I admit I arrived at Bouchercon with a faraway look in my eye. A day late, with family obligations past and nostalgia trips and unexpected meetings with old friends to come, this year's convention wasn't going to be the immersive experience that BCons past have been for me. But as I've long believed and witnessed again and again, Bouchercon is what you make of it, and this year, it gladdened my heart to see so many fans, authors and book people experience the convention for the first time, or catch up with friends old and new, or share their experiences, photos and thoughts on blogs, Twitter and Facebook, and just generally remind why this community is so freaking great. So all thanks to Rae Helmsworth especially, who had a vision, worked hard to make it happen, and pulled things off in spades.
And I have to say, it was pretty damn cool to interview Kate Atkinson. She read the opening chapter of STARTED EARLY, TOOK MY DOG - out since August in the UK but not available till late March in the US - and the audience clearly wanted more. Kate was funny, charming, and delightfully contradictory, and my job was basically to feed questions and let her entertain the crowd, which she did to great effect (based on the signing line afterwards.)
So onwards to St. Louis. But for those in the Tri-State Area, I'll be at NoirCon in Philadelphia, which takes place between November 4 and 7. There are a lot of folks who were in SF and are migrating to Philly and, being a smaller convention, I expect the pace won't be as frenetic and the five minute conversations will expand accordingly.