Friday, September 30, 2011


Author Lois Winston and a mop doll
Two weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend my first Bouchercon convention. If you love mysteries, whether you’re a reader or a writer, Bouchercon is the place to be. 

My trip began way before the crack of dawn on Friday, September 16th in order to arrive at Newark Liberty Airport in time for a 7am flight. Everything was on schedule until about 45 minutes after take-off when the pilot informed us we’d be returning to the airport due to a “minor” mechanical problem. I told myself not to worry. If the problem was serious, we would have landed at the nearest airport, not returned to Newark.
Midnight Ink publicity manager Steven Pomiji and author Jessie Chandler
Back in Newark we were put on another plane that was scheduled to take off at 9:15am. We all boarded. And waited. And waited. And waited. What were we waiting for? The catering truck to deliver the food no one wanted in the first place! Finally at 10am we left Newark for the second time that morning.

I arrived in St. Louis just in time to toss my first gutter ball at the charity bowling tournament to raise money for the St. Louis Public Libraries. Yes, I sucked. Big time. The only bowling I’ve done since being on a league in high school (way back in prehistoric times if you listen to my kids) is Wii bowling. I did, however, improve my score with each consecutive gave, and I didn’t bring home the trophy for worst bowler. So I guess I didn’t totally suck. More importantly, the event raised $500 for the libraries.
Midnight Ink authors Darrell James, publicity manager Steven Pomiji, author Jessie Chandler, me, and author Alan Orloff

On Saturday I signed advance reading copies of DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL. For those of you curious as to what a mop doll is, check out the photos. That’s a mop doll standing amongst the books at the Midnight Ink booth.

I also had the pleasure of spending time with and getting to know some of my fellow Midnight Inkers better, as well as two of Midnight Ink’s staff, acquisitions editor Terri Bischoff and publicity manager Steven Pomije.
authors Lois Winston and Laura DiSilverio

On Saturday afternoon I took part in the Time to Murder and Create panel with authors Laura DiSilverio, Laura Bradford, Jane Cleland, and Cindy Sample. I’m not sure what I said to garner the reaction above from Laura DiSilverio, but I think people in the audience were laughing at the time. Since I write humor, I’m hoping that was a good thing.

My flight home was blessedly uneventful except for the guy with the disgusting habit sitting next to me. I won’t go into gory detail, but I’m convinced he’s responsible for the laryngitis and cold I woke up with the next morning.

Are you old enough to remember when flying used to be enjoyable? I am, and I miss those days.

Anyway, I left St. Louis with the several remaining ARCs of DEATH BY KILLER MOP DOLL, and I’m giving two of them away. To enter the drawing, all you have to do is sign up for my author newsletter by sending an email to or by adding yourself as a follower at Anastasia’s Killer Crafts & Crafty Killers blog. Then email me at to let me know which you’ve signed up for.

Lois Winston
Follow Anastasia on Twitter @anasleuth


Jessie Chandler said...

Lois, this is a great post! It was so awesome getting to know you and the other Inkers better!!! And I LOVE that mop doll, you crafty wizard you!

Dru said...

Hi Lois,

Great post and it was good to see you again.

Robin Allen said...

Looks like a great time, Lois! And congrats on improving your bowling score.

Lois Winston said...

Jessie, I hope you're going to be at Malice because I really had a blast spending time with you.

Dru, great to see you again. See you at Malice, too?

Robin, you need to come join the fun. Will you be at Malice?

Sebastian Stuart said...

Sounds like so much fun! I've developed a sudden terror of mop dolls.

Lois Winston said...

Sorry you missed attending, Sebastian. Hope the bronchitis is better. And yes, beware the mop doll! ;-)

Deborah Sharp said...

Waaaah! I'm sad to have missed B'con this year. Your post and great pix show what a good time was had by all (except me. Waaah!) PS: I agree with Jessie. You ARE a a crafty wizard!)

jeff7salter said...

If you had DRIVEN to St. Louie, you couldda stopped off in Possum Trot for some coffee. I make great coffee.

Alan Orloff said...

BCon was a whole lotta fun. Great hanging with other MInkers and with readers and other writers and books, books, books! You were knocking some pins down by the end of the bowling, too! (At least you didn't do a header on the lane like someone there!)

Lois Winston said...

Thanks, Deborah!

Jeff, thanks for the offer of coffee. Another time.

Alan, your secret is safe with me. ;-D

Beth Groundwater said...

Since I wasn't able to go to Bouchercon, I especially appreciate the reports I've been able to read from people who went. Thanks so much, Lois!

Darrell James said...

Had a fabulous time, Lois! It was great meeting everyone personally. A totally fun group to hang out with. (Or with which to hang out. You know.)

Lois Winston said...

Yes, it was, Darrell, with or without the dangling prepositions.

Kathleen Ernst said...

It was good to see you, Lois, even if briefly. Glad you made it in time to bowl!

Irene said...

Some people think the life of an author is all fun and games.
True definition of irony here, Lois.
The doll in the photo is lovely!

Deborah Blake said...

Sounds like you had a great time (plane aside, that is). I've never been to Bouchercon, but I'd love to go someday!

Jackie King said...

Great post and I loved your panel.
Jackie King

Mollie Cox Bryan said...

Sorry to have missed B-con. I have never been. I hope to catch you at Malice. I just have to say YES, I remember when flying on a airplane was a pleasant experience. Argh!