Friday, October 22, 2010

Bouchercon by the Bay

**

I love Bouchercon! As conferences go, it's fun and low key and very different from, say, RWA National. Part of that difference comes from the mix of people. Bouchercon is a lot of writers and booksellers, editors and a few agents, a few unpublished writers, and many, many fans. RWA is all published or unpublished writers, agents and editors, with the result that there is more of an air of desperation and less a spirit of fun. Of course, the fact that RWA is virtually all women and many Bouchercon attendees are male also makes a difference. Ahem.

My experience at this Bouchercon was very much in contrast to Baltimore's Bouchercon, where I was staying in the hotel and didn't know anyone, which forced me to get out and network (something I don't do well). This time I was staying with my sister (author Penelope Williamson, who lives in Mill Valley) and driving in every day with Tracy Grant. Both of them have been in this writing business even longer than I have, so along with the experience of the conference I was also able to spend hours and hours dissecting both the conference and publishing in general.

I'll talk more about the individual events in a later post, as I thought I'd just give an overview here. Thursday began with some great panels, followed by the opening ceremony that evening, after which Harper Collins hosted a reception where some fifteen or twenty authors were on hand to sign and give away copies of their books. Danielle, my publicist, had set up my table right next to the bar, so I got a lot of traffic and ran out of books fairly quickly. (I snapped these pics with my phone before the function actually began; I have more photos that I'll post once I get them off my camera.) The huge poster Harper Collins provided was gorgeous, so hopefully even people who didn't get a copy will remember the cover.



Friday came more panels, and then the NAL cocktail party followed by the famous Lee Child "Reacher Party." My panel was on Saturday, followed by a booksigning (where people actually bought my books), and then the Harper Collins party followed by the Touchstone party, which I also attended since Catherine Coulter was riding in from Mill Valley with us that day. The weather was glorious until the end, when the fog came rolling in and this little New Orleans hothouse flower froze to death.



I brought home all kinds of gossip and lots of ideas and thoughts to sort through, and what feels like an incipient case of pneumonia. More later!

41 comments:

Barbara said...

Excited about the upcoming release of "Babylonian ..." (and Julie Taymor's "Tempest" ;-0) ... but seriously hope the pneumonia beats a retreat!!! Take care.

cs harris said...

Thanks, Barbara. As for the illness, I edited the post to add "feels like," since I don't think I'm quite THAT sick. Just too many late nights and early mornings and not enough healthy food. Somehow amongst all those cocktail parties I kept missing dinner.

Steve Malley said...

That sounds like a *really* great time! And yeah, from my graphic novel days I remember that old conference/convention feeling-- late nights and early mornings and bad food leave you feeling like you've just been beaten with a bag of rocks!

Pax Deux said...

San Fransisco is so tricky... Just when you think you the tourist gods have bestowed you with weather that the city deserves, you are smacked with weather the city actually gets.

The poster is indeed beautiful, and I am glad the book got the attention it deserves. I cannot wait to read it.

Jessica said...

I hope you enjoyed my hometown despite the weather. It's a place unlike any other.

Charles Gramlich said...

Hope you don't get sick. Sounds like a great time, though. LIked all the inside tidbits you gave us last week.

cs harris said...

Steve, I think I used to be able to take it better when I was younger. Or maybe not.

Pax Deux, the first day I arrived it was actually warmer in SF than in Dallas and New Orleans! I'm hoping my publicist will send me the poster, although I'm not sure I have any wall space left to put it...

Jessica, I love San Francisco. My sister has lived in the bay area for thirty years, so I've visited there many, many times. Unfortunately, she's moving to Idaho at the end of the year so this trip had a bittersweet, end-of-an-era feel to it.

Charles, I was fighting off something when I went, so I'm not surprised it's catching up with me.

orannia said...

Sounds like a great time....fingers crossed WRT the pneumonia!

Barbara Caridad Ferrer said...

That looks like a BLAST (also jealous of anyone who got an early copy of Babylonian Codex).

And the thing about RWA, I think, is it gets more fun the longer you attend and the more people you get to know. Once you have a group of contemporaries, you aren't quite as aware of (or perhaps hammered by is the better term) the sense of desperation.

Also, I attended SCBWI this summer instead of RWA and I can honestly say, that brought desperation to a whole new level. It was very uncomfortable for me.

And on another topic altogether, did you happen to catch the new adaptation of Sherlock on PBS last night?

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