Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Welcome to Wednesday- Bouchercon Memories

Louise Penny is one of those special souls who when you meet them you feel as if you've known her forever. Her memory rather surprised me.... Really? I only met you in Madison? Of course we had the Ayo connection beforehand. Coming off of an extremely "Charmed" Year, Ms. Penny's newest book, THE CRUELEST MONTH has just been released in the U.S. For More on her work and life you can visit her at

My very first Bouchercon was in Madison, Wisconsin, and I was overwhelmed. Scared, intimidated, shy, my first book STILL LIFE only just out so I really felt like an imposter. It was, actually, our first mystery convention ever. My husband Michael and I bumbled around, smiling but feeling out-of-place. But suddenly that changed, and what made the difference was finding Julia Spencer-Fleming. I was on the prowl for her, to thank her for her kindness in blurbing STILL LIFE and promoting it. Extremely generous. Well, not only did I find her and her husband Ross, but they invited Michael and me out for dinner with Pat and Mary Lou, from The Raven Bookstore in Lawrence, Kansas. Suddenly we went from feeling very out of place to feeling very at home. An extraordinary transition, made possible through kindness. And the remarkable Julia Spencer-Fleming. It's the sort of generous act I hope never to forget, and will guide my own actions at all other conventions. To reach out to newcomers.


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