What a strange and exhilarating experience Bouchercon is. This year was different for me in many ways, most of them good. After three years of attending mostly as a fan/ party crasher, this was the first year I felt I was there for professional reasons. I was on a panel, I signed some books, got some exciting news regarding a short story of mine, and people knew who I was from my short stories. I could stroll through the book room and see anthologies in which my own fiction was sandwiched between stellar names. There were also several opportunities to meet readers and contributors to DEMOLITION. And let’s not forget the insane amount of opportunities I was given for making and maintaining the contacts I will need when I finish the novel I’m working on.
Then there were the personal changes. Spenser traveled well, though it took him a few days to adjust his sleeping schedule to his new surroundings. He was very popular with everyone who met him and I think I might need to take him everywhere I go from now on. Becky was a trooper, but I think she had a case of the Bouchercon Spouse syndrome. Even with her mom there with us, she couldn’t bring herself to leave Spenser for very long so she spent a lot of time in the hotel room which can get kind of boring. And even though I was able to spend more time with her than if she hadn’t come, I’m sure she still felt kind of left behind. Hopefully I can convince her to come to Indianapolis next year when Spenser is a little older and can get out of the room a bit more.
But the true beauty of Bouchercon is the personal connection with old and new friends. It was good to catch up with Dave “I have a girlfriend but I’m still not confident enough in my masculinity to drink a Shirley Temple” White and Sarah “Are you sure it’s really me” Weinman along with Duane “Louis” Swierczinski and Russell “Maclean MacLean” McLean. As much as I hate to admit it, I also missed John Rickards who was not able to make it over for some reason related to animal love I imagine. But in his place was Stuart Macbride who seemed to be traveling with a smaller version of his beard than I expected. I was also able to meet Jason Pinter in person and even score on him in basketball despite him whining something about nerve damage. But the true find of this trip was Bill Cameron. I’m still not exactly sure what it was about that guy, but he was a true charm to meet and I assume he’ll be a real ass next time I see him as compensation.
I can’t wait until next month for Murder and Mayhem in Muskego to help ease the transition back into post-Bouchercon life.