I'm sitting at home, new Denise Mina at my side (fab so far), Guinness close at hand, and a whirlwind of memories in my head. I thought I'd share a bit of the past week with everyone.
A kind of Magical Mystery tour if you will. For last night Jon and I arrived home after a week I'd only have been able to imagine a decade ago. 10 years past there was no Jon in my life, no Crimespree, I didn't know how to pronounce Anthony Boucher's last name, I hadn't met anyone in the mystery community except via the internet. My love for mystery was a result of only the works of mystery I read in pages or saw on the screen.How life has evolved.
So vacation started last Tuesday at noon.
First stop: MysteryOne where we went to support Barry Eisler as he wound down the tour for REQUIEM FOR AN ASSASSIN. A standing room only signing where the fanbase encompassed every demographic (5 to 70+). It was great to see Barry and even better to hear, first hand, from a reader's base, how well the book was being received.
And this was but the beginning. After our book event Jon and I began our trek to Owensboro, KY. First stop Munster where we picked up the extraordinary Judy B. And then
on to the show, the first ever International Mystery Writers' Festival.
"THE PLAY'S THE THING"
And so it is. At least when you have Zev Buffman in charge of a ensemble of the best in the theatre business. For the magic began as we entered RiverPark Center and hasn't ended yet.
Far from what we all conjure up when the words "mystery convention" are uttered, Owensboro was a mystery CELEBRATION. With plays to be watched and presentations to be viewed Owensboro offered up a unique and fantastic mystery experience. Audiences sat in darkened theaters watching professional productions of not one , not two, but a total of six plays never seen before and all executed with aplomb.
We sat in silence as screenplays were performed by a group of thespians in radio format that was joyfully executed.
And you emerged from each unfolding event entirely energized. Buzzing with commentary. Congregating throughout the day in the RiverCenter Lobby everyone was recommending everything as "must see' to everyone else. "Must see" it was.Experiencing mystery in this new format was as energizing as a new battery. There was no decronstruction of the genre, no who's going to what house ,or what x is doing wrong. There was simply the joy of having seen what you just saw. And sharing that experience with a larger and larger group of people every four hours. And having seen more yourself in the last four hours to share with others.
The people of Owensboro offered up the hospitality for which the south is famous and on Friday night they all came to mingle with the convention goers in a genesis of Theater and Music. Jon and I met heroes and icons. We saw and talked to best selling, midlist and first time authors. My husband hugged the creator of Mannix and I talked ghosts with the director of TWO (Theater Workshop of Owensboro). We had b-b-q for breakfast one morning because the nights were too full. We had a wonderful time with Bob and Sandra Levinson, time we could have never carved out at Bouchercon. I taste tested bourbons for an upcoming visit with Greg Hurwitz. We spent moments with many and held the door open for Jim Hall as he carried a nesco full of baked beans. It was a magical mystery tour.
Informal, well planned, wonderfully executed. An event that can only grow but will forever have the sweet flavor of southern tea.
The Mastercard Ad.
Two tickets for a play $ 30.00 (packages available)
Five nights in a hotel $240.00 (breakfast included)
A round at the bar (embarrassingly low)
experiencing Zev Buffman's vision priceless!!