Thursday, October 1, 2015

Raleigh Rally: Preparation for Bouchercon

In one week, I'll be deep into Bouchercon, the largest mystery and detective fiction convention in the United States. Three and a half days of panels, speakers, cocktail receptions, and (if time allows) sleep. I also get to be a New Author this year, which will be loads of fun. I'm only slightly worried about the hazing rituals.

B'con has had forty-five years of practice before this, while I've only had one, just down the road last year in Long Beach. This year the convention is all the way across the country in Raleigh, NC, so I'm looking forward to the barbeque and the Southern hospitality.

Even with only one previous year under my belt, I've learned a few important lessons. Here are some of the essentials on my packing list: 
  • The first three books off the tall stack of novels written by friends, which I'm months behind in getting around to reading. Thank heaven it's a cross-country flight.
  • Chocolate-Peanut-Butter Luna Bars, for those critical boosts of energy between panels
  • Toothpicks, because CPB Luna Bars are really chewy
  • Breath mints (self-explanatory)
  • Cash for coffee, in case the cocktail party the night before runs really late
  • Visine, because of course the cocktail party the night before will run late, it always does, why do I fool myself
  • Extra Bag to bring home books that I've bought
  • Backup Extra Bag to handle the overflow of additional books from the Extra Bag
  • Credit Card to pay for all those books. And in case I need to buy a Auxiliary Backup Extra Bag
  • Spot remover, because at some point I'm bound to get barbeque sauce on my shirt and possibly my shoes

Tragically, galleys of my second book HARD COLD WINTER will not be ready in time for Bouchercon. We *barely* missed the date, but I console myself that I'll be able to hand out a whole raft of copies the next weekend at the Northern California Independent Bookseller Association (NCIBA) in San Francisco.

If you're coming to the convention, I'm on the panel "Keeping it Moving: Maintaining Pace in the Narrative" at 10am on Saturday. Come by and say hello! I'll be the guy with the toothpick and the stained loafers.