By Rosemarie and Vince Keenan
In 2010, we finally decided to take the Bouchercon plunge. Why that year? The convention was held in San Francisco, a city we’ll visit at any opportunity. Even better, serving as toastmaster was our friend Eddie Muller, novelist and founder of the Film Noir Foundation.
Within minutes of checking into the hotel – as seen in the movies Freebie and the Bean and High Anxiety! – we ran into people we’d only met online and fell in with them as if we’d been close for years. It turns out knowing the toastmaster is like having a backstage pass. Eddie was in the thick of the proceedings and pulled us along in his wake, introducing us to everyone. Two longtime mystery fans couldn’t have asked for a better first Bouchercon experience. We would definitely be back.
We didn’t have the same exclusive entrée in 2011 St. Louis – and we quickly discovered it didn’t matter. Stepping into the hotel bar it was as if the Bay Area party hadn’t ended, with many of the same friends eager to welcome us back and plenty of new friends to meet.
With great reluctance, we chose to sit out the next two Bouchercons, although thanks to Twitter we could follow the action in Cleveland and Albany. (Pro tip: sipping a cocktail at the same time helps to conjure the appropriate atmosphere.) The decision was a difficult but necessary one. We had work to do. We’d come up with a novel idea of our own.
It’s not just a love of mysteries that we share. We’re also both obsessed with classic movies (and Rosemarie has a thing for fashion). We combined these interests in Design for Dying. In 1937 Hollywood, an aspiring actress turned department store salesgirl must team up with legendary costume designer Edith Head to solve a murder. All the ladies have going for them are assists from various silver screen luminaries and a killer sense of style.
With a pair of Bouchercons under our belts, we had picked up plenty of pointers from expert panels, made connections within the publishing industry, and assembled an army of friends to turn to for support and advice. That history made writing our first novel much easier.
Long Beach marks our return to Bouchercon, only this time will be different for us. We’re thrilled to announce that Tor/Forge Books will publish Design for Dying under our pen name Renee Patrick in April 2016, with a sequel to follow in 2017.
Perhaps at a future Bouchercon Renee Patrick will sit on a panel and sign some books. In Long Beach, it will be enough for Rosemarie and Vince to catch up with friends, share the good news, and take care of some business. We’ll be meeting our agent and our editor in person for the first time. Bouchercon is the perfect place to move relationships out of the virtual world and into the real one. Trust us, we’ve done it before.
Meet Vince and Rosemarie Keenan and many other great Forge authors at the hospitality suite on Friday afternoon, where there will be coffee, author signings, and fun giveaways!