My Bouchercon Report

I took this photo while on a cable car tour of San Francisco, showing one of many steep, steep streets in this most beautiful city and the setting for this year’s Bouchercon.

Bouchercon is the largest mystery con there is and I’ve been to several in various cities: my first was in Monterey, CA, and hubby and I went together to Madison and Milwaukee, WI, Austin TX, and a couple of other places I can’t really remember right off. One of the pluses is visiting places you might never choose as a destination.

If you ever wanted to meet a particular famous mystery author Bouchercon is the place to do it. This year some of the greats in attendance were: Lee Child, Laurie R. King, David Baldacci, and someone spotted Sara Paretsky, and so many more.

However, that’s not the reason I went to Bouchercon. I also didn’t go to sell books as I knew the competition would be horrendous. There’s nothing worse than attending a signing with long lines heading to Michael Connelly (yes, he was there) and sitting alone and forlorn with no one waiting for you to sign a book. In order to have books in one of the bookstore displays, I would have had to bring mine. This year, I decided that I wasn’t going to worry about selling books, though I did hand out my card with my latest book cover on it to new people I met, my main purpose would be to have fun.

Having fun I did, from the 3 hour cable car tour all over San Francisco on cable cars that had been transformed into busses, to attending the Private Eye Associations award dinner where Marcia Muller was given an award. (Marcia Muller was the first author I ever met in person years and years ago.) She was in attendance with her husband, Bill Pronzini.

With my roommate, Gay Kinman, I walked all the way to the hotel from Chinatown at 10 p.m. at night. Fortunately, the road was downhill all the way. Also with my roommate, I toured the wharf area and all the shops and ate delectable meals in some upscale restaurants.

The Sisters in Crime, No-Cal MWA branches Hospitality Room was a great place to meet people–as was the bar. I was invited to eat breakfast with people I didn’t know-and soon became friends.

I participated in a Continuing Conversation titled Procedural Pros with DP Lyle, Robin Spano, Michael Black, Dennis Palumbo, Laura Caldwell and Michael Norman. Though I’ve never considered myself a pro, I think I held up my end pretty well.

Yes, I had a good time. One really big plus was meeting a fellow Stiletto Gang member, Rachel Brady. We had a short chat when the cable car made a brief stop.

Going to a Bouchercon is an experience. It is not necessarily a great place for a small press author to promote books, but it is a place to meet a lot of people, talk about mystery writing, and have a really fun time.


7 replies
  1. Rachel Brady
    Rachel Brady says:

    Delightful meeting you, Marilyn! I agree about having realistic expectations at a big conference like that. If the main expectation is to have fun, it's impossible to be disappointed at Bouchercon.

  2. Susan McBride
    Susan McBride says:

    I'm glad you had fun, Marilyn! And how nice that you and Rachel got to meet! I'm hoping that next year when B-con is in St. Louis, we can do a Stiletto Gang lunch or dinner or something. I won't be registered, but maybe I can sneak in (or meet you all at a nearby restaurant).

  3. Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
    Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith says:

    I loved having the opportunity to meet you, Rachel.

    I doubt I'll head to St. Louis, already realized I have a conflicting promo opportunity that same weekend. Would love to see you again, Susan.


  4. Rochelle Staab
    Rochelle Staab says:

    I loved your blog today, Rachel. I was at Bouchercon also but didn't take the opportunity to go out and explore SF. Glad you did – sounds like you had a wonderful time.

    This was my first B'con and I was enthralled by all the writers, booksellers, panels, and general good will.

    The conference was so much fun that I'm already committed to go to St. Louis next year.

  5. Robin Spano
    Robin Spano says:

    It was a pleasure being on a panel with you. You held your own great with those cops!

    LOL re: book signings! I sat signing (one book) while Lee Child had a line-up past my table. But actually that was fun – I got to hang out with another cool writer who also had one request for his signature!

  6. Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith
    Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith says:

    Thanks, Robin. Mike Black is a friend, if I'd gotten in trouble he'd have stood up for me. (Honestly, I felt a bit like a fraud.)


  7. Sunny Frazier
    Sunny Frazier says:

    I was amazed at all the free books they were giving away! The free booze, the free eats, reunions with friends, introductions to new authors–it was all great. The panels were titled from Streets of San Francisco episodes. No time to really hang out and I only saw SF from the balcony of the Hyatt, but hey! It was still a wonderful Bcon experience.

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