Monday, October 19, 2009

The Road to Bouchercon (and back again)

The 40th Annual World Mystery Convention, Bouchercon, held in Indianspolis in the middle of October was my first. The Bouchercon (named after mystery writer Anthony Boucher) allows mystery writers and mystery readers to come together for five days.
The six hour drive with my wife and her sister from Windsor to Indianapolis was pleasant and peacefully uneventful. The trees in Michigan and Indiana were glowing with intense reds and orange.
The three of us stayed at the very comfortable Westin near the Hyatt, and we found the people of Indianapolis very friendly and helpful.
This year’s Bouchercon boasted of literally hundreds of mystery writers and almost as many fans. It reminded me of Wordsworth’s great verse:
Writers, writers everywhere,
And all of them did speak.
Writers, writers everywhere,
And I could use a drink.
All joking aside, attending Bouchercon was an incredible experience, with such authors as, Louise Penny, William Kent Kruger, Sean Chercover, and this year’s guest of honour Michael Connelly. To have that much talent and experience in one place was both inspiring and daunting.
There were enough panels to satisfy every subgenre; supernatural mysteries, detective stories past and present, southern writers, Irish writers, Canadian writers, series and stand-alone mysteries, and a veritable plethora of others.
One of the things I found interesting (and comforting) was to hear the tragically humourous tales of authors and their ofttimes dismal turnouts at their booksignings I know I have had many of those.
Saturday night saw the Anthony Awards, and Sunday morning fans stood in a long line for a chance to get free signed copies of books from their favourite writers.
Next year it’s Bouchercon by the Bay, in San Francisco, California. (Now that would be a long drive!)