Friday, October 8, 2010


Book launches over and successfully with many thanks to friends who helped. The poetry book looking good, everyone very appreciative. Now it’s off to Bouchercon next Wednesday. The big event of the crime fiction year, this absolutely massive convention is this year in San Francisco with over 2,000 attendees, a quarter of them authors. 

Imagine all those authors vying for attention! But other authors tell me they thoroughly enjoy it and it is productive for them, with the aim not so much to sell books at it but to catch the attention of potential readers in the expectation that they will buy when they get home.

It’s a packed schedule with five streams of panels going at the same time over four days plus authors in continuous conversation, one-author statements and interviews and activities in the craft room. Add to that social events in the evenings. It threatens to be utterly exhausting on top of the jetlag and biological clock disorientation of longhaul flights but also very exciting.

The panel I am on is called Bitter Wine at 3pm on the Friday in Room Seacliff C. It is about the need for historical accuracy in historical mystery novels among other aspects. With me are Candace Robb, Rebecca Cantrell and Caroline and Charles Todd so we range from Ancient Greece through the English Middle Ages to 20th century Europe. Sounds like a great panel and great discussion. Moderator is Oline Cogdill.

What I wasn’t prepared for is to find another author siting their novel in precisely my time and place yet there he is. Australian author Gary Corby is launching “The Pericles Commission” at Bouchercon and appearing on a panel with Steven Saylor, Lindsay Davis and John Maddox Roberts all with famous series in Ancient Rome. 

Gary’s novel sets off from the assassination of Ephialtes in Ancient Athens in 461BC and features Pericles just like me. Good to know someone else is as keen on this bit of history as me. It will be interesting to see how he has handled it and what he has come up with to fill the many gaps in the historical record, one of the most difficult aspects of writing historical fiction.

I’m looking forward to meeting lots of new people and making new friends, all enthusiastic about the same things I am. Can’t wait. I’ll let you know how it goes.

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