Saturday, September 24, 2016
Author Allison Leotta, who shot this photograph of journalist-turned-novelist Brad Parks, jokes in her caption to it that “This is where Brad Parks gets his ideas.”
One thing that everyone who took part in this year’s Bouchercon will likely remember is the oppressive heat and humidity accompanying that New Orleans convention. Every morning, it seemed, when I received my 6 a.m. hotel wake-up call, I heard some variation of this message: “Good morning. The weather today is predicted to reach 93 degrees, but with the humidity it might feel more like 108.” Although I’d visited the Big Easy on several previous occasions—including once for Mardi Gras and another time in 2007, not long after Hurricane Katrina had swept her vicious hand across the town—it had always been in the springtime. The fall, it seems, offers far different weather patterns.
However, the heat didn’t put a serious damper on this year’s festivities. People came prepared with shorts and T-shirts, or else they grew accustomed to changing into fresh attire midday. Bouchercon attendees were intent on enjoying themselves, and as you saw in The Rap Sheet’s previous gallery of photos from this popular gathering, they did just that. Here, I have posted a second set of images (plus one video clip) that should remind folks who were in New Orleans last week of the fun they had there, and give everyone else another glimpse of what they missed.
Unless otherwise noted, these shots were provided by Rap Sheet contributor Ali Karim. Click on the images for enlargements.
On Saturday afternoon, award-winning crime-fictionist Laura Lippman—who owns a house in New Orleans’ Garden District that she shares with her husband, TV producer David Simon (The Wire, Treme), and their two children—quietly invited a variety of publishing colleagues and some lucky hangers-on (like me) to join her for drinks, appetizers, and stimulating conversation. Above, UK publishing powerhouse Selina Walker, of Century and Arrow (left), watches as author Alison Gaylin and Ali Karim ham it up on Lippman’s commodious kitchen deck.
Selfie’s choice: Ali huddles with writer Jamie Mason.
Shots editor Mike Stotter congratulates Lou Berney (right) on having won the Anthony, Barry, and Macavity awards for his 2015 novel, The Long and Faraway Gone.
Texas author Meg Gardiner, S.J. Rozan (the recipient this year of the Private Eye Writers of America’s Eye Award for lifetime achievement), and Canadian best-seller Linwood Barclay desperately seek some suggestion of breeze on Lippman’s deck.
These three, at least, manage to appear fairly cool on that quite steamy Saturday: Mike Stotter; Washington, D.C., sex crimes prosecutor-turned-author Allison Leotta; and Detectives Beyond Borders blogger Peter Rozovsky.
Saturday night’s Mulholland Books reception at the New Orleans Marriott (this year’s convention hotel) was packed with authors, critics, and young publishing professionals. Here, Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine editor George Easter (far left) poses with novelist David Swinson (The Second Girl) and the ubiquitous Mr. Karim.
What do you know, it’s Ali again, this time worming his way into a picture alongside novelist David Morrell (winner of the 2016 Anthony Lifetime Achievement Award), Mike Stotter, and yours truly, Rap Sheet editor J. Kingston Pierce.
Mystery Fanfare blogger Janet Rudolph shares a couple of adult beverages with Philadelphia author Duane Swierczynski.
Quebec writer-editor Jacques Filippi, who blogs at The House of Crime and Mystery, finds a moment to chat with prolific New Hampshire author Brendan DuBois.
Never-say-die Bouchercon-goers finished off Saturday night with an excursion to New Orleans’ House of Blues club, on Decatur Street, where Heather Graham and other notable contributors to modern crime fiction mounted the stage to sing and dance and otherwise make deliberate spectacles of themselves. In this video clip, British author Mark Billingham tries to channel the ghost of Johnny Cash, while Northern Irish wordsmith Stuart Neville shows he’s no stranger to harmonica playing.
Acclaimed authors Lee Goldberg and Ace Atkins in the Bouchercon book sales room. (Photo from Lee Goldberg)
I’ve known Houston, Texas, writer Scott Dennis Parker for most of the last seven years—but only through his blogging efforts here and here. I had never actually met him … until Bouchercon New Orleans, that is. Scott first tracked me down outside the book sales room, then offered to give me copies of his several crime novels to read. Seeing as how he has been a longtime supporter of The Rap Sheet, how could I say no? Thanks, Scott!
Sunday’s concluding guests of honor panel presentation featured almost all of the usual suspects. Left to right: Fan Guests of Honor Jon and Ruth Jordan, the publishers/editors of Crimespree Magazine; “Local Legend” Julie Smith; International Rising Star Guest of Honor Craig Robertson; Toastmasters Alexandra Sokoloff and Harley Jane Kozak; Bouchercon 2016 co-chair Heather Graham; Lifetime Achievement Award winner David Morrell; and American Guest of Honor Harlan Coben. Missing from this lineup was R.L. Stine, the Bouchercon 2016 Kids Guest of Honor.
Alexandra Sokoloff and Harley Jane Kozak listen as their fellow Sunday panelists recount their memories of being in New Orleans for this event. (Photo by Peter Rozovsky)
While other Bouchercon-goers packed up and departed on Sunday, handfuls of us stuck around for an extra day or two in order to see more of the city. One of the popular destinations was the National World War II Museum, in the Central Business District, a well-arranged tribute to the world’s 20th-century fight against German Nazism and the rise of a bellicose Japan. The photo here shows Ali Karim, yours truly, Peter Rozovsky, and Mike Stotter having exited the museum, after several hours spent taking in its extensive exhibits and films.
On our way back to the Marriott from the museum, I joined Mike and Ali for a rejuvenating libation at a small bar called Stacks, located in the Country Inn & Suites on Magazine Street.
One more shot for the road, outside the Marriott on Monday. Left to right: Peter Rozovsky, yours truly (with some extra caffeine in hand—I do hail from Seattle, after all), Ali Karim, Icelandic author Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, Mike Stotter, and Yrsa’s husband, Olaf. Not shown, because she’s operating the camera here, is author and January Magazine editor Linda L. Richards.
Next year, Toronto!