Kudos to everyone who was able to blog about Bouchercon while they were there. I had good intentions, but I was just too tired at the end of each day to feel coherent. I also failed to take very many pictures. But I decided early in the conference that it was more important to experience every moment and to meet every person that I could rather than to record the event in detail. I decided to live in the moment. For example, it made more sense to me on my last night there to go out to a late dinner with other writers (including Simon Wood) than to sit in my hotel room, blogging about the day. It was the right choice. (Above picture is me with Shane Gericke and Robin Burcell.)

My objectives for the conference were to meet as many people as I could and to give away as many books and promotional materials as I could. I also hoped to get know Karen Syed of Echelon Press. I accomplished all those things. And more. Here are some memorable moments.

I met Troy Cook, author of 47 Rules of Highly Effective Bank Robbers. He is a sweet, modest man who is rapidly on his way to the top. Hearing his story—having several agents fail to sell his book, then getting picked up by a small press on his own, followed by great reviews, awards, great sales, and a movie deal—was very inspiring.

I also shared a long shuttle ride to the airport with Julia Spenser-Fleming, (an award-winning mystery author) and we talked seamlessly for more than an hour. She’s bright and friendly, and I enjoyed her company. She probably won’t remember my name, but you never know. I feel like I made a connection with her.

The panel I was on Saturday morning with Bob Morris, Jack Getze, Rebecca Drake, and Marion Moore was a blast. Bob and Jack told wild stories about their days in the newspaper business (including large amounts of alcohol and occasional gunshots), and I got in some good jokes about working for a pharmaceutical magazine. Being anal, I also prepared a handout for the attendees, listing about 20 authors who write about reporter characters. So that roomful of people will remember me. It’s important to promote other authors when you can and to resist the urge to talk incessantly about your own book. In fact, when I met an online friend and mystery lover, he commented that was what he really liked about me—that I’m everywhere online, making friends and being nice, but never going for the hard sell.

Another observation: People who are friendly online are friendly in person! And mystery fans are great—warm, friendly, and happy to meet anyone who writes the stories they like to read. In fact, Kaye Barley may be the sweetest person I’ve ever met. (Picture below: Michelle Gagnon and Ken Bruen)

I may keep adding to this blog as I sort through my notes and business cards, so check back.

  1. I’m really glad I got to meet you live and in person!

  2. Of note: Tasha Alexander is even NICER in person!

  3. Almost makes me want to write a mystery so I can go to Bouchercon next year. Indianapolis? Hmmm, let me think about it some more.

    Tell us more!


  4. Man what a great experience (string of them) Good for you, LJ. I have never had much chance to test the “friendly e-people are also friendly real people” thing but I always suspected it to be true. I even know a couple successful marriages that started out as e-chat pals.


  5. Great seeing you there, LJ! My voice is still completely gone thanks to five straight days of talking…

  6. My only regret is that you didn’t pass out samples from your pharmaceutical days…

    You give good panel, baby.

  7. Hey, LJ. It was a treat hearing your voice. TFA wouldn’t let me out to meet you, but I could tell from the conversation you’re a very nice person. Aren’t mystery people nice?

  8. That’s such a great picture of you!

    Ahh, you make me miss Bouchercon. It’s such a fun experience.

    And I’m so glad you had a great panel and got to meet so many other writers.

  9. Whoa, Ken Bruen!! And Troy Cook!

    Cook I slyly used here.

    And Bruen is someone I’m *always* recommending.

    Victor Gischler was also there.

  10. Hey L.J., hope you’re recovering from Bouchercon (BTW I just found out that “Boucher” rhymes with “Voucher…” glad I didn’t have a chance to verbally embarrass myself!)

    Wanted to thank you for your literary agents pros/cons article from a while back, I used it today in a post about agents on my blog:


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