Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bouchercon, part the third

Mes Amis

Somehow (God only knows, and even then he got a surprise) I am up and away for Ken Bruen, Don Winslow and Kent Krueger at nine o'clock. I met our man Krueger very briefly in the bar one of the previous nights and he seemed like a very genial and funny guy. Of course he was slightly startled by this speed-talking Scot so its a pleasure to see him in his element with Ken and Don, as three guys, uh, talk for an hour. There are some great stories, some good laughs and a lot of sexual tension between Don and Ken which has more than a few people looking for buckets of cold water. Of course, Don denies he's the same Don Winslow writes S&M porn but no one quite believes him.

After this, I head off to see Sandra Ruttan, John Rickards and others talk about the New Wave, whatever that means. Naturally it degenerates into lots of jokes and much fun is had at the expense of "hardboiled toffs" as John tries his best to sit back and reign in the chaos. One wobbly comes from a woman who wants to know more about John than anything else, but he's humble enough he doesn't want the focus on him. For a moment I almost forget how terrifying the man is as he blushes and mumbles about hardboiled Jesus: "I died for your sins, you fuck!"

After this, Steve Torres arrives (hurrah!) and I proceed to confuse him remarkably. This man tells some of the best jokes I've ever heard. He never quite gets to the punchline, mostly because its very easy to confused him when you interrupt in a foreign accent, but he is a geuine contender for nicest fella in crime and also a very talented writer (but I still want to see Goat Fucker Puerto Rico, man: I'd buy it with that title!). After thoroughly confusing Steve, I head off for lunch with a few folks to a brillant wee Japanese restaurant which has only one flaw: staff who forget that they're meant to be serving you. Never mind, because the food is great and the company startling.

In the afternoon, I watch John Connolly, Laurie R King, Jan Burke and assorted others rant about what pisses them off and what crimes they wish they could get away with. John Connolly is a master although Mr Battles is upset when John proclaims that the "I Could Kick Your Ass" panel is composed primarily of wimps. Brett's hair is far too glossy for him to be a real hardman, right enough*

That evening, I'm off to a publisher's Party in the company of the wonderful Jen Jordan. She's charming, slightly insane (in the best possible way) company and I'm glad of that because, fuckin' hell, these parties overwhelm me. Never mind though because its a bit dull (everyone's really nice, but the conversation is a little muted despite the desk clerk downstairs telling us to "listen for the ruckus" when looking for the right room) and a group of us sneak out to head for dinner at a bar somewhere. I end up chatting to a lovely Canadian bookseller, telling her the real reason GreyFriar's Bobby sat howling by his master's grave for so many years is that some fucker dropped the tombstone on the wee dog's tail. I think she might even believe me.

I have one of the biggest burger's I've ever seen. Dripping with fat, smothered with cheese and bacon. I almost have a heart attack there and then at the table. But I persevere. And its amazing. After this we head, on the advice of a master ranter, to a bar at the other end of town where someone orders a round of beers with the ominous name, "Ambergeddon". I may be drunk, but this stuff is delicious. A down-home blues band plays some numbers, I chat with charmind LA booksellers, and then we head back to the hotel.

I meet Sean Chercover and others for drinks and we end up being thrown out the bar at the end of the night. Which is unfair. We could have kept going for hours. But Sean's glad. He's pannelling the next day. So maybe two o'clock is the right time for him to stop.

Au revoir


1 comment:

Gary Smith said...

Sounds like you had fun. I was flying to Heathrow the other day and saw a quote from Crimescene on the back of one of the books.
World domination gets ever closer...