Tuesday, October 22, 2002

October 22, 2002: Actually I have an excuse for not having posted for so long. Judy and I were in Austin at the Bouchercon, where I was Fan Guest of Honor and where we won the Anthony Award for "best short story," the story being "Choclolate Moose," which appeared in Death Dines at 8:30. And is that a long sentence, or what? We naturally had a great time and there were plenty of highlights. Here are a few of them, none of which I am making up:

1. Hearing John Apostolou's superb performance on the duck call in the hotel lobby.

2. Witnessing the spectacle of Bruce Taylor's abject begging as he tried to buy John's wife's duck call. She finally just gave it to him.

3. Hearing Ed Hoch's duck call from the 7th floor balcony in response to John's duck call.

4. Winning (along with Judy) the Anthony Award for best short story. We were very surprised.

5. Hearing Bob Randisi sing harmony with a country band.

6. Learning that Gary Warren Niebuhr once sang "Muskrat Love" in a boy band.

7. Being interviewed by Joe Lansdale.

8. Seeing Elmer Kelton enjoying himself so much at a mystery convention.

9. Going to Rudy's Barbecue with Scott Cupp, Judy, Thom Walls, Bryan Barrett, and Steve Mertz. At Rudy's you get your food in crates and eat if off butcher paper.

10. Being the Fan Guest of Honor and basking in the adulation of thousands.

11. Attending the shortest Bouchercon banquet in recorded history.

I guess eleven is enough or maybe one too many, but there were other highlights as well. I'd corresponded with Fender Tucker, but I'd never met him. I wanted to see the guy who was crazy enough to reprint all the works of Harry Stephen Keeler and bind the individual books in his kitchen, using an iron and a glue gun. He's also publishing The Boucher Chronicles, for which every mystery reader should be grateful.

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