by Catriona McPherson
(The Femmes Fatales once more welcome Catriona McPherson. Catriona is the award-winning (since last Thursday – woo-hoo!) author of the Dandy Gilver series of 1920s Scottish mysteries. She’s a recovering academic, a “blonde” with the hairdresser’s bills to prove it, and a fan of all crime fiction from the splatteriest thriller to the book (coming soon, I bet) where a cupcake actually solves a murder.)
As another Bouchercon dwindles to a dot in the rear-view mirror, and mystery and thriller writers all over America go back to typing in their jammies, I thought I’d take a look at what made Cleveland B-con the B-ee’s knees. (Note: click on any photo to see a full-sized version.)
Yes, the Rock and Roll Hall of fame was fantastic
It’s all about the people, people.
And what people they are! Here are some of them:
Already you begin to see the drawback of all these wonderful, kind, helpful types though: it’s impossible to take a picture of someone without someone else immediately offering to take one of you both, and then a third person offers to take one of you all and someone across the room says to them: “No, no, you get in the photo. I’ll take it.” And you end up with this.
The woman with the dark hair tried to take a pic of the woman in the hat and it snowballed. None of these people actually know each other. (Just kidding: it’s Terri Bischoff of Midnight Ink and her authors, out for lunch.)
So please excuse the number of times my shiny face and coathanger-in-the-mouth smile appears, because here it is twice more. Just to show that Bcon has range.
Christa Faust: noir writer, ex-professional dominatrix and seriously fluffy bunny disguised as a bad girl was there.
Best of all, Mary Higgins Clark (The Big Boss), was there and was so inspiring about talent, commitment, hard graft and honouring contracts that I wanted to go straight to my room and write. (I actually went for a doughnut, but we won’t quibble.)
The list goes on, but I’ll hold it down to two stories that show what we’re made of, we murdermongers.
Reed Farrel Coleman fell headfirst off a stage on Saturday and spent good chunk of quality time in the emergency room, getting six stitches. Did he pout? Did he whine? No, he said: “So, I’ll have a scar and women will find me sexy.” Talk about making lemonade when someone fires a frozen lemon at your head. Quite a guy.
And finally, there’s John Clement.
(John with my good friend, NYC writer, Cathi Stoler)
John’s mother Blaize wrote the Petsitter Mysteries (seven of them). When she knew she was dying, she asked John if he would continue the series once she was gone. He hesitated – for almost an hour – and then agreed. Blaize left us last July and the new book – Cat Sitter’s Cradle – is due out in January. John calls himself an accidental mystery writer but maybe Cleveland Bouchercon will have turned him into a deliberate one.