I'm back from Bouchercon and finally getting caught up on the rest of my life. I got some books to review, two interviews set up with authors, and a TBR pile exponentially larger than before the conference. A rousing success for someone who doesn't meet people easily and had only spoken to one person there before last week.
Much of the credit for that has to go to the crime fiction writing and reading community. I was told I would meet a nicer bunch of people, and I was still pleasantly surprised. The whole atmosphere was conducive to renewing acquaintances and starting new ones. My personal highlights:
Being recognized by John McFetridge, Peter Rozovsky, Sandra Ruttan, Brian Lindemuth, Angie Johnson-Schmit, and Zoe Sharp, based primarily on my comments to their blogs and Crimespace comments.
Meeting Declan Hughes while standing at a urinal. We each made a great show of washing up before shaking hands. A woman saw us coming out on her way to the ladies' room and said she never met anyone cool in the bathroom. I told her she was going to the wrong bathroom.
A enjoyable and wide-ranging chat with Austin Camacho between panels.
Learning not only that crime fiction writers are convincing liars (I was shocked! Shocked!) but that Laura Lippman can crank out fifty pushups on demand, Mark Billingham wore size 9 shoes and once played cricket with a frog, and that John Connolly found unexpected entertainment from the movie The Last of the Mohicans.
Sean Chercover, Bill Cameron, Libby Hellman, Harry Hunsicker, and Duane Swierczynski watched way too much television in their formative years. (And that the evil presence of John Boy Walton lurks behind everything Bill Cameron writes.)
Be very careful what you post online, because you should assume everyone reads everything you ever wrote.
It would be nice to allow Jack Reacher to deal with some of the nut jobs who sent Lee Child “reviews” of his latest book.
That listening to Declan Hughes talk about PI fiction can make a PI writer feel as though he’s answering a higher calling.
And, last but not least, it’s hard to imagine better company for a pleasant Saturday evening than (in alphabetical order) Declan Burke, Angie Johnson-Schmit, John McFetridge, Peter Rozovsky, and Gerald So, ably assisted at times by Donna Allen, Brian Lindemuth, Jeremy Trylch, and Greg from Philly, whose last name I would have caught had I know what a nice guy he was going to be.
You had to be there to get most—if any—of these references; you should have been there, anyway.
Next year: Indianapolis!