St Louis, Denver, & New York (Times)

Since Thursday, I’ve been in St Louis for BoucherCon, the World Mystery Conference, along with 1600 or so other writers, editors, publicists, future writers, and just plain fans.  BoucherCon is a mixed conference, as much for fans as for people looking to learn something about the craft and the industry, and it’s often the only time of the year I see those friends that I met at…yes, BoucherCon.

This means that any thought I may have had of catching up on the sleep lost during the book tour went down the tubes the first night, when a party kept me awake until nearly midnight and a breakfast got me up before 6.  And so it goes.

But it’s worth it, every minute.  I’ve had a chance to catch up with a bunch of friends, had a very productive conversation with my editor and Les Klinger about A Study in Sherlock—and about a second volume for 2012, Another Study in Sherlock.  I also had a one-on-one breakfast conversation with said editor about everything under the publishing sun, from sick puppies (okay, that was a little peripheral to the publishing world) to ebooks to my unusually strong (considering the market, which is generally down dramatically from 2010) hardback numbers.  Sometime between coffee and the last crumbs, she came up with an entirely new project she thought would be good for me to do, which I promised to think about—after I get home!

And I got to meet new people.  Colin Cotterill, with whom I’ve worked over the past year since he’s in the anthology, and who is a funny and thoughtful panelist.  I met a quartet of authors over dinner: Carla Buckley, Chevy Stevens, Stephanie Pintoff, and Amanda Kyle Williams, a new writer whom I was glad to chat with a second time in the bar last night.  Good people, all.  Another new author, Taylor Stevens (no relation to Chevy, I don’t think) who wrote a thriller called The Informationist that’s getting a whole lot of buzz here, and which I’ve ordered already from my bookstore.  Then, dinner with Les, two good Sherlockian friends, and writers SJ Rozan, Dana Cameron, and Harley Jane Kozak.  I bought champagne for all, to celebrate being

#7 on the NYT list,

and Dana went on to win the short story Anthony award at today’s awards banquet, so a good time was had by all.

I’m up in my room at the moment, but I’ll return to the lobby in a while to participate in the gauntlet of leaving authors.  I don’t leave until the morning, so this afternoon I plan on spending with the manuscript of the next book, half of which I dutifully brought with me, and haven’t so much as glanced at it.

Or maybe I’ll have a long nap…

Tomorrow is International Talk Like a Pirate Day, and to celebrate I’ll be at Denver’s Tattered Cover.  If you live in that part of the world, please dust off your three-corner hat and swashbuckle yourself down to the bookstore to join the party—I’ll be drawing a name for the Grand Prize, someone who has donated to the 826 Valencia page and who will be allowed to name a character (human, canine, or feline) in the next book.  If you haven’t donated yet, or if you’d like to increase your chances of winning (there are thirty other prizes, too!) the page is here.  Good luck—and tomorrow, change your Facebook language to “pirate”, give a parrot a biscuit, and don’t forget to Arrrgh!


  1. Sandra Davidson says:

    I can Arrrgh; I can speak pirate, though not fluently; however, I cannot find a parrot to borrow and wouldn’t know which biscuit to give it!

    Have a blast.

  2. RussellHolmes says:

    Happy almost birthday, birthday twin Laurie! I’ll see you @ Tattered Cover tomorrow! Arrr!!! Also happy almost talk like a pirate day!! 😀 😀

  3. Laurie, Aargh! Thanks for hte Pirate info. Blimey, I missed meeting ya. Maybe you ran into Brad Cook our new St. Louis Writers Guild fellow board member and our new President, who missed Bouchercon to huddle with the pirates. I found this gathering to be a hoot and a great author’s experience. See my reactions and my non-pirate costume at my blog, referenced above. Peter

  4. Laurie, Aargh! Thanks for the Pirate info. Blimey, I missed meeting ya. Maybe you ran into Brad Cook, fellow board member and our new St. Louis Writers Guild President, who missed Bouchercon to huddle with the pirates. I also found the St. Louis gathering to be a hoot and a great author’s experience. See my reactions and my non-pirate costume at my blog, referenced above. Peter

  5. Congratulations on what seems to be a Good Launch for The Pirate King … I’m agog with anticipation and looking forward to UK publication. (Perhaps I can persuade a colleage from the US office to acquire me a copy and send it over.)
    So having massaged the Pirate theme almost to death, bearing in mind your toe-dipping with aviation in the last volume, had you considered an encounter with early aviators both in the US and UK? As background reading, I commend the pre-Second World War stories about “Biggles” written by Captain W. E. Johns. I’m sure you can pick up copies on your next UK trip … and I’m sure you’ll find a visit to the RAF Museum at Hendon or the Imperial War Museum at Duxford of value.

    Mike aka TBFO

  6. Laurie King says:

    Hi TBFO, I hope you’ve found a local bookstore that’s ordering it, it should’ve been available last week–you can check the Pirate King book page for two places to order in the UK. Hope you enjoy!

  7. RussellHolmes aka Alannah says:

    I am so glad I got to meet you in Denver, Laurie! Please do come again! 🙂

  8. Suzie Elliott says:

    I realize these posts are four years old, but as a fan of pirates for over 50 years, I feel constrained to point out that the word is “aarrr”! “Argh” is what a pirate says when he stubs his toe, just like the rest of us.

    This does not in any way diminish the glee I continue to feel over the meeting of Mary Russell, Sherlock Holmes, and pirates!


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