Big in Boise

Pari Noskin Taichert

Les, the cab driver, gunned it. We were going to Nampa, ID — a town at the other end of the Treasure Valley. The sky was dark and the highway empty, save our car’s lights on the bumpy asphalt. I clutched the whipped cream can and prayed we’d make it in time.

You see, I hadn’t looked closely at the television station’s address. KIVI–Channel 6 (find Heather Skold and Eric Harryman) wasn’t in Boise at all. That’s not something you want to find out at 5:10 a.m. when you’re dressed — complete with make-up — and expected to knock on the security door no later than 5:40.

We made it. I just wish I’d remembered to recharge my digital camera’s battery. You would have seen me grinning with the two fun — and mighty cute — anchors of the morning news show.  Instead, you’ll have to trust me on this, I’m big in Boise.

It started with the article in the Idaho Statesman, my mug gracing a feature about the upcoming Murder in the Grove conference. Then came the television interview (including a link on the station’s website to my website). Then, came the radio interview on KBOI (I spoke with Chris Walton).

Wow. That’s a ton of media for any person (and, by extension, the conference) in any town. Still, no one stopped me on the street. I wasn’t asked for my autograph at the Basque (Leku Ona) or Japanese (Koi) restaurants I enjoyed so much.

But, I am taking some credit (along with the hardworking PR folks I’ve hired and UNM Press) for some of the crowd at the mass book signing at the Barnes and Noble, and, maybe, for a registration or two more at the conference.

That’s the thing about public relations though — I’ll never be sure how much any of this coverage affected, and will affect, sales or heighten my visibility in a meaningful way. Yes, I did have a couple of people tell me they came to the signing because they’d seen or heard of me through the paper/tv/radio — but beyond that, well, it remains to be seen.

Still it was a pretty cool ego stroke . . .

About Murder in the Grove

Right now, I’m writing this post after too little sleep and too much mirth, but I wanted to comment on Murder in the Grove.

If you’re looking for a smaller conference in an absolutely wonderful city — this is a good option. MITG has more of a writers’ focus than other cons I’ve attended (it’s similar in this way to the Hillerman Conference in Albuquerque). There are indeed a few nonwriters there– the pure readers — however they’re in the minority. If "fan" conventions are your thing, I’d suggest you stick with events like Bouchercon/Malice/Murder in the Magic City or LCC.

For me, MITG was a great opportunity to hang out with good friends and spend time with authors that I’ve seen at other events but have never really gotten to know well. I also spoke with many future authors and certainly hope to be reading some of their works soon. Spending time with them reminded me how fortunate I am to have a good publisher, a great agent, and two books under my belt so far.

Among the authors with whom I had enlightening/fun conversations were the ever marvelous Deni Dietz. Aside from having a blast with her myself, I admired her willingness and ability as an editor (yep, she does this as well) to encourage new writers. Speaking of encouragement, Jo Grossman is a new agent actively looking for clients. She’s just started on this side of the business but already exhibits an impressive savvy; she’s also nice and wants to treat each and every query with respect. I’ve had enough rejections in my career to know that many agents don’t make this a priority.

I had a fab dinner and drinks at a Tapas restaurant (Tapas Estrella) with Kirk Russell, Con Lehane, and J.D. Rhoades — and am grateful to get to know these three fine authors better. Other highlights in an intense and interesting conference were talking with Twist Phelan, seeing Deborah Donnelly, Ann Parker, Anne Perry, C.J. Box, Carolyn Wheat, Sylvia Hubbard, and sharing the panel stage with Mary Buckham, Kelly Jones, Joanne Pence, Catherine Mulvaney and Denise Swanson.

A word about Boise: This is a great city. I was really surprised at how cosmopolitan it was. I don’t think I’ve eaten better in any town in decades. The downtown area has beautiful art deco buildings — along with older ones — plenty of public art and a very lively feel. I was absolutely impressed.

In all, I’d recommend MITG without hesitation.

Below are a few pix — I forgot to run them through the red-eye filter. Just pretend we all really look this tired . . . we probably are.

P1010032 Agent Jo Grossman and author/PR pro
Robert Weibezahl mug for the camera.

P1010022

Deborah Donnelly has been living in Boise for the past five years — but a move might be in her future. She’s posing at the Barnes & Noble event. I’m amazed she’s smiling; she had a horrid sinus infection this weekend.

P1010029

Meet Valerie Acosta, a private detective and "spy mom."
The goofy lady on the right is me.

P1010024

l to r. Carolyn Wheat, Twist Phelan (twisting, of course), Con Lehane and J.D. Rhoades

P1010023

Doesn’t J.D. Rhoades look proud? I think this was just before he went to get us some brownies. If you look directly behind him, you can see Denise Swanson, Twist Phelan and Anne Perry (she’s in green).

P1010036

This image was taken from the airplane at about 6:45 am. It’s the island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. After flying into Salt Lake City for the first time today, I now understand where this body of water got its name; it’s an astounding geographic feature . . . just gorgeous from 15,000+ feet in the air.

14 thoughts on “Big in Boise

  1. Naomi

    Terrific report, Pari! Hey, did you bring a blank videotape with you to the interview? This a tip my girlfriend gave me (which I have promptly forgotten two times!). You can give the station your videotape before you’re interviewed–they can record your interview on it and you can retrieve the tape when you leave. Pretty nifty. The same girlfriend has told me to study my tapes to see what I can better. Horrors!

    Reply
  2. Pari

    Hey, Naomi,Thanks.

    We arranged with the station to have a tape of the segment sent to us.

    I think your friend’s advice is well taken though. I always ask for television and for radio. Sometimes, especially if it’s talk radio, they simply won’t do it otherwise.

    As to studying ourselves . . . that can be one of the most distressing exercises we can ever undertake. We always look horrid to ourselves.

    Reply
  3. Elaine

    Fun report and great photos, Pari! Thanks for giving us an arm chair visit to the Midlands and Grove con’s. And you didn’t look goofy – just full of life as usual!

    Reply
  4. Pari

    Elaine, I loved your On the Bubble this week . . . even though I couldn’t comment the day of.

    Re: the Cons — I think it’s important for more of us to share our experiences and perceptions so that all of us can make good decisions about where to spend our marketing dollars.

    My strategy of going to smaller cons this year may, or may not, pay off in terms of visibility in the mystery world — but I’m sure having fun in the moment.

    Reply
  5. JT Ellison

    I love seeing photos from the conferences. Thanks for taking the time to put all of this together. And what a great tip — BYOV. I’ll put that one in the databank! Welcome home.

    Reply
  6. Pari

    Ah, J.D., you’re so darn cute. I know that’s just a ruse for your wild writing.

    And, J.T., thanks for the thanks. What does BYOV mean? It sounds Hebrew.

    Reply
  7. Naomi

    I understood it, J.T.! Maybe it’s just us women who wear glasses who get it. BTW, my husband keeps asking me why I’m writing on same blog as the woman who used to be the deputy D.A. on Law & Order SVU.

    Anyway, J.T., stupendous blog entry on last Friday. I didn’t get a chance to post a comment.

    –Naomi, who plays Clark Kent when she’s writing

    Reply
  8. Iden Ford

    Pari, these are good photos inspite of the redeye. We will be dueling photographers at Magna. I plan to take lot of photos of you in various states over the weekend. Perhaps like some of the photos on my blog? check it out, you approve? I think the green dress would work for you! Scroll down and seehttp://idenford.blogspot.com

    Reply
  9. Elaine

    Pari! Proceed with caution to Iden’s blog! Oh, maybe he didn’t tell you?

    Iden-get Pari with her whipped cream-we need a photo for posterity.

    Reply
  10. JT Ellison

    Naomi, that cracks me up. I’m Clark Kent 24/7, terrible vision. What a sweet question — tell your hubby that I haven’t done any acting, but am a big E. Rohm fan. Now if I just had that accent… my twang doesn’t work at all.

    Reply
  11. Iden Ford

    Whipped cream? Okay, for posterity perhaps at the Magma Lunch, or with the knitting ladies this year. That’s such a cool opening to your story.

    Reply
  12. Pari

    Ah, that nubile body on Iden’s blog. Ah . . . to be twenty again.

    Well, at least I’m still able to wield a whipped cream can . . .

    I think that green dress would fit on my left leg at this point.

    Reply

Leave a Reply to Naomi Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *