No, that is not a UFO. That is the Egg in Albany, NY, a performing arts center and convention center in the Empire State Plaza. For those who slept through Geography in grade school, Albany is the capital of New York and is located on the Hudson River about 150 miles to the north of New York City.
And why am I telling/showing you this, you ask?
Because I spent six days there for Bouchercon 2013, the World Mystery Convention. I have been to the state of New York before and find it to be very rural and lovely. We took the New York State Thruway (I-90) and saw the wine country, the foothills of the Adirondacks and the Catskills, the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers, and vestiges of the Erie Canal. Parts of the Revolutionary and French and Indian Wars were fought in the areas we passed through. I want to go back and visit the Finger Lakes region in depth (went there with my son when he interviewed at Cornell and fell in love with the area). I could spend at least a week just touring the wineries and the local craftsman (Mackenzie-Child pottery is made here).
So, enough about New York, what about the convention?
This has to be one of my favorite conventions. I usually do a panel that deals with either paranormal mystery/suspense or romantic suspense/mystery. This year my panel was Temptation, the title is sort of self-explanatory. I also do a Booze and Broads signing in the Dealer Room with special author friends courtesy of my dealer friend, Mystery Mike. This year the B&B II consisted of me, Heather Graham, Melinda Leigh, and Tina Whittle. All wonderful gals and authors and fellow whiskey drinkers. I posted a picture of us on FaceBook.
I also help out Mystery Mike by selling books for him– so I meet everyone. I am getting to know the collectors on sight and many of the authors stop by to sign first editions for Mike’s stock and so I get to know them also. I had lovely chats this year with Tess Gerritson (when she signed books) and Anne Perry while waiting on the elevators at the hotel. Sue Grafton was there to sign W is for Wasted and she was given the Lifetime Achievement Award. Anne was International Guest of Honor and Tess was American GOH.
I think this convention is my favorite because mystery readers never meet a stranger — these are some of the friendliest fans, authors, and publishers in the world.
Next year is in Long Beach and I will miss that one. But 2015 is in Raleigh and 2016 is in New Orleans (I am Registration Chair for that one because the Co-Chairs Heather Graham and Connie Perry asked me and I was delighted to help them out.) Oh and I hear 2017 is in Toronto — I’ve been to Toronto for a previous Bouchercon and had a blast (it was the con that Mystery Mike introduced me to the wonders of single malt scotch — blends were history after that).
So, if you like mystery, suspense, thrillers — please come join us. You’ll never meet a nicer bunch of people in the world.