Bouchercon 2012

I wasn't able to go to Bouchercon in 2011, and I swear all I heard for months afterward was how awesome Bouchercon was. So there was NO WAY I was missing the event this year. After all, it's geared towards mystery, suspense, and thriller writers. Just like with ThrillerFest, THESE ARE MY PEOPLE!

I will say this: Bouchercon, for me, was all about the social aspect. I very nearly didn't go (because of a strained SI joint which resulted in the worst back pain I've ever had), but I wanted to hang out with my writer friends. And squeal over the authors I've long admired. And okay, maybe drink a little (but just a little). Don't get me wrong, the panels were great, but really, it was about the friendships.

Here's a roundup of my time in Cleveland, Ohio, in pictures!

At the bar the first night with good friend and debut author Nancy Thompson. Her book, THE MISTAKEN, comes out on October 18th! Can you tell my back was killing me?

With Nancy at our first panel of the conference.

Finally got to meet my writing friend, Alice Loweecey! Alice and I were in a writing group years ago, long before either of us got published. She now writes a mystery series about an ex-nun turned private investigator (and her books are awesome).

With author and friend Sandra Brannan, author of the LIV BERGEN MYSTERY series. I was lucky to see Sandra twice this year, first at ThrillerFest and again at Bouchercon.

With Nancy and Sandra, after Sandra's panel "Have Gun Will Travel" (which was about novels set in the wild west – so much fun!)

With new buddy Jeff Miller. We have the same agent, and his book, THE BUBBLEGUM THIEF, will be out this December.

Together at last! Best friends Nancy and Lisa Regan (whose book, FINDING CLAIRE FLETCHER, comes out this December) finally met for the very first time! I snapped this pic right when Lisa got off the train.

Bouchercon provided us with trolleys to get to and from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Arriving at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for the Bouchercon opening ceremonies and party.

The Three Musketeers waiting for the doors to open.
 
Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – over 1,000 people attended the opening party!

At my favorite panel, "Mysteries & Movies", where Charlaine Harris, Robin Cook, Chelsea Cain, and Joseph Finder discussed their experiences with Hollywood.

With my buddy Dan Friedman, author of DON'T EVER GET OLD. Dan and I met a couple of years ago. We also have the same agent.

Finally got to meet fellow Canadian author, Robin Spano! She writes the CLARE VENGEL UNDERCOVER novels.

Lousy picture of me, but who cares! I'm with John Connolly and Karin Slaughter. You have my permission to be jealous.

Always so great to see amazing author and friend Hilary Davidson, whose latest book, EVIL IN ALL ITS DISGUISES, comes out this March.

Dinner with good friends and new friends at Flannery's Pub

Hanging with author Mark Pryor. His debut novel, THE BOOKSELLER, is out now! I highly recommend it.

With Will Lavender, author of the puzzle thrillers OBEDIENCE and DOMINANCE. I'm a huge fan of his books!

With my awesome friend Lisa Brackmann. I can't wait to read the sequel to ROCK PAPER TIGER!


At my panel, "Serial Killers", with Rick Murcer, Jennifer McMahon, Chelsea Cain, and Patrick Kendrick. Do you see me sitting alongside these amazing writers, trying to act like I'm not freaking out?

With Chelsea Cain. CHELSEA CAIN! I had stars in my eyes! Of course when we met, I couldn't help but blurt, "I'm your biggest fan!" in a very Kathy Bates/Misery kind of way. Luckily she was cool with it.

All in all, Bouchercon was such a great experience, and I would definitely go again next year. And if you write in the mystery/thriller/suspense genre, you should come, too! But for now, I have no more trips planned, and it's finally time to get back to the business of writing books. Which I'm itching to do.

And! I may have some good news to share in the next few days, so stay tuned . . .

* * *