This post will appear two days after I and my wife return from this year’s Bouchercon, “The World Mystery Convention.” I’m writing it as I prepare to make the trip. September 6th through 9th fellow writers in the crime-mystery-thriller genre from around the world will have converged on St. Petersburg, Florida, to trumpet their most recent works, bask in the limelight, hustle for new deals and contacts, and generally squeeze the flesh and shamelessly self-promote.
If only I weren’t dreading it so.
Don’t get me wrong—I’m very much looking forward to connecting with friends I typically only see once or twice a year, precisely at these sorts of gatherings. In many ways the genre has provided me with my tribe, and it’s populated with smart, witty, unpretentious and hard-working writers of every stripe.
In particular, I’m very much looking forward to sharing a panel with Jess Lourey, who appeared here with Shannon Baker at Writer Unboxed on August 26th (“Write What You Fear: Why, How, and a Lifesaving Bonus Tip”). I just wish we didn’t have to do it at 8:00 AM on a Saturday morning.
Not only will 90% of the attendees be sleeping in or demonstrably hungover from all the parties the night before—Friday night is infamous for such festivities—it will be 5:00 AM for me, since I’ll still be on west-coast time, meaning I’ll have to rise and shine at 4:00 AM BT (Body Time) to ensure I actually stumble in on time. As for being articulate—who knows?
I’m also looking forward to taking part in a Thursday morning panel on historical research, given how relevant that is to my own recent novel, The Long-Lost Love Letters of Doc Holliday. The downside: a great many conference attendees will not yet have arrived, so this panel too is likely to offer only limited exposure.
Given such vicissitudes (I hear you ask), especially considering the expense of travel and accommodations, why bother making the effort at all?
Ah, Grasshopper, allow me to explain.