Bopping at Bouchercon
Bouchercon just wrapped up on Sunday in New Orleans. It is the big conference for crime writers and fans of the genre, and Nola is a most appropriate setting. There is nothing like strolling through the French Quarter, taking in the fabulous architecture, the voodoo shops with their masks and beads, and the array of amazing restaurants. And the music–oh yes, there is that wonderful music.
Nola a place that has known the infinite heartbreak that came back from the devastation that was Katrina. Life here has changed for many, but at its core, Nola is the city that seems to carry on, no matter what. It celebrates life in all its phases. It casts a spell that lets the mind wander from the rooms behind those romantic iron balconies to the dark allies behind the brightly lit bars.
As writers, isn’t that what we are trying to do?
Alice Hoffman once wrote that “books may well be the only true magic.”
Writing a novel is just the beginning.
That’s why Nola was a particularly good spot for Bouchercon. In between the parties, there was a lot happening at the conference. There were many panels to see that covered a wide range of topics from Diversity to Changing Trends to The Pleasure and Pressure of Being an Author. (Ask me about that last one, I was on it.) There were book signings, casual conversations, and so many opportunities to just meet people and talk.
I got to meet such luminaries as Heather Graham, Harlan Coben, and Michael Connelly, and hang out with fellow Crooked Lane authors, especially Margaret Mizushima, whose new novel Stalking Ground debuts this week, Cate Holahan, whose second novel, The Widower’s Wife came out in August of 2016, and Carrie Smith, who authored Silent City and its forthcoming sequel Forgotten City. But I also got to meet mystery fans from all over the country.
It was all great fun. Some writers are extroverts, but a great many of us are natural introverts, so I think it’s good to get out there and mix. Writing is tough. Every writer I met had horror stories about book signings where no one showed up, horrible Amazon reviews, or just feelings of loneliness. Every writer stressed the importance of developing a tough skin, of putting on a mask.
Maybe New Orleans is the perfect writer’s city. Every day, we pull ourselves together, put on our writer’s masks, and get to work. But once we’re done, well, actually, we’re never done.