Convention season is upon us. Upon me, actually. I know reader/writer cons take place all year, but those most important to me tend to cluster in the early to mid-fall. (I did attend Malice Domestic last May, but that was too much of a fish out of water experience for me to be likely to go again.) This year I’m attending both Creatures, Crimes, and Creativity in Hunt Valley MD (suburban Baltimore) and Bouchercon in Raleigh, NC. (The addition of the Oxford comma to the C3 title was mine. It’s a great conference and they’re good folks, but they’re dead wrong about that.) I’ve been lucky to score appearances in both. Details follow:
I interviewed C3 founder, organizer, and jefe Austin Camacho a couple of weeks ago. The con is both intimate and well run, and I’m delighted to get a panel again this year. On Saturday, September 25, I’ll on the “Outline or Pantser: What are you and why?” with J. Gregory Smith and Sandra Campbell. This is a constant topic among writers, and I’ve found readers wonder about this aspect of the process second only to “Where do you get your ideas?” which is closely related, if you think about it. (At least if you think about it and your mind works the way mine does, which I do not recommend trying unless it comes natural to you.)
On October 3, I’ll be appearing at the Wonderland Ballroom in Washington DC when E.A. Aymar hosts a DC edition of Noir at the Bar. The event kicks off at 7:00. I’ve seen the list of invitees but have not yet seen who has confirmed, so I’ll hold off for now. If you’re on the fence, rest assured I am absolutely not the best writer on the agenda. I am kick-ass ballast, though. (Breaking news! The roster has been announced: Austin Camacho, Jen Conley, Nik Korpon, Peter Rozovsky, David Swinson, Art Taylor, and Sarah Weinman. My ballast duties are now harder than ever, holding down this crew.)
The big enchilada in any conference season is Bouchercon, where I’m making two appearances. First thing in the morning of Thursday, October 8—eight fucking o’clock—I’ll participate in the Author Speed Dating event, where I’ll get to rub small groups of readers the wrong way at five-minute intervals. (This should not dissuade anyone from attending. Look on the bright side: the rest of your day has to get better.)
Then at 1:00 I’ll lower the property values of “Just the Facts: The Police Procedural,” moderated by James Born. The other panelists are Stephanie Gayle, Larry Kelter, and Colin Campbell. I’m reading my way through some of their books now, and this is a panel of people who know what they’re talking about. And me.
So that’s what’s up as I venture away from Castle Schadenfreude this fall. If you’re in the neighborhood, please say hello. Writers don’t get out much—wouldn’t be writing if we did that, would we?—but that doesn’t mean we’re anti-social. Well, I am, but even I’m approachable under the right circumstances.