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.

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