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Home » Books & writing

Bouchercon 2010 Report: Part 1

Submitted by on October 17, 2010 – 8:27 pm 16 Comments

It’s a gray cool Sunday in Los Angeles as I recover from my very first Bouchercon. For those who aren’t familiar with it, it’s an annual mystery convention for authors and fans that’s criminally fun. This year, it was held in San Francisco and impeccably chaired by Rae Helmsworth. I don’t know how she did it—she looked fantastic and calm every time I saw her while I felt like nine miles of rough road just running around to different panels and parties. Not that I’m complaining. If I had any more fun, my face would crack from laughing.

I taped some of the panels and will be posting highlight clips later this week. Check back for videos of authors including Lee Child, David Baldacci, Denise Mina, Laurie R. King, and Michael Connelly.

Meanwhile, I wanted to post some of my own highlights—the people I got to meet and/or spend time with:

  • My friend Lauren aka LolosLetters, who fought off at least two would-be muggers with an Elite Uniball pen on her way to the ‘con
  • Author Hilary Davidson, who is gorgeous, funny, smart, talented, nice and impeccably dressed. Come on! Leave some for the rest of us!
  • My friend Christine from Tennessee, who is nicer than I can ever hope to be
  • Authors Brett Battles and Rob Gregory Browne, two good men who can definitely handle the truth
  • Author Martha Flynn, who shared an incredible personal story with me
  • Publicist Dana Kaye, who is a rock star
  • Mulholland Books marketing director Miriam Parker, who is smart and energetic enough to run the country
  • Author Reed Farrel Coleman, who won’t be suing me for defamation
  • Shamus-Award-winning author Brad Parks, who, uh…no comment
  • Author Stephen Blackmoore and his bewitching wife Carrie, who offered me late-night cupcakes
  • My thieving roommate, who absconded with every book and cookie that wasn’t tied down, and my roommie in absentia, who helped make it all possible

I regret not having a chance to spend more time with superstar blogger Jen Forbus, who literally took my hand and guided me to the right places; Elizabeth Duncan in her lavender disco pants; birthday girl Juliet Blackwell, with whom I never got to consume sauerkraut; and Sophie Littlefield, who was busy winning awards (she won the Best First Novel Anthony Award for A Bad Day for Sorry).

Besides all the fun, I take away an overwhelming sense of gratefulness for the generosity of old and new friends, and the kindness of people who don’t even know me beyond a Twitter handle. In a community built around crime fiction, I found nothing but lightness and laughter.



  • I am, as usual, so jealous of you!

  • le0pard13 says:

    Sounds like a fantastic time, Elyse!

  • I was so happy to finally be able to introduce you to some Pens. You are a local favorite, as you know!! xo

  • debbied says:

    Cookies, and cupcakes, and sauerkraut? (Oh my). And, books on top of that?? Sounds like an incredible time, Elyse. I’m so happy you went and I can’t wait to look at the video links and read Part 2. You and your thieving roommate ROCK!!

  • Jann says:

    Can’t wait for the videos! So glad you had a great time. I’m still moping over the fact that I had to cancel, an I’m only 25 miles away! Did you see birthday girl Alafair Burke? Her shoes were to die for.

  • Lauren says:

    Miss you already. May have to arm-wrestle Paul for more of your time in the future. No jackhammering, bank-robbing, or peeping phone guys at Casa Lolo.

    Tell your thieving roommate it was an absolute joy to meet her. Hard to believe she may be even more trouble than you are.

    Glad you made it up.

    Love ya, sister.


    • Christine says:

      What a great surprise it was to meet you in person, Lauren! I will eventually get on Twitter, but those using “Amish”-techno phones shouldn’t be throwing stones. Ha! 😉

      BTW, what did I miss? Would-be muggers? Peeping phone guys? You think Uniball’s marketing will be calling?

  • Elizabeth Duncan says:

    Wonderful and hiilarious! Made me wish I’d been there. Oh, wait, I was! In my lavender disco pants! A highlight for me was meeting Northern Ireland author Stuart Neville and OJ prosecutor Marcia Clark. BCon was a rich immersion in the best genre in beautiful San Francisco. Next time, I hope, PCN!

  • EIREGO says:

    Dang! Sounds like I really missed out on all the festivities! Can’t wait to see the next post on Bouchercon.

  • Pop Culture Nerd says:

    Naomi—No reason to be jealous. If you envy me, you’d have to take on all my weirdness, e.g. the sensitive gag reflex & bridge phobia, both of which were in play during B’con.

    le0—It WAS fantastic! Thought of you and wished you were there. Christine wanted to take a pic of herself, me, and Jen for you but somehow we were never in one place at the same time.

    Sophie—Seeing you and meeting your Pens were definite highlights for me. Congrats again on the Anthony!

    debbied—Did I mention the naked Twister and artichoke pizza? I SO wish you could have come, if for no other reason than to get free books.

    Jann—I’m also bummed you had to cancel. I know at one point you were planning on volunteering and I wanted to meet you. I didn’t get to see Alafair or her shoes. Will have to hunt down a photo!

    Lauren—Would love to see you wrestling Paul but it’d have to be sumo wrestling. No, that’s not a crack at anybody’s weight; I just want to see you guys in top knots and giant diapers. Will pass along sentiments to thieving roommate. She wrote the book titled 101 Ways to Cause Trouble.

    Elizabeth—I can’t believe I missed meeting you. It WILL happen someday! Didn’t get to meet Stuart Neville, either, but was introduced to Marcia Clark. Love her new sleek ‘do.

    EIREGO—If you’d like, I can do a blow-by-blow re-enactment in your living room. That’s the kind of service I provide.

  • Paulette says:

    I like cupcakes, I like books
    I like mysteries, crime and crooks!
    I like how you write with flair…
    I wish, oh wish, I had been there!

  • I just checked Hilary Davidson’s website. Wow, you’re not wrong about the impeccable dressing. What a wonderful time you’ve had, PCN. I’m delighted for you and looking forward to hearing more. When you’ve caught up on some sleep.

  • Christine says:

    Bouchercon was such a great time!! For the fans, if you get an opportunity, I highly recommend attending B’con. What PCN said about the generosity, fun and laughter was spot on.

    It was fantastic to see you again, Elyse! Big hugs, my fabulous friend!

  • Brad Parks says:

    I have filled the scrapbook in my mind with all the insults you lobbed at me, and I shall cherish them always. ; )

  • Pop Culture Nerd says:

    Paulette—I didn’t know you wrote poetry! Would you consider going next year when Crais will be a guest of honor? A whole bunch of Craisies are already planning to be there.

    Shell—I was so sleep deprived I almost went back in time. Feeling much better now, thanks. When I met Hilary, I immediately looked around for stairs so I could, well, you know, but all I could find were escalators.

    Christine—I wouldn’t have had as much fun if you weren’t there, my partner in crime. We shall not divulge what we did with giant greasy pretzels and Brad Parks.

    Brad—Oh, hi, Brad. Um, no, we weren’t talking about you. Any time you need more entries in that scrapbook, let me know. Insults aside, I’m thrilled about your Shamus win. Don’t stroke it too much or you’ll rub your name right off.

  • Paulette says:

    B’con 2011? I am in! Are ya’ll already registered and booked? Does one need to do this now?

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