Friday, September 20, 2013

On the road again: Bouchercon, Albany, day 2

In between work sessions, I managed to get out today for a lunch, two con events, and a dinner.

Lunch was at a little pizza joint, Pizzeria Sapienza.  I ordered two slices and a bottle of water, but the slices proved to be so big that I didn't finish the second.  The grease required four napkins worth of sopping, but after that, the pizza was tasty and the crust excellent.

The first bit of the con I caught was a panel on maintaining suspense in a novel.  I didn't learn anything I didn't already know, which was a shame, because I'm positive I have a great deal still to learn.  It was nonetheless interesting to see how different authors grapple with the challenge of making their books into page-turners.

Dinner was at dp, an American Brasserie, the sister restaurant to Yono's, the source of Wednesday night's good Indonesian tasting menu.  dp sits in front of Yono's and is the bar/dining room that you pass through to get to Yono's.  The food was nearly as expensive as Yono's but not anywhere near as tasty, a relatively basic meal that was good but no more.

Back at Bouchercon, I enjoyed watching the live auction, an event I strive to attend every year.  Crime fiction fans are willing to spend way more money than their SF counterparts at these charity auctions.  In tonight's affair, two authors, Chris Grabenstein and Donna Andrews, did a fine job of auctioning 18 items:  16 chances at having a character in an upcoming book named after you, and two novel critiques (from bestsellers Sue Grafton and Charlaine Harris, no less).  Each item opened with a minimum bid of $200, and almost all sold for twice that or more.  They raised a great deal of money for local libraries, which is a very good cause indeed.  I once again wished that SF fans were as generous.

Afterward, heading up to my room to work, I had to walk by the bar, where writers and fans were gathered.

Click on the image to see a larger version.

You can always find the most writers at any crime fiction con at the bar--and that is true of many SF cons as well.

Tomorrow, I hope to spend more of the daytime at the con than at my hotel room desk working.  We shall see how it goes.

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