At the opening night reception on Thursday, plaques were awarded to all the finalist nominees for the various awards to be given out at the conference--the Lefty, the Rocky, the Watson, and the Historical. I'm in the middle of the group of Rocky finalists below, wearing Craig Johnson's hat. The rest of the finalists are Craig, fellow Midnight Ink author Darrell James, Chuck Greaves, and Margaret Coel. I was very honored to be included in their company!
Here's my first panel on Friday, "Authors with Altitude", with fellow Colorado authors and friends, Mark Stevens, Laura DiSilverio, Robert Spiller, Leslie O'Kane, and Denise Dietz, who was also my editor when I was publishing with Five Star.
And here's fellow new MInker (Midnight Ink author) Shannon Baker (the blonde) on her panel, "You Say Teepee, I Say Hogan: Writing Other Cultures" panel with Margaret Coel, Craig Johnson, Curt Wendelboe, and R.J. (Robin) Harlick. Check out Shannon's brand new release, Tainted Mountain! Below that are two photos of me on the "Writing the West: the Rocky Nominees" panel with Chuck Greaves, Darrell James, Craig Johnson, Margaret Coel, and moderator and conference director (and good friend) Christine Goff.
Now, on to the Saturday banquet. We had a raucous and fun table of MInkers, including Acquisition Editor Terri Bischoff (seated on the far left in the first photo), and Janet Rudolph (seated on the far right), the "Mistress of Murder" and editor of Mystery Readers Journal. Look for an article written by me in the upcoming Environmental Mysteries issue of the journal. Below the group photo is one of me with fellow Minker Rocky nominee Darrell James. The last of this group is of live auctioneer Robert Spiller (who had us all in stitches!) and Special Guest Lou Diamond Phillips (actor in the Longmire A&E TV series based on Craig Johnson's mystery series) auctioning off a spiral-bound ARC of Craig's upcoming short story collection, Stay Calm, Have Courage and Wait for Signs.
On to the awards! We were all thrilled when fellow MInker, Catriona McPherson, won the Bruce Alexander Memorial Historical Mystery Award (first photo below). And I was so pleased to see fellow Sisters in Crime Guppies chapter member Rochelle Staab (in the second photo) win the Watson Award for best sidekick in a mystery. Craig Johnson, of course, won the Rocky Award, and Brad Parks (last photo) won the Lefty Award, for most humorous mystery. After accepting the award, he proceeded to serenade Guest of Honor Laura Lippman, putting a fitting cap on a very fun banquet.