Saturday, October 10, 2015

Bouchercon and Other Cons

On the weekend this goes live, I’ll be at Bouchercon, one of the largest gatherings of mystery writers and readers in the country. I attend only a limited number of cons of any sort, partly due to a limited budget, but also for another reason I’ll get to. This year Bouchercon is in Raleigh, North Carolina, only an hour’s drive from my home. This is likely the only chance I’ll have to go to this iconic gathering of the mystery-loving community, so I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity.

Oddly, though, I’m not really looking forward to it. In fact, I’m kind of dreading it. 

I have a panel assignment, and it should be a really interesting one. I don’t mind doing panels; in fact, I rather enjoy it as long as I have some preparation time in advance. This time, I have plenty, and I already have lots of notes.

I have most of my promo material organized and ready. Made sure I have plenty of copies of my books. I even have most of my wardrobe organized. Compulsive much, me?

I like listening to other authors talking about what they do and how they do it. I enjoy learning all sorts of new things. Bouchercon offers a wealth of programming, enough to ensure there should always be interesting things to do. It’s great to renew friendships with other authors ad make new ones. Sometimes, I come away inspired in really deep ways or having met someone I know will be a firm friend or having learned something important to my career. That can make it all worthwhile.


Like most authors, though, I’m an introvert, a really strong introvert. I’m not particularly shy. In fact I can do a pretty fair imitation of an extrovert when I want to. But it takes a lot out of me. So much so, that I usually have to retire to my hotel room at least once during the day for some alone time. There tends to be a lot of natural clique-ishness that reminds me of high school. And I just find crowds of people exhausting.

It’s the recovery time that really kills it for me. I frequently get home inspired and fired up, but too tired and mentally exhausted to be able to write for several days afterward. I seriously hope this con will be one where I can say afterward that it was well worth the time and money.


  1. Hey Karen. So these con-things help you your name out? I've been leaning toward going to a few

  2. Karen, I'm half jealous that you're at Bouchercon and half glad that I'm safely at home in my little nest. I share your feelings about conferences, but don't think I've ever gone to one that I didn't enjoy. I, too, need some down time in my room at some point during the day. Maybe some day we'll meet face to face at a conference. In the meantime, enjoy this one. Hope you sell lots of books.

  3. Hi Karen--
    I've never been to Bouchercon but I've been to others. I hope you enjoy yourself, and do take needed breaks so that you aren't so exhausted when you get home :-) I'm sure you'll be fabulous on your panel.