I’m heading to San Francisco later this week for Bouchercon by the Bay, the World Mystery Convention, where, every year, readers, writers, publishers, editors, agents, booksellers, and other lovers of crime fiction gather for a long weekend of both education and entertainment.
I love writer conventions. The cast of characters who attend these events are enough to keep a writer scribbling in her notebook for hours without pause, and the cast includes writers as well as aficionados of the genre. All are welcome, and the majority of people are outgoing, well informed, well read, and just so happy to be there.
Days are filled with selections of panels, featuring top writers such as Lee Child and Laurie R. King, to new authors, such as Rachel Brady and CJ West. The panels are typically entertaining, generally informative, and rarely a waste of time. The one-on-one with authors are always delightful.
I go this year not as an author, but wearing my EDITOR cap, and laying down lots of business cards. There are hoards of want-to-be writers roaming the halls, and I can help them prepare their manuscripts before they make their assaults on agents and publishers.
A huge plus to this year’s convention is the presence of Meg Gardiner, friend and award-winning thriller writer. I would gladly skip all the panels and activities for time with her, especially if it includes a cocktail with Laurie R. King!
The piece de resistance, however, is that on Sunday my daughter runs the half-marathon in San Francisco, on Saturday we get to see our son at Santa Clara University, and my husband is joining us for all the activities. A mini-vacation with a focus on writing. It just doesn’t get any better than that!