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Bouchercon approaches

As I type this Bouchercon World Mystery Convention is only 32 days away.

I know it’s coming fast because about the only time I see my wife Ruth is when she’s on the phone, on the computer or sleeping.

I’m busy too, but not as busy as she and Judy are.

So… a few thoughts.

A lot of people are obsessed with whether or not they have a panel. Part of me understands it, but in truth there is a lot more to Bouchercon than sharing a table with four or five other people for an hour. Opportunities for authors are at every turn. The place is crawling with fans and readers and if a panel is the only way to reach them, you may be doing something wrong. Walking the bookroom is a good way to bump into fans, at other panels, in the bar, the lobby, at one of the parties, hell, outside having a cigarette. Its actually hard not to meet fans.

If you are a fan coming for the first time a few pieces of advice.

Comfy shoes will make your feet happy all day.

Spend a few minutes every few hours in your room barefoot and enjoy the silence….

Eat a big breakfast or carry snacks. You may get caught up in the whirlwind and forget to eat. My first Bouchercon I went two days with ot food and didn’t even know it.

Don’t be afraid to talk to people. We’re all there because we love mysteries and crime fiction and thrillers.

You can’t go to every panel. It’s just not possible. A few things make choices easier. Pick panels with people you may not get a chance to see again soon. Pick panels with people that you are interested in but haven’t read. Or just pick panels named after favorite songs…

Most everything is open to the public, don’t be afraid to attend. There will be some movies showing, there will be a pub quiz, a opening night party.

Spend a little time and enjoy Baltimore. It’s a great city and there is a lot to see and do. The Barnes and Noble at the inner harbor is amazing and really cool inside, it’s an old power plant.

If you buy too many books to bring back there are two places within walking distance of the hotel that ship. a Fed Ex/kinkos and an office max. I sometimes ship clothes and bring the books on the plane.

And if you have fun, don’t forget to sign up for future Bouchercons at a discounted rate.

This is going to be a great weekend.