Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Bouchercon '15: N@B, Negroes, Ofays, Bike-Effers and Nacho-Gate

Kicked off Bouchercon with some swell folks doing N@B Thursday night. Eryk Pruitt put on a monster event and emcee Tracey Coppedge handled the surly crew with aplomb. I'd like to see you try to keep Les Edgerton from starting a riot. Check out the cherub-faced gang in the photo. Not pictured above is Tom Pitts whose story put me off shooting up in public restrooms for a couple weeks at least. Ed Kurtz is the handsome fella with his hands clasped in front of him in the front row. He read the story Buffalo Squeeze from the second Shotgun Honey antho - Reloaded. His delivery was fucking awesome too - one of my favorite epiphanies of the weekend was somebody referring to his performance style as "Dirty Johnny Cash." On either side of Ed's head you can spot me on the left and Johnny Shaw on the right. I'm willing to concede a certain physical resemblance - similar height, complexion, and beards - but the number of times I was congratulated by folks on my (his) horse masturbating story read at the event... to which I said, 'Thanks,' while autographing their ARCs of Floodgate - I lost count of.

However, one woman seemed to think I was Joe Clifford? She was deep into libations... Anyhow, I picked up several of these get out of jail free cards that I'd dispense to strangers whenever I'd said anything egregiously obnoxious and say, "I hope you voted for me."

Some of my favorite episodes of the weekend:

N@B - Loved everybody's readings and getting to press flesh with family and friends too long unseen including St. Louis to Raleigh transplant Shaw Coney (St. Louis Noir - Akashic 2016), as well as meet peoples brought together by the pleasures of wrong-headed words. I didn't get nearly enough time with Joe Bass, Sam Montgomery-Blinn, Lana Pierce, Abby Jordan, Lael Hobbs, Sarah Fuller or Taylor Stevens whose life story I want to read in memoir form (incidentally, add Taylor to my list of friends to be judicious when Google image searching for - along with Holly West). BTW - anybody there looking for the rest of the piece I read from, it was an excerpt from a story called The Whole Buffalo which was featured in Needle magazine's very first issue. Soon it will also be available in my reissued collection of short fiction from Broken River Books.

Trying to out-racially-charge book titles with Danny Gardner. Looking very much forward to reading A Negro and an Ofay and the following escapades of Elliot Caprice whose titles escalate beyond the powers of the author of Peckerwood to keep up with.

Sharing somebody else's nachos with Rob Hart. This man can write a book, make a baby and adheres to a shared no-nacho-left-behind code. Just when I thought I couldn't want to cuddle with him any more. I will be reading City of Rose in bed with a large plate of BBQ nachos and thinking of you, buddy.

Swapping awkward fan-boy/girl stories with Steve Weddle and (Absolutely!) Kate Pilarcik. Apologies to Kathy Reichs, Alafair Burke and Lawrence Block, but we regret nothing. BTW - congratulations to senor Weddle on getting a story in Playboy (check the November 2015 issue for his story South of Bradley - further fallout from the events of Country Hardball. I can't be the only one looking at their recent fiction pages - Scott Wolven, Don Winslow, T.C. Boyle, E.L. Doctorow, Chuck Palahniuk, George Pelecanos, Chris Offutt, Robert Coover - and thinking quality like this has something to do with Playboy's recent decision to quit publishing nude photographs next year, can I?) Also telling winding up John Rector and/or Anthony Neil Smith stories with Jay Stringer, Helen Smith and Johnny Shaw. Sometimes it's too easy.

Listening to The Fury of Blacky Jaguar author Angel Luis Colon tell Winnie the Sham Pooh stories. Table mates Soledad Medrano, Ed Kurtz, S.W. Lauden, Scott Adlerberg, Dennis Tafoya, Eryk Pruitt, Nik Korpon, Mike McCrary and Rob Hart were treated to a few stories from inside the folds of the technicolor dream coat. If I hadn't been so on the nod at the time, I'd have spit-taken through the whole meal.

Making a handshake deal with super-mensch Eric Campbell. More on that later, but hey, big congrats to Down & Out Books on all their success, solid work and bright future. Good as always to hang a bit with Sandi Loper and finally meet Trey R. Barker.

Talking to Allan Guthrie. The fuck else do I need to say? Knowing he'd be there was the only reason I really needed to show up. But shit, throw special honors at more personal heroes like Tom Franklin and Sean Doolittle just to twist my arm further. I had no choice, but to cross the country. Plus holy-hell I got introduced to Laura Lippman by Beth Ann Fennelly. That right there is a sentence I've been waiting to write for years.

Stona Fitch sharing a flask with me (and Rory Flynn). It was a special moment, kids.

The conception of Bike Fucker... stay tuned, and brace yourself for the dark corners of the minds of Christa Faust, Mike McCrary, J. David Osborne, Johnny Shaw and probably Stuart Neville, right? Also looking forward to Christa's memoir Human Slippers.

Regrets? I have a few...

Not playing basketball with Scott Adlerberg and J. David Osborne.

Not correcting that lady who thought Seth Harwood was Chris F. Holm.

Not getting Tom Pitts to Fire Wok with me.

Not having one more round with everybody who wanted to.


tom pitts said...

I see you searched far and wide to find the ONE pic without my pretty mug. I get it. Oh no, you don't need to explain. I guess the whole "guilt by association" thing of hanging with actual tough guys diminishes your lumberjack appeal. Carry on, Jed, carry on.
(And for the record, I probably--no definitely--saved your life by keeping you out of that Wok joint)

jedidiah ayres said...

Was there an alternate pic, Tom? Just thought you'd bailed on me... TWICE

reverenderyk said...

My wife took some. This sounds like a photoshop challenge, though.

jedidiah ayres said...

see if we can take Tom out of EVERYTHING

Johnny Shaw said...

I believe that anthology will be called "Brokeback Mountain Bike."

jedidiah ayres said...

I believe it deserves its own N@B event

Steve Weddle said...

you're a sweetie

Les Edgerton said...

Great seein' ya, Jed. Have you grown taller?

tom pitts said...

No, Jed is the same size. I regret to inform you that old age diminishes height, Les. Sorry, the oldsters are often the last to know.
"Brokeback Mountain Bike" That's fuckin' funny.