Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Bouchercon Auction - The Final Frontier

Bouchercon 2008 is over and so are the Bouchercon Auctions. Beth Fedyn, Cindy Tambourine and I spent a great deal of time on the auctions the last few months and it's difficult to remember the last time my office floor was clear of packages labeled "Media Mail". But it was well-worth the effort. We grossed $12,266 combined for the two auctions.

Our top bid of $1500 was for a character name in Laurie R. King's next book. Our top animal character was $900 for a guinea pig in Sandra Parshall's next book. And, oh by the way, she hadn't planned that little bugger in the book, but thinking on her feet, she did what she had to to support the auction. Sandra, you are a trooper.

Many people assisted us and we'd like to thank you sincerely.

We not only received wonderful donations from a generous author community, but many authors went above and beyond to help us during the auctions. Barbara Graham donated a gorgeous quilt table runner and her book: Murder by Serpents: The Mystery Quilt, and then chipped in many hours at the Silent Auction table giving Cindy and me timely breaks. Bill Cameron, Julie Compton and Julie Hyzy also pitched in their time. Sandra Parshall helped us at the Live Auction. I apologize if I forgot anyone. Consider it the result of Bouchercon burnout.

We also had great help from the fan community. At the Live Auction, Al Abramson, Carl Brown, Joe Vigna, Kate Buker, Jodi Bollendorf and Janet Costello pitched in, watching those colorful fan paddles raise the bids higher and higher. We had plenty of fans helping with the Silent Auction and unfortunately I don't have their names, but we thank them immensely. We also want to thank "Mystery Mike" Bursaw for the use of his credit card facility, which saved us a great deal of money.

We have to thank Chris Grabenstein and Donna Andrews for once again providing a brisk, efficient and funny Live Auction. Donna was under the weather and still persevered. Chris making a sentence out of Julia Spencer-Fleming's book titles busted my gut.

We have to thank Judy and Ruth for trusting us with the management of the auctions and for the support they showed us. We asked for a Silent Auction banner and the colorful paddles for the Live Auction and they didn't blink. I think those things helped make the auctions more special.

This was quite a different Bouchercon for Cindy and me. We loved working with Beth Fedyn and thank her for all of her efforts to keep us sane and on target.

We managed to have meals with some great people. At the Guests of Honor dinner Wednesday night at the Enoch Pratt Library we sat with Jon, Ruth, Mark Billingham and Reed Farrell Coleman. Mark was humorous and engaging, and Reed Farrell Coleman is one of the nicest people in crime fiction or anywhere. Spending Saturday evening with Chris Aldrich and Lynn Kaczmarek of Mystery News had us reminiscing about meeting on Compuserve in 1994 and in 1995 attending our first conference together: Eyecon in Milwaukee. Our Thursday dinner with Maddie, DJ, and the rest of the 4MA gang was great and we thank you for your company.

At the Silent Auction tables we were visited by a bunch of people whose names I recognize from Dorothy L and other groups, and we appreciate you taking the time to introduce yourselves.

Thanks everyone. We'll see you in Indianapolis.


Sandra Parshall said...

That very generous bidder not only won naming rights for a guinea pig in my next book, but also a dog and a cat. It's great to know that in these gloom-and-doom times, some people are still willing to contribute to worthwhile causes like the wonderful Pratt Library and Viva House.

Marjorie said...

My very generous friend and fellow "Friend of Laurie" (as in Laurie R. King), was delighted to have won her naming rights after such a fierce competition (and such a huge donation to a very worthy cause). Ms. King has informed the winner that the character named in her honor will be a sculptress living in a menage-a-trois in the bohemian England of the 1920's. And that has to be just about as great as being named for a guinea pig! LOL. No, make that even better! What a great time the auction was. Thanks to all of you for making it possible.


David Magayna said...

Thanks, Sandra, for the clarification. I was writing that after midnight last night and definitely wasn't clicking on all cylinders.

Marjorie, Sandra hasn't said what shenanigans might go on among that dog, cat and guinea pig. Who knows, there might be a menage-a-trois thing going on there too. Although I'm certain none is going to be a sculptress (grin).

I want to add my thanks to Dame Judith Anderson from 4MA for her help in checking folks out at the Silent Auction and totaling things up. She also told me more about building custom fishing rods than I ever thought I'd know. Thanks DJ.

One additional comment: I'm also looking forward to watching "The Wire - Season One" and reading Peggy Ehrhart's "Sweet Man Is Gone" and Robert Ellis' City of Fire", which I won at the Silent Auction.

Marjorie said...

"Sandra hasn't said what shenanigans might go on among that dog, cat and guinea pig."


I never ever thought of that!!!