October 14 was my mother’s birthday, and I spent it flying to Indianapolis for Bouchercon 2009, the premier event for mystery lovers. (Don’t worry about Mom. I called her and sang “Happy Birthday” over the phone during my Memphis layover. Good thing I can sort of actually carry a tune because several people stared at me like I’d sprouted a second head.)
Anyway, my flight to Indianapolis was relatively uneventful. Except for losing my boarding pass somewhere between Mobile and Memphis...on the freaking plane. I guess the gremlins stole it. Regardless, once I arrived in Memphis, I found my departure gate, explained what happened to the very nice clerk working the desk, and she printed a new pass for me. Next stop, coffee shop! I positioned myself where I could people watch while I waited for my next flight. People watching in an airport is a favorite hobby. I like to try to figure out where people are going, where they’ve been, what their life is like, etc. based on the way they dress and what luggage they bring with them. Yes, even when traveling, my mind is ever in the creative author mode.
After arriving in Indianapolis, and suffering through a sudden fit of coughing while at the baggage claim (Note to the security guard and other travelers who kept eyeing me during this time: I was not and am not contagious! Dust from the baggage carousel got caught in my throat.) The ride from the airport to the hotel was strange. Indianapolis is a big city and I’d expected to see more traffic on the roadways during the middle of the week. The streets were strangely empty. It was kind of freaky, actually.
The hotel was great. The lobby was a huge open-air atrium deal with glass elevators. I loved riding the elevators because I could easily see who was milling around in the lobby before I arrived. It was a helpful perk when searching for my pals Kelli Stanley, Rebecca Cantrell, Andrew Peterson, and Laura Benedict.
This was my first ever Bouchercon and I had a blast. Not only because I was able to reconnect with a lot of my friends or make new friends but because everyone was so friendly. I also didn’t have any panels, sessions, or workshops to prepare for so that left me completely free to enjoy myself and the company around me.
In addition to having a great time at Bouchercon, I was able to hang out for a bit with the fabulous Charlaine Harris and some of her fans, which I am at heart ‘cause I totally love Charlaine! (Thanks, Debi and Becci, for inviting me to join the festivities! I had a great time and look forward to seeing y’all at Romantic Times in April.) I also went on a forced march, uh, make that “self-guided walking tour” of downtown Indianapolis with Rebecca Cantrell and Tana Hall. We saw some amazing architecture, had a lot of fun, and walked...and walked...and walked. The most important fact is that we had a lot of fun.
Another great thing about Bouchercon was that I got to see my wonderful editor. We talked about BLOOD LAW, “Book 2”, and cover art. (Yes, it’s on the way. As soon as I get official word it’s available for release, I’ll post it. Patience, minions, patience.) Also, another of Ms. Editor’s authors, Brett Battles, won a Barry Award for Best Thriller (The Deceived) at Bouchercon. Congrats to Brett! He’s an outstanding author –- a well-deserved win.
Bouchercon was wrapped up on October 18 and I flew home the following day. Once again I had a layover in Memphis. I admit I was people watching again in hopes of having a “sighting” of a certain singer, but alas...
Next year’s Bouchercon will be held in San Francisco, home to my good friend and author extraordinaire, Kelli Stanley. I’m hoping to attend but haven’t fully committed yet. It’s still a year away so I have a little time. :)
So, that pretty well wraps up my report of Bouchercon. Next up, a quick lunch break and then I’ll be back for more catching up.