ‘ebgdea’ – which are the first six chords of the song ‘Duelling Banjos’. If you want to know what the story is about you’ll need to buy the book. The signing was in a large ballroom and once readers had purchased a copy they could skip from table to table asking the authors to sign the book.

‘Me and one of the many readers.’

While I was signing Joe Abramo sat down next to me. Joe is a Brooklyn born author now living in Denver. I first met him three years ago at the Left Coast Crime Festival in Colorado Springs where he was a on a panel with me. We’ve kept in touch and been promising to go out for a beer ever since. Last book signed we eventually had that beer.

‘Joe and I celebrating Joe’s Seamus award for ‘Circling the Runway.’

With little to do until the night’s festivities I took the opportunity to look around the whole festival – and bumped into Lee Child. As a fan of Jack Reacher I had to get a photo but, in my haste to do so, I managed to blur the shot. So now I have a fuzzy Lee Child photo for my collection.

‘A fuzzy Lee Child.’

Towards the end of the afternoon Craig Roberston was interviewed by Catriona McPherson on the 41st floor of the hotel. They both did a great job.

‘Craig and Catriona and the view they were competing with – and beat.’

Later that night there was a party at the ‘House of Blues’. The centre piece to the event was various authors doing their turns on stage. With echoes of Bloody Scotland a range of authors hit the microphones – Mark Billingham, Stuart Neville, Doig Johnstone – to name a few. The highlight, for me, was the return of the Slice Girls – who cut the place up big style.

‘The girls – knocking it out of the park (as they say here).’

Bed once more beckoned and day 4 drew to a close.