Monday, September 12, 2011

So we're still doing this convention thing?

By Steve Weddle

So this week is Bouchercon in St. Louis. Everyone you know will be there. You might want to hop over to the site and make your own B'con reading list. Our own Joelle Charbonneau will be there, so be sure to say 'howdy.' If haven't registered and you're nearby, it's not too late to check it out. They have day passes available. And if you are going, I look forward to your twitpics.

Last year, Noircon fell right around B'con, so I got to hear my fair share of stories. Noircon was a blast, of course. I wrote a thing about it here. Since Noricon is every other year, my calendar say they'll be back in Philly next year.

And Murder & Mayhem in Muskego is coming up in November.

Sleuthfest is in Florida in March.

Thrillerfest is in July.

And that's just a handful of offerings in the states.

The UK has a few, as done Canada.

Wasn't Twitter supposed to kill crime fiction conventions? You make friends online, you don't need to meet them 'in person' to know them. Isn't that the, ahem, conventional wisdom?

So much for that, huh?

Do you dig conventions and conferences? If you've been, what's the best part? If you haven't, what would make you go?

And, hey, how about I grab another name from the comments and send them a copy of D*CKED? That cool?


David Barber said...

I'd love to go to one of the American conferences. From photos I've seen they do look great. Work, family and (obviously) distance are my hurdles. One year I will get there.

D*CKED would be cool! Who won the last one?


Sean Patrick Reardon said...

I like going to conventions / conferences, but have only been to ones that are work related. Bouchercon and Thrillerfest are def must go to's for me, hopefully next years.

John McFetridge said...

I've been to a couple of Bouchercons (Madison and Baltimore) and meeting people is the best part. It's also good to see a city that I'd probably otherwise never get to.

I'm not going to be able to make it to St. Louis this year but I'll be in Cleveland next year.

Dana King said...

I've been to Bouchercon in Baltimore and Indianapolis. Meeting and talking to people I know only online is great, as is being pleasantly surprised by authors I never heard of in panels. How an author comes across in a panel is a good indicator of whether I'll like their books. Tom Schreck, Richard Thompson, and Victor Gischler were "discoveries" for me in Indy.

A last-minuter basement issue will keep me from St. Louis, but I plan to be in Cleveland next year.

pattinase (abbott) said...

I am very bad at conferences. I think it's because I fall between fan and writer. Or maybe because I am shy. I would be most comfortable just going to panels and not trying to network. I also think it would have been easier when I was forty instead of sixty.

Steve Weddle said...

David, "Dylan" -- Lamar -- won the last giveaway I had two weeks ago. I put a note in the comments of that post. I'll do the same here.

Patti, was good to meet you in person at Noircon.

SPR, McFet, Dana -- Sounds as if Cleveland will be crowded as Hell.

Al Tucher said...

There's bliss in knowing that for one weekend I can choose a stranger at random and start a discussion of our mutual passion. That's why I go and why conferences have survived online social media.

I have been saving Bouchercon and Noircon until I have a book out, but I'm starting to reevaluate that choice. Currently my favorite conference is the New England Crimebake.

Chris Rhatigan said...

I went to Bouchercon when it was in Indianapolis. It was a lot of fun but I really don't think I can justify spending the money. Between registration, hotel, gas, etc., I spent around $600. Like Patti said, I kind of fall between fan and writer.

Elizabeth said...

I'd certainly love to make it to a convention one of these days, especially Bouchercon, but the stars will have to align on having the available time and money. It'd be easier to justify if I was an author and it was truly business related, but since I'd just be going as a reader/fan it's not as easy to do. Alas...

Andrew Leonard said...

I'll be at this years Bouchercon. I can't wait. So many folks I'm looking forward to meeting.

Gerald So said...

B'con 2008 in Baltimore was my first convention, and I was lucky enough to be picked for a panel on crime poetry moderated by Reed Farrel Coleman, Sophie Hannah, and John Harvey--a great spontaneous panel.

My favorite part of the con was meeting and having a chance to talk with people--McFet, Dana, and Patti among them--also quite spontaneously.

Three friends and I had just published the first issue of THE LINEUP: POEMS ON CRIME, and I was pushing that (giving away copies). I think I balanced being a writer and a fan well, but I look forward to just going as a fan this year.

If, after getting to know me, people want to buy my books, it's a bonus.

Proximity to New York increases the likelihood I'll attend a con, also if I know the organizers and like what they've done. Ruth Jordan and Judy Bobalik did a great job in '08 and I was looking forward to meeting David Thompson, one of THE LINEUP's biggest supporters.

Sabrina E. Ogden said...

This will be my first Bouchercon... or any convention for that matter. I'm looking forward to meeting all of the friends I've made online and being a reader/fan/stalker girl for a few days. I'm actually quite shy in person so I'm a little worried about how this will play out. I have a tendency to become intimidated and then I get nervous and say things that don't make sense.

Yeah, I'm expecting to see a lot of that from me this week. *sigh*

Christine said...

I'm strictly a civilian, aka a reader/fan. Last year I had the best time discovering book events and conferences! I went to Los Angeles Times Festival of Books, volunteered at Killer Nashville and Bouchercon. It's great fun to meet and support favorite authors, new authors or those that are just new to me. It's also a kick to see the authors have their own fangirl/fanboy moments, especially at Bouchercon.

The fact that Bcon's in a different city each year has its own appeal because I love traveling and checking out new places. Or rediscovering old favorites like San Francisco and Los Angeles last year. (We lived at two different Air Force bases in California when I was growing up.)

Unknown said...

This'll be my first bcon. I'm psyched, but it is a bit on the expensive side, so chances are this will be the only one I'll be attending for a while

Mike Dennis said...

My first Bouchercon was Indianapolis, 2009. I was newly-signed to a publisher and I didn't know anyone. Moreover, nobody wanted to know me. I felt like a Red Sox fan in Yankee Stadium. The authors tended to disappear after the panels, never to be seen again.

Last year in San Francisco, however, was a different deal. My book still wasn't out (no surprise there, right?), but the cliquishness of Indianapolis had receded. Everyone was far more friendly and accessible, and I made a new friend or two.

Well, since then, my book came out, the publisher did nothing to promote it (still no surprise, right?), and so I turned to self-publishing. I now have four books out, with a fifth due for release in November.

I'll be in St Louis for sure, hoping to meet as many of you as I can. See you there!