HighBridge joins other “Spirits” at 2011 St. Louis BoucherCon

October 4th, 2011 by Steve Lehman · No Comments · Uncategorized

In mid September, HighBridge for the first time joined other mystery fans in attending BoucherCon, the international nonprofit, all-volunteer organization which holds an annual convention in honor of Anthony Boucher, the distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor and author.

Robert Ward

Robert Ward, author of THE BEST BAD DREAM, next to the HighBridge table.

This year the convention was in St. Louis with the theme “Spirits of St. Louis.” As a former resident, it was a pleasure to have a reason to make a trip back.

The convention was a great opportunity to meet HighBridge authors such as NEA and PEN West award winner Robert Ward, Deon Meyer, and Colin Cotterill.

Colin Cotterill

Susan Lovley, HighBridge, with Colin Cotterill (KILLED AT THE WHIM OF A HAT).

Cotterill, author most recently of Killed at the Whim of a Hat, was one of two international guests of honor. Meyer went home with a different prestigious honor: The Barry Award for Best Thriller for Thirteen Hours. The Barry Awards, voted on by the readers of Deadly Pleasures, are presented at Bouchercon, as our Bouchercon’s own Anthony Awards.

buttons from BoucherCon

Our buttons, featuring art from the BLACK MASK series, that we gave out at BoucherCon.

Otto Penzler

Otto Penzler, Mysterious Press, stands beside the HighBridge titles his imprint is collaborating with us to provide on audio.

Otto Penzler, along with Steve Stilwell, former owner of Minnesota bookstore Once Upon a Crime, and another convention goer.

HighBridge had a table in the “Book Room” to hawk our wares (and hand out our buttons featuring art from our new Black Mask series). That room was jammed with people—at least, it was when the sessions, which featured various author panels, were out. We abandoned our table as well in order to attend a few panels, including “Sparks Fly Out: Law Justice and Society.” The panel had a political edge, as authors discussed the need and the difficulty of sometimes putting aside their own political views to write a well-round novel. There were lots of good, intelligent audience questions and thoughtful author answers.

Colin Cotterill sat on several panels at BoucherCon.

Some of the panels had a humor angle, such as “Cranky Streets: What’s So Funny About Murder.” But even with serious subjects to discuss, the panels were decidedly amusing, with the highlight of many a panel being the authors bantering with each other.

In the tradition of all good sleuth and police procedural stories, the hotel bar was full (although no longer smoke-filled these days) and the gatherings, formal and informal, went on late. One such packed, “formal” gathering was a party by Grove-Atlantic celebrating the relaunch of the Mysterious Press imprint on their aegis. (HighBridge will be publishing these same titles on audio.) Mysterious Press imprint head Otto Penzler and Grove Atlantic head Morgan Entrekin gave a toast.

Otto and Morgan

Otto Penzler, Mysterious Press, with the head of Grove-Atlantic Morgan Entrekin at the party celebrating the relaunch of his imprint.

The event was wall-to-wall people. A number of authors, including Thomas H. Cook and Deon Meyer, attended.

Deon Meyer

Deon Meyer (TRACKERS, THIRTEEN HOURS, BLOOD SAFARI) and myself, Steve Lehman, HighBridge.

In all, St. Louis was a great adventure. Now that we’ve experienced it, there’s no mystery why authors, publishers, and fans love to attend BoucherCon. Hope to see you in Cleveland in 2012.

(PS Whether or not you attended BoucherCon, if you’d like a set of the buttons mentioned above, drop us an email with your mailing address. Put “Buttons” in the subject line to help us sort out requests.)


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