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From a Fan

So 11 years ago today I made the decision to go to this convention for mystery fans called Bouchercon. I wanted to see what all the fuss was about and get a chance to see some of folks I’d been talking to on the AOL boards in person…
This isn’t however a note about personal history, rather an observation of the genre, a selfish reader look back at the past decade. The perils of publishing will continue to be subject to daily scrutiny, but then, they always have been.
So, that first Bouchercon…Max A. Collins and Reginald Hill were Guests of Honor. Steve Hamilton and Kent Krueger were new names. I’d read Laura Lippman and Harlan Coben, fallen in love with SJ Rozan’s work after just two books. Dennis Lehane and George Pelecanos were already a bit god like to me in terms of their ability as writers. C. J. Songer’s book sold out at the convention on day one. Peter Robinson was there and the amazing Jon Jackson. I wanted to meet Linda Barnes & Janet Dawson. G.M. Ford was coming and the reason I finally stopped waffling and decided to go; Val McDermid and Ian Rankin.
Readers, take a look at this list… this storied and fabulous list. With one exception, all of these authors have grown, in the scope of their talent and the scope of their fame.
The changing face of publishing changes a lot more for New York than it does for our TBR piles.
This year the Guests of Honor are Laurie King and Denise Mina. Lee Child will be there and Michael Connelly. John Connolly is in attendance and so is Mark Billingham. Robert Crais is in the house. I cannot wait to see Gregg Hurwitz, Greg Rucka. Reed Farrel Coleman’s books are a must in our house. Michael Koryta has become a favorite. Cara Black takes me to Paris once a year and Tasha Alexander takes me back in time. Bestseller Karin Slaughter was an unpublished attendee in 99, look at her now. Alafair Burke and Lisa Unger are go to chicks. I’ll never miss a word written by Megan Abbott or Christa Faust. And what of Martyn Waites and Russell McClean. There’s Allan Guthrie and Dwayne Swiercynski. Did I mention I salivate every time Crimespree receives an book from Charlie Huston I do a happy dance?. Did I mention that I also have a penchant for Charles Todd and F. Paul Wilson? I’ve just read a slew of debut and sophomore books that knock my socks off.
Good golly, I’ve forgotten a lot more names than I’ve remembered but my point is fairly simple, the assortment of new Crime Fiction available to me on any given week is amazing. It comes from talent long recognized and bright new lights. The state of publishing will be talked about next week in San Francisco with much seriousness by those in the industry. We, the readers, your fans??? Were just trying to figure out how to juggle our TBR piles or get to everything on our Kindles… We are grateful that is a problem and we thank you all for your words plots and red herrings. I cannot wait to meet my heroes in San Francisco and talk about the books.