Thursday, July 31, 2008

Charmed to Death- Wish Upon a Star

Hey folks,

I came home this afternoon to Jon and Judy working on the grid for panels. Looking good so far, let me say. But while we're all here waiting for the last bid presentation and our panel assignments I invite everyone to play the WISH GAME with me. Take a look at folks attending the con this year and then let me know who you want to be there who isn't signed up yet. and we'll see what happens. As an organizer I have perhaps more information on the why certain names are missing from the list, so for those of you who know me well, you may be surprised at my picks...and if nothing else maybe people we suggest will mark Indy on their calender.

My first pick is someone those of you who've been on line since the beginning will remember well. Kathy Bartlett of Massachusetts. My own B.C. Sherlock, without her? Hell , I wouldn't even know there's a mystery community. Kathy is fan , friend, and everything special in this community.

Jeff and Judy C. from Ram. I'd sure like to recreate that second Rammer's party. Here's crossing fingers.

Of authors there are many but I'm a greedy girl and really I'd love to meet Janet Evanovich. About the same time Kathy B. introduced me to the on-line mystery community ONE FOR THE MONEY came out. And Janet was the best, coming to our Wed. Evening group for on-line chats repeatedly, sending the funniest missives out of the blue and making me feel incredibly special to be included in the beginnings of a career about to hit the stratosphere. I left aol but I'll always remember just how special those first chats were.

My list goes on and on but why don't you take a turn.

Jon says Peter Robinson.
and you, fellow attendees ?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bouchercon 2010- In Tempe

Proposed Dates: Thursday October 7 thru Sunday October 10, 2010.

Proposed Location: Tempe Mission Palms
60 E Fifth St,Tempe,AZ 85281 USA.

The hotel is located downtown with approximately 75 restaurants within 1/2 mile including shopping, night clubs, etc.; site includes a free shuttle to/from Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport.

Room Rate: US$185.00/nt plus US$10.95/nt hospitality fee plus taxes; this is valid for single/double/triple/quadruple occupancy depending on room type and includes all Standard rooms,Executive rooms,Handicap Access rooms and Suites.

Proposed Overflow:
Scottsdale Conference Resort,
7700 E McCormick Parkway, Scottsdale, AZ 85258 USA,
shuttles will be arranged for transfer to/from the primary site.

Nearby Overflow Sites:
Courtyard By Marriott (0.2mi west), 601 S Ash Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281, 480-966-2800,Fax: 480-829-8446,Reservations: 866-898-7540
155 rooms (5 suites), free airport shuttle, free high speed internet(public areas wireless, rooms wired), free parking, rates (October 2008) starting at $169/nt plus tax.

University Motel (0.4mi south), 902 S Mill Ave, Tempe, AZ 85281, 480-966-7221, rates (October 2008)starting at $55/nt plus tax.
Twin Palms Hotel (0.8 mi south), 225 E Apache Blvd, Tempe, AZ 85281, 480-967-9431, Fax:480-303-6602, Reservations: 800-367-0835,
139 rooms (1 suite), freeairport shuttle, free high speed internet, rates (October 2008) unavailable.
Best Western Tempe (1.0mi northeast), 670 N Scottsdale Rd, Tempe, AZ 85281, 480-784-2233,Fax: 480-784-2299,
103 rooms (2 suites), free airport shuttle, free parking, high speed internet, rates (October 2008) starting at $89.99/nt plus tax.
Hotels between 1 and 2 miles of primary site: 10+
Hotels between 2 and 3 miles of primary site: 15+

Who We Are
Bid Committee Information: Mike Willmoth is the Bid Chair. He has
chaired the 2004 World Horror Convention and the 2004 World Fantasy
Convention, and is chairing the 2009 Westercon Convention. Mike has
been involved with convention running since 1987 for everything from
Program Director to Hotel Liaison. Lee Whiteside is the Bid Vice
Chair. He has chaired the 2006 Nebula Awards and is chairing the 2009
North American DiscWorld Convention. Lee has handled many positions
with local, regional and world level conventions including Publicity
Director and Guest Liaison. Nadine Armstrong is the Bid Program
Director. She has worked local and regional events for many years.
Nadine is well-read in the mystery genre and an avid collector.

Area Information: Tempe is located in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area
which includes a number of museums, shopping districts and other items
of interest; examples include the Heard Museum of southwestern art and
downtown Scottsdale. Arizona offers a plethora of places to see and
things to do; examples include the Grand Canyon and Tombstone, the
town too tough to die. Poisoned Pen Bookstore, the country's largest
independent mystery bookstore, is located between the primary and
secondary sites.

Bouchercon 2010 Bid Plans for Arizona

For Bouchercon 2010 we are planning a wide variety of programming items with multiple tracks so that members can choose from a variety of panels. A half-track of readings will be paired with a half-track of programming on book collecting including hands-on workshops on repair,restoration and cataloging systems. A full track of panels will be centered on mysteries in media,with discussions ranging from the importance of soundtracks in film to the emerging uses of mystery in multimedia. Also, the influence of book covers will be explored.

Two tracks of programming about the written mystery will be scheduled. These tracks will include discussions of the Golden Age of British mystery and its current reinventions, the resurgence of the Gothic mystery and the pulp mystery, war-time mysteries (the way wars have been used and portrayed), the close relationships between noir and urban fantasy, futuristic mysteries, and mysteries set in alternate versions of our own world.
Discussions of the place of short fiction in the current market and a survey of the state of the field in general will also be offered. Rounding off there will be presentations by working scientists on various topics of interest to mystery writers and fans.

Other program offerings will include a Charity Auction, the Anthony Awards, and special presentations by our Guests-of-Honor.

Extra activities away from the convention hotel, but still nearby, could include a guided tour of the internationally recognized Heard Museum (one of the finest collections of Native American Art and artifacts in the USA) or a trip to the Pueblo Grande Museum (a combination museum and working archaeological dig trying to sort out the mysteries of the past.) We would also like to offer a trip to one of Arizona's historic Old West towns if there is interest.

your blog amateur has included the information below because Mike and his crew have run cons before, and are allowing us to vet them not only as individuals but also as a business.

Arizona Corporation Commission
06/29/2008 State of Arizona Public Access System 4:27 PM
Corporate Inquiry
File Number: -0154405-9 Corp.
Statutory Agent Information

Additional Corporate Information
Incorporation Date: 03/16/1983 Corporate Life Period: PERPETUAL
Domicile: ARIZONA County: MARICOPA
Approval Date: 03/24/1983 Original Publish Date: 05/20/1983

Monday, July 28, 2008

2010- San Francisco Bid!

I'd like to let the membership know that the proposed Chair, Rae Helmsworth has an astounding powerpoint presentation but blogger and powerpoint? a bit beyond me so below you will find the text and I can send people a download, just e-mail me at ruth at crimspreemag dot com.


Bouchercon by the Bay is pleased to invite you to consider San Francisco as your 2010 conference location.

Our preferred hotel, the Hyatt Regency San Francisco, is ideally located on the San Francisco waterfront, with a cable car stop just outside the front door. The hotel is a short walk away from historic North Beach, Chinatown and the Financial District. Fisherman’s Wharf and Union Square are nearby, as are ferry services to Alcatraz and Sausalito.

There are many restaurants and shops located in the Embarcadero Center, just across the street from the Hyatt Regency.

The hotel itself is one of Hyatt’s premier properties. Recently refurbished, the rooms are comfortable, and include amenities such as coffee makers, safes, and robes.

Conference facilities are conveniently located within the hotel, and will provide excellent opportunities for Bouchercon members to mix and mingle between panels, as well as providing ample space for booksellers.

The following pages provide information about the hotel, as well as our current programming plans. The programming is, of course, flexible and will be finalized in early 2010.

We appreciate your consideration. Please feel free to email me with any questions.


Rae Helmsworth, Chair

Registration- $175 prior to December 31st, 2009, and $195 thereafter.

Hyatt Regency, San Francisco

5 Embarcadero Center

San Francisco, California 94111

Dates - Oct.14 to 17

Roomrates- $269 a night

September and October are San Francisco’s busiest time of year. The Hyatt Regency’s rate is typically around $470 per night, so they’ve given us a great discount.

Even with a deep discount, $269 is a higher room rate than Bouchercon usually pays. There are many smaller hotels within easy walking distance or a short cab ride away from the Hyatt, whose rates will be somewhat lower. We will work with Bouchercon attendees to help find alternative accommodations, if they’re desired.

Hotel Amenities

Concierge level available

Smoking rooms available

Each room contains

Coffee maker
High speed internet plus data port



Casual Evening Event
Movie Night
Bay Cruise


Afternoon Panels
Welcome Ceremony
Special Event For First Timers


Full Day of Panels
High Tea
Free Night


Full Day of Panels


Morning Panels

Panel Schedule
9:00 -10:00
1:00- 2:00
2:30 - 3:30
4:00 - 5:00

***** the 4:00 panel block may be eliminated depending upon interest
***** we expect to offer 1/2 hour spotlights for those who would like to discuss special topics or have not been assigned panels; again this programming depends upon interest.

BOOK ROOM Daily, beginning at 10:00 am.
*** there will be a gift shop and cafe area
*** location is central to panel areas

Additional Programming and Special Events

The Bouchercon Bar Daily at 1:00 p.m.- reserved area in hotel atrium- bar snacks-

music (tentative)

High Tea Friday Afternoon in the Hotel Atrium- Will be ticketed- Free if Budget allows

Movie Night Wed and or Saturday -at hotel or local theater- fee will probably be required

San Francisco Mystery Walk Lots of material-e.g. Sam Spade's Office

Hospitality Suite - daily 9 to 5 - light snacks- staffed with volunteers

Committee Structure

We expect to complete our committee membership later this year, after acceptance of our bid.

Chair : Rae Helmsworth

Advisors : Ruth and Jon Jordan

Program Board: tbd

Treasurer / Registration tbd

Book room tbd

Banquet and awards tbd

Book bags tbd

Hospitality suite tbd

Guests of Honor

We are in contact with several potential honorees and will publicize names later this year::

Lifetime Achievement / Contribution to the Genre
International Guest of Honor
US Guest of Honor
Fan Guest of Honor

Holy Comic Book News Batman

Checking back?
Take a look at this post on the PW blog. Scroll towards the end. I have to admit I have my geek on with this one.
Bouchercon mentioned at ComicCon. How cool is this?

DC Comics will be at Bouchercon this fall to roll out the Vertigo Crime Line. That's all I can say at this point. As a fan of both Azzerrello and Rankin, I know this will be an exceptional line. Who else is getting their comic on?? We'll all find out.

Allowing an inspired pool of writers and artists to work within a one book format on tales from the darkside is an impressive piece of management thinking and there's no imprint out there more suited to the task of trying something new than Vertigo, home to both my favorite series and favorite books.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

News from the front:

David and Cindy are hard at work and you will be hearing from them. Check out their blog post!

Panelists should start hearing from the panel chairs by Aug 15th. The chairs are working diligently now.

The wonderful people at Laurie King’s website have set up Bulletin Boards for Bouchercon attendees.
Follow the url and start talking to one another. You do have to register as a member but it’s pretty painless.

Mary Anna Evans has created a Bouchercon page on FaceBook under Events.

I’d like to address Bouchercon’s Future and your role in it.

As you may or may not know with you registration fee you became a part of the process and have an active vote at the General Business Meeting this year. Your membership with this year’s registration extends until the beginning of the Indianapolis Bouchercon. The standing committee is going to ask for the membership to be active in the next several months. I will be posting messages on this blog periodically until Charmed to Death begins. Although each convention and the standing committee are separate entities it is the committee’s feeling that right now this is the fastest and least intrusive way to get the message out to our membership.

And here’s big news

For the year 2010 two bids have been presented to the committee. Both reached us by the July 1st cut off date and were deemed sincere. This means that you will decide where Bouchercon is held at the General Business Meeting this year.

For the year 2011 one bid was presented. The committee has approved the bid and there will be a motion to carry at this year’s General Business Meeting.

There is within the Bouchercon Rules and By-Laws a stipulation that all future bids for upcoming conventions should be presented the first day of the convention. The Standing Committee is waving this wording for 2008 because a portion of the membership would be unable to be active in the discussion. However, we feel it is important to honor the spirit of the wording and so all three bids will use this space this week to present their proposal to our membership minus contract specifics. For the membership who does not yet use the internet there will be copies of all three bids available at this year’s registration tables.

This year’s Standing Committee has been by far the most active of my tenure. It is also a passionate committee, working with the current language to assure the future of Bouchercon. We are asking for our membership to work with us. Your participation will help us to evolve so please make time to attend this year’s meeting and keep checking this blog.

Monday, July 21, 2008


On being 70....
So it's my mother-in law's birthday. Karen Jordan has been an inspiration to me since the day I met her. Some of you have met. Karen has attended two Bouchercons. Madison, where she bopped in and out for the day... and Alaska.
While many of Bouchercon's membership decided not to attend the event last year... for either financial or time constraints, those of us who did go had an intimate experience... and the best setting that will ever be. Karen and Jon's dad had always wanted to go to Alaska. Karen going was a dream realized by the entire family.
She loved the locale and I will always remember Karen, Jen4 and myself setting out for our sightseeing tour. I'll always remember Dana Stabenow taking the time on Anthony night to talk to one of her biggest fans about Alaska and her books. And yes, I'll remember forever the poor gentleman who was VERY interested in getting to know her better. When you have friends who write crime fiction.... well.... they can be very protective of Mother.

But today it's 70. With kids like Jon, Jen, Paul and Dianne, it's been tempestuous, active and very rewarding. I look at Armand and Karen's children and I see great individuals. I also see two people who raised their children to believe in dreams and supported them every step of the way. Karen is a mother who believes that ceilings belong only in buildings and that her Children are the best group ever. I tend to concur.
And today I celebrate a class act who's been in my corner from the day I met her, folding me into her brood with open arms and celebrating every major event in my life for the last ten years. So shout out people.... for Karen, keeper of kitties and kids..... and the best mother-in-law ever.


Thursday, July 17, 2008

Otto Penzler remembers Bouchercon

Good morning:

First I'd like to let everyone know that the Fell's Point Ghost Tours has set aside four group tours for us at a reduced rate. Click the link to get to our own private tour.

And as promised, again from Otto Penzler Bouchercon, this time year XIV.


When Chris Steinbrunner and I went through names for a suitable Guest of Honor, we got ambitious and decided on the notoriously reclusive John D. MacDonald. I wrote him a long letter, meticulously explaining what the Bouchercon was, why we selected him as G of H, and why he should attend. Weeks went by, then months, with no word. A follow-up letter fared no better. As we were now getting close to deadline for producing the program, I called his house and got his assistant, who said John was on a long cruise with his wife, not due back for a month. Frantic, I asked if he would try to get a message to him as we were on deadline. Two days later, I got a telegram that said: “OTTO–OK–JOHN D.”

Much relieved, we printed the program and congratulated ourselves for this terrific coup. I sent a letter thanking him. A month later, I got a phone call from him in which he asked why was I thanking him and what did he agree to. It seems he got the telegram from his assistant on shipboard at 3:00 a.m. after a long night of drinking. To get rid of the porter, he told him to just say OK.

He lived up to the agreement, making one of his very rare public appearances. A short time before the Bouchercon, I got a call from Stephen King, asking if he could present him the

G of H award at the luncheon. We never announced this until the event, stunning the attenders. John was a wreck. I sat next to him and watched him pop one Valium after another as he was too nervous to eat. When he spoke, he gave one of the most interesting, informative, charming and memorable presentations I have ever heard.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Hey Man!! My Spine's out of Place!!

I've been at the computer awhile now.

Thanks Mr. Bowie, tonight you are my music of choice. We haven't checked in in a while but boy, we are about to hit you all on many fronts. Bouchercon 2008 is in full swing. Authors keep those bios and pix coming!!

As to registration, for now the cost will remain $175.00. Just keep registering and we'll update you here, at least a week in advance if the rate is going to go up. We want to give you all the best value for your money that we possibly can.

Never have I spent such a large part of my summer in front of a computer terminal. Truly I believe I'm about to merge with the machines, Judy is feeling the same way I know .... but you know what? It's one year and it's been a privilege. And we are getting truly caught up to where we wanted to be thanks to many people. all of you who've sighed a sigh, answered a bizarre e-mail at six in the morning and gone about your day. To the people behind the scenes, love and first born kittens (there will be no babies in this house).

So thank you all. This is a great community and astounding things happen everyday. We started a feature called B-Con memories to keep you all coming back and I hope that anyone who'd like to share a memory, or promised to share one will write to me at . Reading others experiences has been grand.

So as I begin to type in the registrations that have arrived the last two days and coordinate the pay pals that have come in, I will not think of this as work.... instead I'm leaving you with a different kind of Bouchercon Memory.

Otto Penzler is passionate about this genre. He has embraced it in every way, in every guise. A true champion, who always gets people talking simply by sharing his opinions about the state of this giant umbrella now known as Crime Fiction (with 2000 sub genres and counting). For me, he'll remain short story champion, editor extraordinaire, and the guy who dumped me on the floor the first time we interacted. But it's the mystery community and the story is a good one I'm sure this man has long forgotten.

So today and tomorrow... Otto will share his experience hosting TWO Bouchercons. TWO? That proves to me that beyond all his other contributions, OTTO is first and foremost..... one insane fan. So look back and marvel at how far we've come and how once bitten by the Bouchercon Bug you will never be able to let it go.


BOUCHERCON VIII - From Otto Penzler

Chris Steinbrunner, my co-author of the Encyclopedia of Mystery and Detection, asked if I wanted to organize a Bouchercon in New York and I said yes. I figured if we were going to do it, we should it with style so I went to the Waldorf-Astoria and got it arranged. I think the registration fee was $8.00 and people were outraged at the stupendous cost and let us know it.

Since it was in New York, a larger number of authors than usual attended, as it gave them a chance to see their editors and agents. The larger number of authors attracted more fans, too, so we had by far the largest Bouchercon participation in the history of the event, nearly tripling the previous record. There were 335 in attendance.

The highlight of the weekend was the luncheon, at which the Guest of Honor was Stanley Ellin. Chris and I felt a little guilty about making Stan the G of H–not because he didn’t deserve it, which of course he did, but because he was such a close friend to both of us that it smacked of favoritism. We got over it.

Many of his books and stories were filmed and televised on Alfred Hitchcock Presents, most notably his acclaimed masterpiece, “The Specialty of the House.” We decided to honor the story as well as him by giving him a roast. Since this is a scary thing for some people, I asked him in advance if it would be okay to do this. He said it was not a problem–just so long as he had the opportunity to respond. There were a lot of very funny authors and fans who participated in roasting the future Grand Master, but no one matched him for wit and, even though he was a Quaker, the brutality of the humor.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Reminder for panelists

Just a reminder that we need Bios and photos for the program book from all authors and panelists by July 25th.

Bios to kept under 100 words please and the photos don't need to be huge, theu will be about an inch wide in the book.

Both can be emailed to Jon @