OVERHEARD AT BOUCHERCON! Part I

I’m so proud of my hometown of Raleigh, North Carolina for hosting Bouchercon 2015.  I love our beautiful little city which has become an eclectic and lively center for night life, arts, foodie type restaurants, all with a bright array of craft beers, for which NC is becoming quite well known.

See that little red brick building tucked in the middle?  That is the Sheraton, one of the hotels hosting Bouchercon.

See that little red brick building tucked in the middle? That is the Sheraton, one of the hotels hosting Bouchercon.

Like those little monkeys of “hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil,” fame, I’m going to share the experience of Bouchercon in a similar manner.  Part I is going to be what I “(over)heard,” Part II, what was said, and Part III, what was seen.

This was my very first writing event.  I honestly don’t think I could have picked a better inaugural one to attend.  Maybe I should be ashamed to admit I’ve never been to a workshop, conference, or book signing/reading.  This seems very strange now, in hindsight, considering all the years I’ve spent writing.

What is Bouchercon? I’ll just link to it here so you can read for yourself.  The funny thing about this is, I signed up for this convention over a year ago because at the time I was writing a hard crime novel.  I thought, wow, how fortunate this well known event is coming HERE, only 45 minutes from my doorstep.  A lot can change in a year.  I almost didn’t get to go.  I’m SO GLAD it all worked out so I could!  It was a once in a lifetime chance to meet some great people face to face that I’ve come to know online, as well as actually seeing some well known authors (and agents!) up close.

I’m still swooning.  Anyway, on to what I OVERHEARD:

  • Fellow writer, Colin Smith said, something like 1,400 people flew in.  (That doesn’t cover folks like him/me, who live close enough to drive to it.  Which I did both Thursday and Friday.)
  • A writer engaged another writer, So, what’s your book about…?  Response, Uh…uh…uh…
  • My feet are killing me.  Should I add that as a plot line in my next book?
  • OMG, I think I just saw Hank Phillippi Ryan!
  • “Can you please talk about writing instead of Edward Snowden?”  (This said at a panel which was actually focused on writing Political Espionage Thrillers; Pre/post Edward Snowden.  In my opinion, this writer earns the “author asshat” award.  Credit for phrase goes to Janet Reid)
  • Who’s that?  Who’s that?  Is that?  (this voice was so animated I had to turn and look – I think it was a Tom Franklin sighting, but it was SO crowded, I’m not sure because I never saw him)
  • God, I need a drink.  But then, I’d want to write.  Do you drink and write?  (I almost interjected myself into this conversation with a resounding YES.)
  • Aren’t there more bathrooms than this?
  • Will you sign my book?  I love your work, I love…
  • I can’t carry all this.  This thing must weigh fifty lbs.  (book bag)
  • Squeals of joy
  • Lots of laughter
  • A persistent hum of ***voices, all talking about books, writing, authors, agents, publishers, booksellers.

***I’m highlighting this last one because if writers are supposed to be a reclusive bunch who find it hard to engage in conversation, and being in public, I certainly “heard” no evidence of this – AT ALL.  It got pretty loud – especially once we moved to the bar.

The convention is still going on today and tomorrow, but I won’t be able to finish it out, and that makes me sad.  Despite that, I’m grateful for the time I did get to spend there, and for the generosity of others who shared that time with me.  I came away with good vibes, a collective overall warm fuzzy feeling I think my writing soul needed, like filling up the gas tank, knowing I can now add more mileage to the journey this has become.


COMMENTS

  • ajcapper

    October 10, 2015

    Reply

    I’m so jealous, Donna, I can hardly breathe. But I’m also excited to hear about every little thing I’m missing, so love that you’re doing this. I shall do the precarious enjoyment thing through you and Colin. You’ve brought the air of excitement to my little writing room and I’m very appreciative. Cheers.

    • donnaeve

      October 10, 2015

      Reply

      Well that makes two of us. I was either hardly able to breathe, or about to hyperventilate. It’s a wonder I didn’t pass out.

      I’m glad you’re enjoying it this way! And yes, I can’t wait to see what Colin will say because honestly? He made sure to get his books signed (!!!) I didn’t, and he spent much more time there than me. Still, I’m happy with what time I did get there. NO complaints!

  • Craig

    October 10, 2015

    Reply

    Oh, my. Writers are a reclusive bunch? The only thing that writers have in common is the cockeyed way they look at the world. Writers are as diverse as the genres and categories some folk think books go into. That myth comes from non- writers who are scared of writers because of the odd way they look at things like the red door on that little red building out there.

    Enjoy your first elbow rubbing with the other strange creatures of the writing worlds.

    • donnaeve

      October 11, 2015

      Reply

      Craig, if you’d seen the crowd there, you’d know how accurate your words are…

      A very diverse bunch of folks is spot on, and yes, it IS true how we tend to look at the world, finding the details of a simple thing and putting what we see into words and worlds.

      I did enjoy it – thoroughly – and now I have that “first” behind me (like a rite of passage) I realize anything I was nervous about was just plain silly.

  • Colin

    October 10, 2015

    Reply

    We missed you today, Donna! But I’m home, and as we speak, Janet is packing, writing her Week in Review, and dropping in on the Anthony Awards to see if her client won something. But we did lament you absence, though understand completely why you couldn’t be there today.

    I’ll save my comments for my blog, but I’ll reiterate something I said at our table last night: I didn’t get to meet Kathy Reichs, but I DID get to share a table with you, Janet, Barbara Poelle, Patrick Lee, Loretta Sue Ross, and others. Kathy WHO? 🙂

    • donnaeve

      October 11, 2015

      Reply

      You, Janet and the rest, have NO IDEA how I wanted to be there! I missed getting to hang out with ya’ll too! But, duty called, and at least I got to bask in the glow of meeting so many of the folks I’d set out to meet + more! For instance, I didn’t expect to see Loretta Sue, Patrick Lee, or Barbara Poelle. Pure chance encounters that left me speechless. Well, no it didn’t. Ha! 🙂

      I’m glad you’re home, safe and sound, and likely your writing tank is full – like mine! So glad to have met you – finally! Cant’ wait for your breakdown of B! I have Parts II and III ready and scheduled, and between our recaps, hopefully we can give a sense of what a great event this is!

  • Lilac Shoshani

    October 15, 2015

    Reply

    This is fantastic, Donna! I’m so excited for you and for Colin. I fantasized about going to the Bouchercon for quite a while. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us, dear friend. At least I get to experience vicarious swooning…:-*

    • donnaeve

      October 15, 2015

      Reply

      I’ve done plenty of that myself, and I was there! LOL! I was very excited to meet Colin, Janet, Loretta Sue Ross, and all the rest. It seemed like a once in a lifetime opportunity – but I say, let’s hope not!

      🙂

      • Lilac Shoshani

        October 15, 2015

        Reply

        Yes: let’s hope not!
        🙂


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