Bouchercon Review

The four-day marathon that is the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention has ended. Now the Hyatt Regency on the Embarcadero in San Francisco can return to normal, its halls emptied of the wonderful panoply of people that is Bouchercon. From top hats to cowboy boots, all subsets of author and reader seemed to be represented.

The Guest of Honor at the event was Laurie R. King, author of the Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes  and Kate Martinelli series.  Dana Stabenow’s interview with Laurie provided a fun insight into the mind of LRK, as is typically the case when the person conducting the interview knows and appreciates the person being interviewed. Despite her great success, LRK is down to earth and humble. A wonderful, and not surprising, fact.

The four days of Bouchercon were filled with panels of authors speaking about their work, the genesis of their ideas, their trials and tribulations, and answering questions from the audience. The latter is my least favorite part, since some people take the opportunity to claim their remaining minutes of fame by pontificating rather than asking a question. Ah well, the authors handled such people with patience and tact.

I was a bit surprised to find that Bouchercon is a readers’ convention, rather than a writers’ convention…so there were fewer editors, agents, and publishers than I had anticipated. Apparently, there were 400 authors in attendance and some 1,000+ readers. I left my calling card on tables, to discover that they disappeared as soon as I placed them. I hope that’s a good sign for future contacts.

Several lines resounded with me during a panel on Villains:

“Evil will always have a fan base.”

“Tonguing the darkness.” (Marcus Sakey)

“Evil is like a virus. Their actions spread to others.” (Henry Perez)

“The villain is hero of his own story.” (Ken Mercer)

Unfortunately, the panel on “Plotting” could have been titled “Plodding,” but other than that, the panels were entertaining and informative. And the setting couldn’t have been more perfect.

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