Wow! That’s about all I can say right now. I’m sitting at a crowded gate at the
airport, trying to find a way to sum up Bouchercon
2012, my first ever writer’s conference.
But seriously, B-con was so much more than that.
It wasn’t just a convention for writers and authors, but for readers and fans of all types of crime fiction, as well. So while I was in absolute heaven being surrounded by other writers who truly understood me and my passion for writing and my genre, and I learned an incredible amount of information at the panels, I also had the opportunity to chat and socialize with the very people who might buy my book when it “hits the stands” next week.
But before I get into all that, let me first fill you in on the personal side of this big excursion. As most of you already know, I was planning to meet my bff, Lisa Regan, in person for the very first time. She didn’t get there until my second day, so I met my other bestie first, Jennifer Hillier, author of Creep and Freak.
Jenny and I
I hadn’t seen Jenny since she moved from my neck of the woods last December. Though she was suffering from some back pain, she managed to make the trip, and we had a grand time catching up, eating and drinking, and attending panels. And when Lisa finally arrived, Jenny was there to capture it all on video. But that’s a private moment I’m keeping to myself right now. I do, however, have a couple of photos Jenny took.
Lisa and I
The three of us spent no small amount of time partying it up at The Renaissance. This newly renovated hotel, a grand dame dating back to1915, was opulent and conveniently located at
, another beautifully revitalized
structure also housing The Ritz Carlton, an entire shopping mall, food court,
and cinemas, plus the RTA or local rapid transit train, which delivered me from
the airport for only $2. Everything we
could ever want was right at our doorstep.
We never even had to venture outside. Tower City
Me, Lisa, and Jenny
The Renaissance at Tower City at night
...and in the morning
The grand lobby staircase
Tower City entrance
The Renaissance lobby fountain
The street view out our room window at The Renaissance
But, of course, we did since the opening ceremony took place at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. That was a fun event with wine, beer, and hors d’oeuvres. Best of all, it was emceed by famed master author, John Connolly. We did have an incident where a close-talking stalker fan latched on to Lisa, but we managed to shake him, thank God. Then it was back to the hotel bar for a nightcap where we were constantly surrounded by famous authors like Lee Child and Chelsea Cain.
The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Lisa, me, and Jenny out front of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame
Author John Connolly was quite the comedian emcee
Inside the reception hall at the museum
Author Charlaine Harris of the Sookie Stackhouse mysteries (True Blood)
Jenny and Chelsea Cain
Author Will Lavender and Jenny
Friday and Saturday were again chock full of wonderful panels. They were moderated and debated by panelists such as John Connolly, Chelsea Cane, Charlaine Harris, Linwood Barclay, and countless other rock stars of the genre and industry. I learned more than I ever thought possible on subjects such as morally challenged heroes, adapting novels into movies and television, crafting thrillers, character development, avoiding the unbelievable, and serial killers, the last of which was paneled by Jenny herself. And all that barely scratched the surface.
I met so many wonderful people, especially other writers and a few debut authors like myself. One in particular was Mark Pryor, a friend of both Lisa and Jenny and author of The Bookseller, launching tomorrow, Tuesday, October 9th from Seventh Street Books and As She Lay Sleeping, true crime from New Horizon Press and already available on Amazon. I found Mark incredibly charming as he spent an entire evening regaling a group of us women with stories of his job as a prosecuting attorney in
Mark, Lisa, and I were all on the New Authors panel where we were unexpectedly instructed to stand before the crowd and speak about ourselves and our books. And although it was intimidating as hell, the moderator, legendary author Val McDermid, was so hilarious, she put us all at ease as we belly-laughed at her early morning Scottish humor.
Lisa and I after our New Authors panel
At the Museum party, we met a group of women—readers and librarians from Lisa’s neighborhood in Philly—and just like so many of the attending fans, they were thrilled to learn that Lisa and I were launching books this year and were anxious to read and possibly share them. How cool is THAT?!!
Seriously, Even though Jenny was wracked up and I had some weird eye infection the whole time, we had a blast, and I could go on and on about how wonderful and fulfilling this trip was, but with all I have to say, it would take 5000 words, at least, and to be honest, I drank more alcohol in last 4 days than I have in the last 4 months, so I’m a tad exhausted what with getting up everyday before 6am. But I know so many of you were cheering me on here and on Facebook and Twitter, so I at least wanted to give you a glimpse into the most spectacularly fun 5 days of my life!
Have you ever been to a writer's conference like this?