Friends and Fans,
No one wants to read an opus from anyone, but after four days in New Orleans at Bouchercon 2016, the annual mystery and thriller convention for authors, booksellers, and fans, I wanted to provide a glimpse into what it was like. So here it goes. It’s not as exciting as one of my novels, but I’ll try to keep it light and pithy…and short. 🙂
First, as a debut novelist whose Overwatch came out in March, this was my first Bouchercon, and suffice it to say, it met every expectation I had. From the friendly and welcoming staff to the amazing and talented authors, everyone was welcoming, and I appreciated it greatly. The staff at the hotel and the city itself seemed just as happy to have the invasion of literary illuminati, although I have to admit there was one issue – the food. It was so damn good that I probably gained 5-8 lbs in the brief time I was there. From the Bananas Foster at Brennans to the gumbo at Emeril’s or Palace Cafe to the world-famous beignets at Cafe Du Mondé, it was all phenomenal and artery-clogging.
As for the convention, the days were full of intriguing panels comprised of brilliant authors, and I was fortunate to be on the “influence of the Western in the modern thriller” one with Ben Coes, A.J. Tata, Marc Cameron, and Randy Denmon, moderated by the Jeopardy Champion – and quite good author 🙂 – Boyd Morrison. There multiple ceremonies, signings, awards, and even New Orleans-style parades. I was also fortunate to spend time with the crazy Canadians, Simon Gervais and Kimberley Howe, James Hannibal, James Hankins, and David McCaleb, all authors in their own rights. I was also happy to finally meet my fellow authors at Atria Books – Irish John Connolly (who knew by the name?), Mindy Mejia, Kate Moretti, Christine Carbo, and Dick Belsky, all fantastic writers. Bottom line – if you’re an aspiring writer, first-time novelist, or established heavyweight in the thriller or mystery genre, Bouchercon is for you. Next year, it’s in Toronto, and unless I’m banned by the Canadian government – it’s possible – I plan to attend. 🙂
Finally, I have to give a special “thank you” to Team West at Emily Bestler Books at Atria of Simon & Schuster – to David Brown, my publicist who has the daily challenge of managing me; Hillary Tisman, marketing and story-teller extraordinaire; and the world-renowned Emily Bestler, herself – all who came down to the convention – a HUGE THANK YOU. You are all legendary throughout the community, and your support is everything to me, especially at this juncture in my career. I only hope I can do you proud as we move upward and onward.
p.s. Now I need to go workout or go on a juice cleanse to recover. 🙂