Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Loaded with luggage and hungry, I arrived at the Albany Hilton late Wednesday. Imagine my delight to see old friends from the Chesapeake Chapter of Sisters in Crime at a long table chowing down on pasta, salads, and steaks. I sat, the waiter came, and I pointed at Barb Goffman and said, “I’ll have what she’s having,” a bowl loaded with garlic pasta, sun roasted tomatoes, and shrimp. Yum!

Off to my room, where in the morning, I discovered I had a terrific view of the city. 

I schlepped my books up to the Empire Plaza,
Photo courtesy of Rhonda Lane
found my bookseller, and set up my titles.  

After some meet and greet,I zipped back to the hotel for an early lunch and twenty minute lie down before the afternoon panel. 

The panel was titled, "BALLAD OF BILLY THE KID: Writing Characters That Do What They Want," and it was awesome. I shared the stage with authors Sandra Brannan, Tricia Fields, mega writer Joe Lansdale, and Duane Swierczynski. Standing room only and sure do wish I had a picture of that panel! 
Joe Lansdale

Thursday night, my buddy Barb Goffman won the Macavity Award for Best Short Story! 

So I had to go out and party with Reed Farrel Coleman, Kate Pilarcik, Frank de Blase and dance with Laura Lippman, 

 and David Housewright and who knows who all until I almost collapsed. The band was great and played one rock and roll dance number after another. I might have had a few too many bourbons because my hotel room circled around oddly upon my return and I had an exquisite headache in the morning. All worth it! No question.

Friday I spent part of the day recovering, then met Margaret Maron, Laurie King, Louise Penney, and my buddy Rhonda Lane for drinks in the Albany Hilton hotel. Another failed photo opportunity. Rhonda and I rushed off with some other writers and fans for the Dorothy L. Dinner at the Pump House. 
The lovely and talented Sandra Parshal in pink!

Part of the Dorothy L crowd at the Pump House

It was fun, but after that, I went to bed early to rest up for my two additional Saturday panels.

First was, “IF I ONLY HAD THE WORDS TO TELL YOU:  Four-Legged Sleuthing.”

 Pictured: authors: Katherine O’Sullivan, Spencer Quinn, Neil S. Plakcy, Clea Simon, Sasscer Hill and moderator Carole Shmurak.  

Followed later that afternoon by my favorite panel, the one I moderated, “NOBODY KNOWS BUT ME: Writing a Book Is Like Making Sausage; Lots of Stuff Goes In.”  

 Me, presenting fabulous authors  Joe Samuel Starnes, Ariel Winter, Charles O’Brien, Roger Ellory, and Andrew Grant.

 Don't you think that Andrew is just as handsome as his older brother, Lee Child? I did.

Saturday night, my idol Sue Grafton spoke
 All my panels were over and it was time to play. So we did. Kate Pilarcik, the fabulous marketer and promoter had us pretend to be waiting in trepidation for our awards announcements, then respond to the overwhelming news that we had won! This occurred as we sat in the auditorium after Grafton and before the Anthony Awards. We had to do something while we waited

Rhonda Lane, Sasscer Hill, David Housewright, and Kate Pilarcik.

Go here to see who won the Anthony Awards:

After the Anthonies, everyone’s palms were so sore from clapping that we descended en mass upon the Hilton Bar and drank like only crime writers can drink. We had fun, too.
Program Chair, our beloved Judy Bobalik 

Hank Phillippi Ryan, Sasscer Hill, and Mollie Cox Bryan

Award winning authors, David Housewright and Hank Phillippi Ryan

Vamping it up with Joelle Charbonneau, Kate Pilarcik, and forgive me fourth lady, I never got your name!

Sunday morning everyone was feeling the end of summer camp blues. 
Tired and facing the trip home, the amazing Janet Rudolph of Mystery Readers International and Mystery Readers Journal

Everyone was dragging and for the record, Janet usually looks like this 

Tired or not, we are already planning for next year’s BoucherCon in Long beach, CA!

                                                     MURDER AT THE BEACH!

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Writers Police Academy: Part 3 The Bomb!

Sasscer Hill hanging with the Bomb Robot. I thought he was very cute and suspected he had a predilection for hot women with explosive tempers.

Note the double barrels. When in doubt, blow the bomb up!
 Then I saw what else he could do after the bomb dog alerted to the backpack bomb! 

Keep in mind, this dude can "sniff," shoot pictures, X-Ray and relay all the info back.
Get that bomb out a here!

             Fully suited Bomb Tech attaches fuse to bomb.

 Bomb tech, the crew, bomb dog, and remains of back pack.

Bomb Dog gets a treat!


                              Yeah, we showed 'em!


The wonderful dogs that are a cop’s best friend and a criminal’s 
worst nightmare!

Sasscer Hill getting ready to bust into a town home and find a criminal during Building Searches. 

Some of the gear and weapons needed to do a building search. 

Firemen and their hoses . . .

I knew I was in trouble when they came after me in this vehicle.

Sasscer Hill arrested at last.

Writers Police Academy 2013: Part One

“The Writers’ Police Academy offers the most hands-on, interactive and educational experience writers can find to enhance their understanding of all aspects of law enforcement and forensics.
This is a one of a kind event, featuring real police, fire, and EMS training at an actual police academy. Top instructors and experts!”

Here are bits and slices of my weekend at the outstanding event described above.One of the things I took away from this is that the men and women who put their lives on the line for us truly believe in God. They believe that a higher force watches over them, and it was very moving for me to hear them speak.
L-R Chief of Police Scott Silverii, ATF Special Agent Rick McMahan, and former Secret Service Special Agent Mike Roche.

One of the gals I met at Writer's Police Academy hid in the rubble of the 911 World Trade Towers just so one of the Search and Rescue dogs could find a live human. Those dogs were terribly traumatized because they were not cadaver dogs. Their job was to find live humans and they couldn't.  

                                           The Jaws of Life!

After these firemen took this car apart there was nothing left but pieces!

     When the EMT training goes on, they make it look real!

                    Sasscer Hill the EMT Victim and Rhonda Lane