The One About Bouchercon

The One About Bouchercon

I knew I needed to write a blog post about my first Bouchercon, the largest convention of mystery writers and readers in the country, possibly the world. But the thought of trying to condense the past week into something coherent induced an eyelid twitch. Then I cried a little and ate some chocolate.

There were 1,600 attendees. SIXTEEN HUNDRED. It’s not possible to put all that hallway schmoozing, panel attending, business card trading and vodka drinking into paragraphs that don’t ramble, name drop and include far too many CAPITALS and exclamation points!!!

To simplify things, a list.

TOP TEN NUGGETS OF COOLNESS AND WISDOM FROM MY FIRST BOUCHERCON

1. Charlaine Harris, who writes the series upon which the True Blood T.V. show is based and has a fan base only slightly larger and more rabid than that of Jesus, is not only charming and sweet and adorable but funny and humble and smart as hell. I would like for her to adopt me, please.

2. My pal Juliet Blackwell, whose most recent book Secondhand Spirits is amazing and would be even if I’d never met her, snuck me into the Berkley/NAL/Penguin cocktail party where I refrained from spazzing out in the company of such editorial awesomeness. Sort of. Mostly. I deny everything.

3. Mystery readers will hurt you. Even little old ladies with tote bags. Especially little old ladies with tote bags. Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – attempt to get a latte from the coffee vendor next to the free book giveaway. There be dragons.

4. Lee Child, as is his habit, hired out a bar and opened up the tab, on him, for anyone who’d like to attend. Is he a mensch or what?

5. Pastrami is not going to be a good choice while in Indianapolis. Steak is.

6. It is possible to hire a limo topped with a giant, fiberglass chicken head to take you to the airport. I came this/close.

7. Hotels can’t build bars big enough to hold that many writers. I understand. That does not change the fact that we will cram in anyway and demand liquor. It is, after all, a business expense. (Yes, it is.)

8. I had the unbelievable luck to go to dinner with S.J. Rozan, a writer I’ve adored and admired for years and this Bouchercon’s toastmaster. (See all adjectives applied to Charlaine Harris and insert them here.) Yesterday, I got a brief and gracious note in my inbox from her, at which point I lost all cool and had a complete writer geek-out moment that involved, among other things, interpretative dance. I’m nothing but a fan girl at heart.

9. Long-time pal and amazing author Eric Stone who was on his sixth Bouchercon patiently lead me around the hotel making introduction after introduction, ensuring I never felt overwhelmed, lost or left out, and I am eternally grateful.

10. High heels + slick floor + big ass puddle of water = bruised, skinned knees. Fortunately, being a writer has cured me of a need for dignity.

    3 Comments

    • Dianne Emley

      20.10.2009 at 17:38

      I’m so glad you had a great first time, cuz you’ll never be a B-con virgin again.

    • Lori Wolf

      20.10.2009 at 19:11

      Ahhh, the first time! Glad it was good for you, Ashley.

    • Eric

      20.10.2009 at 23:52

      I was there, and I still respect you in the morning.