When next you hear from me (that's a week from today), I will be just back from delightful (for all I know) Albany, NY, where the traveling roadshow known as Bouchercon is stopping this year.
B'con, as the insiders call it, is a jumble, a blur, a drive-by of a convention, hard to take in all at once. It gathers about sixteen billion people (eight billion of them authors) in one place, adds a bar, and lets things fall where they may. It's always a good time, we get to see many friends we otherwise wouldn't get to spend time with, and the panels are usually a hoot.
It is also physically exhausting, mentally overwhelming, intellectually taxing and worst of all, occurs every year as the pennant races in baseball are in full swing and every game seems absolutely essential. The one thing I always know I can talk to Lee Child about at Bouchercon is the previous night's Yankee game.
Every year I start the baseball season (I don't play; I'm a short, out-of-shape middle aged man who was never much of an athlete) thinking that I won't get that invested. By Bouchercon, I'm a rabid, mouth-breathing, obsessed lunatic who is smiling and nodding at you, laughing at your jokes, and wondering if tonight's starting pitcher can go more than five innings.
For the record, this year I will participate on a panel at 3:10 on Friday afternoon. It's called "Light as a Breeze--How Far Can You Go and Still Be a Cozy," and luckily will include Laura Bradford, Liz Mugavero, Katherine Hall Page, Rebecca Tope and our indispensible moderator Donna Andrews in addition to me (under the Copperman banner). I say "luckily" because I haven't a clue how far you can go and still be a cozy. I've never actually been a cozy. I'm more of a rumpled.
I really do hope you'll drop by to see the panel (if you're in Albany at Bouchercon--just flying in for that one panel would be a grand gesture, but a little odd). The best part of any convention is meeting readers and seeing other authors. If you see me and I looked overwhelmed, please come over and say hello. In a gathering that big, it's nice to be recognized. If I look distracted, it's because I'm not sure who's starting at third base tonight.
A couple of quick commercial announcements: First, October 1 is a mere 15 days away. On that date, AN OPEN SPOOK, the latest eSpecial novella in the Haunted Guesthouse series, will become available to your Nook, your Kindle, and your whatever the heck else you read books on that doesn't require paper. It's a fun story--I rush to point out that it's a NOVELLA (because some reviewers seemed upset the last one was not novel-length)--told from the point of view of Alison Kerby's mother Loretta and involving a missing POW bracelet and the POW, now a ghost, who wants it back. During Hurricane Sandy.
And only 36 days after that (November 5, for you calendar fans) will come the next honest-to-goodness Haunted Guesthouse novel, THE THRILL OF THE HAUNT, in which Alison has to investigate the murder of a local homeless man and a man who may be cheating on his wife (who wants to use the evidence as leverage for the rest of their lives). By the way, AN OPEN SPOOK includes a sneak preview of THE THRILL OF THE HAUNT.
But we had another piece of news to announce a few days ago: Thanks to Josh G's herculean efforts, COOLER HEADS, the first in the Questions Answered mystery series, about a man with Asperger's Syndrome who starts a business answering people's questions, is coming from me and my CLOSE PERSONAL FRIEND E.J. Copperman (both our names will be on the cover) from Midnight Ink! It'll be the first of at least three books involving Samuel Hoenig and his associate Janet Washburn and believe me, you'll be getting more information as it develops.
Whew! That was a lot of self-promotion all for one week. And I've got to drive to Albany on Thursday! See you on the other side!