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!


Peg Brantley said...

Great photos!

I hope to meet you at Bouchercon 2014!

Kaye George said...

Thanks for the pictures! You were just having too good a time.

Carole Shmurak said...

Great photos - all of them.

Grafton interview was Saturday, not Thursday. You had it in the right place, just labelled incorrectly.

Rhonda Lane said...

I plead the fifth. Or do I take the fifth? No matter. Bouchercon was a splendid, exhausting, giddy, ginormous event. Always lovely to see long-distance friends like Sasscer and to meet new ones, all of whom eat, sleep, write and dream over books. (Sasscer is doubly special because she's also a "horsey friend.")

BTW, that lovely dramatic photo of Albany's Empire Plaza that Sasscer credited me with? Um, er -- it's not mine. ::sheepish giggle:: Through the magic of Facebook photo sharing, it was on my FB page, true, but I got it from Frankie Y. Bailey's FB page. I just wish I'd taken it. It's a very good photo.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting all these photos! I was not able for health reasons to attend - and this was especially nice for me! Thelma Straw, MWA-NY in Manhattan

Anonymous said...

Hi Lynda,
Looks like you had a blast! I am so happy to see that.
XXOXO, Margie

Marilyn Levinson said...

Great narrative and terrific photos. Wish I'd been there.

June Shaw said...

Thanks for letting me be there with y'all through your photos. I know - being at the bar would have been better: )

Sasscer Hill said...

Thanks to all of you who left comments! It was a great weekend and it all ended too soon with stories left to finish or with events that need a sequel next year! Mystery/Crime/Thriller writers are the coolest people on earth!

That's my opinion, and I'm sticking to it.

Cathy Strasser said...

Great pictures of the DL dinner. Glad to see them because I was too busy talking to take any!

cathy said...

Great to hear your comments and see photos... also, am happy you at least got the backside of me at the DL dinner because that's the only photo of me at B'con... my camera failed to work most of the time. LOL Was a fun conference and great to meet up with old friends and make new ones! Thanks for this post, Sasscer. Was real nice meeting you.

Susan Kayne said...

So great to meet you in person. I can't wait to delve into your racing mysteries.

Sasscer Hill said...

Thank you Susan Kayne. It was a pleasure to both meet you and see the excellent work you do. Anyone that helps the horse racing industry is a friend of mine!

Mary Beth said...

It looks like you had a wild time with lots of great people. Wonderful!