Friday, October 12, 2012

First Bouchercon

Before I talk about my new book, I have to talk about Bouchercon. I've been wanting to go for about twelve years, but it never worked out for me. This year it did. Then I hesitated. Bouchercon is a huge convention of mystery fans and writers. I didn't know anyone there. I'm not good in huge groups. Was this really what I wanted to do?

I decided I'd never know until I tried, so I hopped in my Honda and took off for Cleveland, a 7-8 hour trip with the stops I need to make to stretch my creaky joints. Unfortunately, I couldn't get there in time for the Sisters in Crime meeting on October 3, so I didn't have a chance to make connections with people whose names I know from the e-mail listserve. Nor am I able to get up and ready for the day in time for a 7:30 in the morning Sisters in Crime breakfast. So I was totally on my own.

Now there are days when I can't seem to make my thick tongue move when confronted with strangers, since I'm sure I'm not interesting enough for them to talk to me. There are other times when I perk right up and start talking, and discover they're happy to meet me and want to talk some more. Fortunately, all four days at Bouchercon were the latter. I discovered that this wasn't a huge group - this was one person or three people at a time, and I could start making the connections that will carry over to future Bouchercons so I won't be totally on my own again..

Most of the panels, geared for readers who want to know more about mystery writers and how they ply their craft, were fun and interesting. I met several young librarians who were attending their first Bouchercon. Their faces were all aglow with excitement at being so close to so many well known authors, and hearing them talk about writing and about their books. The caliber of the authors on the panels even made them instructional for other writers. Several of them could make a second career of being comedians if they decide to stop writing.

If I go to Bouchercon in Albany, New York, next year, I'll plunk down the cost of the extra night at the hotel so I can attend the Sisters in Crime pre-convention meeting. I'll get up for a 7:30 in the morning breakfast (maybe) even if I have to go back to my room afterwords to finish getting ready for the day. I hope I can get on a panel. If I do, I promise to convince myself it isn't a day when my tongue is thick with doubt that anyone wants to hear what I have to say!