Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bye, Bye, Bouchercon

In my blog last week I said I was back.  That was partly true.  I also mentioned that I was off to Bouchercon next.  So was I gone again?  Yes... and no. 

Again, as I mentioned, it was sort of in my backyard--Long Beach, California.  I did in fact take the L.A. Metro there but only once, the first day I attended.  That worked out fine, but since I had to change trains and they both were locals, it took 1-1/2 hours to get to Long Beach and another 1-1/2 hours to return that evening.  That was fine on Thursday since L.A. traffic would have taken me as long as that or even longer.  But I stayed overnight in a nearby hotel on Friday since I had a couple of parties to attend on Friday night and my panel on Saturday morning was at 8:30 AM.  Commuting didn't sound very feasible.   

I also decided to drive on Sunday, when traffic tends to be light.  It did in fact take me about half of the 1-1/2 hour commute time each way to get to and from Long Beach.  The conference panels started at 8:30 AM again so I didn't have to leave quite as early as if I'd taken the Metro, and I returned home sooner to start writing again after my second hiatus in a couple of weeks.   

My recap?  Loved it!  Got to see lots of writing and fan friends I seldom see as well as some locals.  My panel Must Love Dogs and Cats was tremendous fun, and we had a good turnout despite the early hour.   Got to sign lots of my books afterward, too. 

I also met with editors from my two mystery publishing houses, Midnight Ink and Berkley Prime Crime, as well as the Midnight Ink publicist.  I got to sign and give away galleys of my first upcoming Barkery and Biscuits Mystery BITE THE BISCUIT, which will be a May 2015 release.  Parties?  Yes!   And I even got to see my dogs during a couple of the event's evenings, when I didn't stay in Long Beach.  Oh, yes, I saw my younger son, too, upon my return one night.  He'd stayed with the dogs the prior night when I wasn't there. 

The panels I attended were fun, but I unfortunately missed one program that I'd been really hoping to see: the cadaver dog demo.  Sigh.  A friend sent me some photos, though, and I'll buy the narrative CD. 

Did I enjoy it?  Absolutely!  Will I go to next year's Bouchercon?  Unfortunately, probably not.  It's in Raleigh, North Carolina, on the opposite coast from me.  And since I'm already signed up for at least three conferences next year I suspect I'll be pretty much conferenced out by then. 

But maybe another one sometime in the future.  I'd look forward to it! 

How about you--do you attend conferences about books?  Which ones?


Betty Hechtman said...

It sounds like you had a great time at Bouchercon!

Linda O. Johnston said...

I definitely did, Betty!