26 September 2016

Bouchercon 47 Blood on the Bayou

Down in New Orleans

by Jan Grape

    If you have never attended a Bouchercon before,please listen to me and plan to attend one in the next few years. The one in New Orleans was number 47, Number 48 will be in Toronto, Canada, Number 49 will be in St Petersburg, FL and Number 50 will be in Dallas, TX. Just remember all of these events are run totally by Volunteers.

   If you want to register for Toronto, the cost is $175, cost will go up on Jan 1st. Dates are October 12-15. At Sheraton Center Toronto Hotel. PASSPORT  TO MURDER Guests of Honor: Canadian: Louise Penny, American: Megan Abbott, International: Christopher Brookmyre, BCon for Kids: Chris Grabenstein, Fan: Margaret Cannon, Ghost of Honor: John Buchanan, Toastmasters: Twist Phelan & Gary Phillips.

     If you want to register for Dallas, Bouchercon 2019, DENIM, DIAMONDS, DEATH. 50th year anniversary. From now through Dec. 2016, $135: From Jan 2017-Dec 2018: $150, Jan 1, 2019 (till What are you waiting for?)  $175 at the Hyatt Regency-Dallas.

   If you've never heard of Bouchercon until recently, it is a World Mystery convention in honor of Anthony Boucher, the distinguished mystery fiction critic, editor, and author whose real name was William Anthony Parker White. It brings together all parts of the mystery and crime fiction community attended by Authors, editors, agents, publishers, booksellers and fans. There are about 2000-2200 attendees. I know in the past 2500 have attended and yet in the early days there were 100-150 attendees.

   I hate to tell you who the Guests of Honor in New Orleans were because it's over and I'm sorry you missed it, however just want you to know you missed. That way you will see all the wonderful people you didn't get to see and perhaps entice you to sign up for one of the upcoming BCons. This year: American Guest of Honor: Harlan Coben, Lifetime Achievement: David Morrell, BCon 4 Kids Guest of Honor: R.L. Stine, International Rising Star Guest of Honor: Craig Robertson, Local Legend: Julie Smith, Toastmasters: Harley Jane Kozak & Alexandra Sokoloff, Fan Guests of Honor: Ron & Ruth Jordan.

    One of the major happenings is panels every day pretty much every day. Mostly authors are on these panels but there are special panels with editors and booksellers, etc. There is even a special event for first time authors and there were 25 new authors listed in my pocket program. After each panel and there are 5 or 6 people on each panel, there is a mass book signing for each panel member. And there are 5 or 6 tracks of panels going on at the same time. Which gets to be frustrating because almost every time the panel you really want to hear is running at the same time of that other panel you want to hear. Soon it comes down to you will sit in the bar area, hoping to meet an author you really wanted to meet. You don't have to drink alcohol to sit in the bar, you can drink tea or soda. Usually you can even order food, Most of the guests of honor will come into the bar once or twice a day to meet people. Of course you can always meet them at their signing time.

    The Anthony Awards are given out and other awards are also presented like the Mccavity, the Barry, the Derringer and probably others I have not mentioned. The Shamus award given by the Private Eye Writers of America at the PWA Banquet. There is a charge to attend this and it usually is at a different location from the host hotel.

    There is a hospitality suite where you can go and get a snack and a drink often at no cost. Often sponsored by publishers or a group like Sisters in Crime. There are also parties hosted by publishers in the evening that attendees are invited to attend. There are a few events that are by invitation only but those are listed.

    There are also free books....FREE BOOKS. Donated by publishers hoping to gain readers of their authors. The attendees of Bouchercon this year were each able to pick up 6 free books each. They gave out 6 raffle like tickets with your registration goodies which also this year included a free book bag, a T-shirt, your big program book and a pocket program booklet, your name that is placed in a nice little lanyard pocket holder.

   One important event is a silent auction that benefits things like adult literacy and children's programs. Each host Bouchercon will have their charity partner listed.

    The most fun thing to me is to stroll down the street and find little nooks or diners or hole in the wall cafes that serve the most amazing food, And naturally great sight seeing in whatever city you are spending time in. I used to always try to go a day or two early in order to see the city. New Orleans was great for that and there are also tours to special places in each city. I personally had a bit of trouble walking the first day in New Orleans due to my old bones but by the second day was better. Next time I will do some walking at home first to get my hiking legs up to speed.

    Okay, I hope this gets you in the mood to attend a Bouchercon in the next three years. I am already signed up for Dallas in 2019. Hope to see you there.

By the way on August 31 in a general note to everyone replying to Leigh's Calendar and SS list I wrote a note correcting Leigh that Susan and I were attending BCon in New Orleans not Toronto and suggesting that all SS members who were going to be in NOLA plan a little get together while there so we could meet fave to face. In that note I said we were staying at Courtyard by Marriott but at the last day...actually after I arrived in NOLA I was able to book us in at the BIG Marriot where the convention was being held.

It didn't matter because I NEVER heard from anyone. No one let me know anything. I just assumed you didn't want to get together or maybe you just didn't want to meet me.  But it seems like no one happened to read that note. In fact, John Floyd wrote me that he was really sorry not to have met Susan or I. I told him about my invitation and he said he never got a note. I suppose my mistake was in just adding it on the note about the SS calendar. But I didn't think that far ahead. At any rate I'm sorry we didn't get to have a little meet and greet while in NOLA. I doubt that I will go to BCon again until Dallas.

I did see and talk with Deborah Elliott-Upton. She found me and came over and said, "hello." I had only met her once years ago but since I always wear "GRAPE" earrings that's probably how she found me.  



  1. Love Bouchercon, Jan. And would have loved to hook up with you there. Unfortuantely, I had to cancel in the last minute. But I hope you had a great time. All the times I've been it's been teriffic.

  2. Good overview of the conference, Jan.

    I truly am sorry I missed connecting with you. Next time I'll look for the grape earrings.

  3. Jan, with about 2,000 attendees in New Orleans, it was hard to find people. Sorry I missed you there. Should see you at the Bouchercon in Dallas since Son #1 lives nearby.

  4. Jan, sadly I had to cancel out of Bouchercon in NOLA back around June, so I wasn't there.

  5. I'm sorry I didn't get a chance to meet you, Jan. I hope we'll get another chance soon. This was my third Bouchercon and my second visit to New Orleans--great fun!

  6. Hi, Jan -- Thanks for the update here--though do want to point out that I sent a couple of emails your way about being there and getting together, and never heard back! Not sure what happened to those emails (I tried from two different accounts, just in case), but.... Wish we'd been able to get together, but glad you enjoyed your time there.

  7. I've attended only only one Bouchercon, but managed to meet several colleagues. I hope to see you all in Florida!

  8. I loved my one Bouchercon in 2012 in Cleveland, and I recommend everybody who can should go! As for the SS-ers meeting up, how about exchanging cellphone numbers (via e-mail and instant messaging, not on this public forum!) and you can text each other when you get there!

  9. Hey Jeff that's a great idea. Actually I did that with my panel members. It turned out that we didn't have to text but it was a great way to set up a good contact. Problem was no one saw my idea to meet. I don't have any plans right now to go to Toronto or Fl but will definitely see everyone in Dallas. I'm already regustered. I will send a personal email to everyone this time.

  10. Art, I honestly didn't see any emails from you. You must have felt like I did. No one wanted to meet. I can omly think the cyber gremlins were at work. Realky sorry.

  11. JOHN, I walked around the huge lobby bar a few times every day. Me and my GRAPE earrings. I have close to 100 pair but not all work for identification. I have several that are purple and dangle like a bunch of Grapes. Of course I've never published that fact to SS writers. I mainly did my walk around looking for old friends, those who would have known me from the old days. In fact a couple of friends IDed me that way, while I was writing this article last night I was surprised how many old friends I missed seeing. I thought only 1 or 2 but I missed 15 or more. When you haven't seen people in 10-11 years it can make a difference. I should have gone to the autographing book room.

  12. Sorry, Paul & Eve that you had to cancel and
    sorry Leigh you couldn't make it this year. Real life often interferes,
    BK sorry I missed you, too.

    Susan and I had so much fun. My first BCon was in 88 and I attended every year after that until 99 except for the ones in England and think Susan went most of those years also. Also attended Left Coast Crime a few time, Magna in Muncie 3 times, Edgars 3 times, Midwest in Omaha, & Eyecon twice and Cluefest in Dallas that Susan wrote about last week, I was a con regular but we also owned a mystery bookstore, I hosted a Southwest Con in Austin in 1993. Did all the programing &,publicity. My late husband handled the bookroom. We had 450 attendees. It was a lot of fun but also lot of work, we bid on BCon but Seattle won. After I saw how much work it was I honestly was glad we lost.


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