Thursday, March 06, 2008

Terrific Thursday- B-Con Memories

Today featuring our Lifetime Achievement Honorees.
Barbara Peters $ Robert Rosenwald are an amazing team when it comes to Poisoned Pen Press but when I received their memories and they converged, I had an ahhhhh moment for this truly dynamic and Mysterious Couple.

Robert Rosenwald:
At the first several Bouchercons I attended (we're talking 1990 or so, just after The Poisoned Pen had opened and before either of us was broadly known in the mystery community) I changed my name badge from "Robert Rosenwald" to "Mr. Barbara Peters" because I knew that some people might be looking for Barbara and I was a complete unknown. I got into an elevator one day and these two sweet, little ladies got in and looked at my name badge and just were so excited and one of them bubbled over and with wide eyes said "Are you really?" Their level of enthusiasm was so high that it became almost instantly clear that they thought I was married to Barbara Mertz/Elizabeth Peters.

Barbara Peters:
I still remember the 1988 Bouchercon in San Diego because, thinking of opening The Poisoned Pen, I took My Mother, the serious critic along. It was a great size for intimacy, about 600, and a number of icons like Jonathan Gash and Elizabeth Peters attended. In fact, a lunch was set up for Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Michaels/Barbara Mertz, the latter her real name), which MM and I attended.
The subject of a mystery bookstore for Scottsdale arose, and Ms Peters, drawing deeply on her cigarette and looking wise, counseled me to abandon so hopeless a project and look for other work…..
She often mentions to me that the lunch convinced her that her powers as a seer were limited.
In either 1990 or 1991, at the Seattle Bouchercon of that year, we stood side by side in the bar. A fan rushed up to me and began to gush about how much she loved my terrific books about Egypt. Knowing them all nearly by heart, I jumped right in and engaged her in dialogue while The Author quietly steamed alongside me. Finally, the pressure built and she blew, stepping forward to shake her fan’s hand and saying, “Hello, I’m Barbara Peters and I own a great mystery bookstore in Scottsdale, Arizona.”
The poor fan never did understand why the two Barbaras fell into fits of laughter as soon as she turned away.

Tomorrow the Hoopsters Chime in,

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Blogger Clea Simon said...

That's a great Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Mertz story, Barbara! I once stood in line after a reading only to find myself totally tongue-tied when my turn finally came. Did get her to sign a book, though, and did hear her talk about Egyptology, so worth the wait.

This will only be my third Bouchercon, but very excited that you and Robert will be honored! See you in the fall.

Friday, March 07, 2008 12:44:00 PM  

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