Wednesday, November 20, 2019

My First Bouchercon!

This was posted on Writers Who Kill earlier, but I want to put it here, too. It was a big event for me.

[***NOTE: I have a story in an anthology which is just out! I'll be gone part of the day today, but will check in here as soon as I'm home.]

I went to my first ever Bouchercon this month, and a couple of days of last month (10/30-11/3). It wasn’t a month long, but kind of seemed like it!

I flew there on Wednesday and checked into my hotel, the Hyatt Regency Reunion Tower. Although I lived in Dallas for nearly 20 years and have been to Reunion Tower at least once, I don’t remember the hotel and the entire city looked unfamiliar. They’ve built—and are building—so many new skyscrapers since I left well over 15 years ago.

I’ll admit the conference was bewildering to me. I never did find a good map and used this one from the huge tome I got when I checked in Wednesday. There was no map in the schedule I carried around. It felt like I walked a thousand miles!


I had breakfast Thursday morning with a good friend from Dallas, Sarah Weiss.

My panel, on self-publishing, was that morning at 9:30, but I don’t have any pictures of it.

I do have pix of two other panels I attended that day, both short story panels. I didn’t sell any books at the conference since I couldn’t get them into the bookstore until after my panel and my signing, due to miscommunication between the hotel and the conference, I was told. That was quite disappointing.

Becki Willis, Sandy Steen, Mary Sojak, Mad Hildebrandt, Angela Zeman, Bess Carnan, Rhonda Gilliland, Paul Benson

Barb Goffman, R.T. Lawton, Mysti Berry, James Lincoln Warren, Michael Bracken, John Floyd

There was a Guppy gathering later in the day (I neglected to get photos) and Denise Tiller and I ended up at the bar together.


Friday started with the Sisters in Crime breakfast. There were some pictures there—this one of Ramona’s Facebook Sprint group, but I didn’t make the Guppy picture, unfortunately.

Annette Dashofy, Me, Liz Milliron, Cheryl Hollon, Dru Ann Love, Millie Naylor Hast (her picture)

I attended the awarding of the Bill Crider Awards, since I was a judge for those. It was great to see Joseph S. Walker win the award, since he also had an excellent story in my own anthology in 2017.

Me and Joseph Walker above. The short story awards people below, Paula Benson, an important man whose name I forgot, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Gigi Pandian (speaking), and Kevin Tipple

Here’s a link to Paula Benson’s post on the Crider Awards.

Alan Orloff took the Derringer for Best Short Story. Here he is, on the right, with Brian Silverman, nominee for Best Novelette, and another writer whose name I can’t remember.

Derringer finalists

Derringer winners

Sandra Murphy and Nancy West joined me at the bar that night.

Cheryl Hollon and I went to the Denim Party, which included some BBQ, but very little line dancing and the bar closed very early. It included a surprise live auction, but no one knew what the items were so the bidding wasn’t brisk.

I took shots of the daytime view from my room and the two panels I attended, Deep in the Heart of Texas at 11:00, and Anthony nominees at 4:00.

Deep in the Heart of Texas: Scott Montgomery, Daniel J. Hale, Harry Hunsicker, Nancy G. West, William Dylan Powell, Teresa Trent

Anthony Best Short Stories nominees: (M) Angela Crider Neary, Barb Goffman, S. A. Cosby (winner), Art Taylor, Holly West

Anthony Winners are here.

I attended the Diamond Party Saturday night and it turned out to be a dinner, much to our surprise.

I was in a picture with members of the WWK blog, but haven’t gotten a copy of it. Don’t remember when that was taken.

I headed out and drove to Austin to spend the rest of that week at my son’s house. Got home on the 8th, exhausted!

There were some great highlights! One was signing my story in COOKED TO DEATH for Rhonda Gilliland, hanging around with all the other people mentioned above, and just being with so many writers. The Kensington signing was fun, too, even though I don’t have a book out with them yet. Can’t wait until that event at Malice. Needless to say, I had a wonderful time at Bouchercon, but was confused for most of it!

Here’s one final comment on the drama of the whole thing. On the way there, a guy had a heart attack on our plane! On the way back, my luggage didn’t get home with me. I got it the next day, but was panicking!

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