me in the piazza

I'm a writer, publishing both as SJ Rozan and, with Carlos Dews, as Sam Cabot. (I'm Sam, he's Cabot.) Here you can find links to my almost-daily blog posts, including the Saturday haiku I've been doing for years. BUT the blog itself has moved to my website. If you go on over there you can subscribe and you'll never miss a post. (Miss a post! A scary thought!) Also, I'll be teaching a writing workshop in Italy this summer -- come join us!
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Reporting on Bouchercon, Part Two

So, where were we? Up to the Colin Cotterill interview. Tons o' fun. After it, booksigning, general hanging about, then the St. Martin's Press party, to which Kelli Stanley arrived in a horse-drawn carriage. I got to hang out there with Qiu Xiaolong, one of my favorite people. The food -- a recurring theme in St. Louis, where they really know how to eat -- was pulled pork on potato pancakes, and sliders. Meat, it's big there.

Then the opening ceremonies and awards -- all but the Anthonys -- and then something new at Bouchercon, a nine pm panel: Sex, Violence, and Bad Language -- Everything That Makes a Book Great. Scott Montgomery moderated, and then panelists were Christa Faust, Chris Holm, Scott Phillips, John Rector, Benjamin Whitmer, Jonathan Woods -- and me. I was a cut-and-paste typo; no one was exactly sure how I got listed to be on that panel, and I offered to drop off, but the organizers said no, do it, so I went ahead and did it. It was a laugh riot, I have to say. But also, some good points made. Especially by Christa, who parsed the difference between erotica and porn, and between violence and "torture porn." According to her definition -- and I agree -- if you can skip the scene entirely with no effect on story or understanding of character, it's porn; if the way the sex or violence is carried out makes a difference to the reader's understanding of story or character, it belongs in the book. Christa comes on a little wild, but she's a damn smart dame.

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