Friday, October 5, 2012

On the road again: Bouchercon, Cleveland, day 3

Today proved to be very busy at work, so I spent a lot of it doing email either in my room or in various chairs while trying also to listen to panels. 

I particularly enjoyed the "Cop vs. Constable" discussion, in which writers from Australia, Denmark, the U.K., and the U.S. talked about ways in which the laws and cops, though fundamentally similar, differed.  Michael Connelly and Mark Billingham were among the panelists, so it was sure to be entertaining. 

After a quick lunch and some more work, I caught the discussion between Michael Koryta and Michael Connelly.  They sort of interviewed one another, and though I didn't learn a lot, I enjoyed it. 

Karin Slaughter then interviewed Toastmaster John Connolly.  I came away from that presentation a bigger fan than before of Connolly's work.  His writing process is way closer to mine than to Slaughter's, so I found the contrasts in their approaches interesting.  I also found myself agreeing with just about everything Connolly said. 

After a few hours of work, I ventured into the damp outdoors to pick up some soda.  While I was waiting for a light to change so I could cross a street, a cop stood next to me and scanned the area.  His unhappiness was palpable, which was completely understandable given the weather.  When a woman on the other side of the street jaywalked directly in front of him, and then three men followed, he stopped them all and demanded they produce IDs or be arrested.  I could chalk that up to a grumpy cop, except that he was Caucasian, those four were African American, and while hassling them he let a dozen Caucasian jaywalkers saunter by.  Sad to see.  I don't blame him for wanting to stop people from jaywalking--it can be dangerous--but he didn't need to go as far as he did, and if he was going to do that, he should have applied the same penalty to all offenders. 

All that said, you can bet your ass I won't jaywalk around here.

Work in the room was positively inviting after the outdoors, so I kept at it until it was time to go to the live auction. 

Mystery fans spend serious money at these auctions, which are almost always in support of a good cause; the proceedings from this one went to local libraries.  The right to have a character in the next Lee Child book named after you was the big earner tonight, garnering an even grand.

More work is still to come, and then, I hope, a lot of sleep.

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