Just got back from Bouchercon late last night. The conference itself was wonderful, the trip was Hell. I had always wanted to go to Alaska and I had thoughts when I signed up that I might make a full week trip of it. I was wrong. Life got in the way and the seven days I was going to use turned into six then five then four - two of the four were spent in airports and on planes. Ah well.

One of the disappointments was in the stuff I didn't get a chance to see. For instance, I was hoping to see a glacier. Nope. Or a polar bear. Nope. Even better, a polar bear on a glacier. No luck. Or a penguin. Wrong continent. The Northern Lights. Nope. Denali. No can do. Ken Bruen. No show (with good reason I take it - I pray for him). Or Jonathan Santlofer.

The part of Ken Bruen was played by Declan Hughes instead. A nice chat we had. And in true Bruen form, he walked off with a major prize. Of course, so did Bruen - a couple of them, in fact - and he wasn't even there. Just goes to show no one can out-Bruen Bruen...

The part of Mr. Santlofer was played by Ross Hugo-Vidal, husband of Julia Spencer-Fleming. We strategized for an hour about how to make Julia into a NY Times Bestselling author. Since I thought she was one already, I'm not sure how helpful I was. Of course, since the closest I come to being on the Times' radar is when I actually buy a copy, I'm not convinced Julia should take any of the advice I offered anyway. I talk a good game though...

There was also James Sallis who was there to get a lifetime achievement award but apparently thinks he has yet to make it big. Of course, from my perspective, his career looks pretty good. He wasn't complaining, just explaining that he hasn't broken out to the mainstream and probably never will. Makes me think that the mainstream doesn't know what it's missing.

Who else did I meet? That's my next post...

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