Bouchercon Recap 2015

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Bouchercon 2015: Murder Under The Oaks
Location: Raleigh, North Carolina
Date: October 8 – 11, 2015

Bouchercon is the world’s finest annual crime fiction event, bringing together more than 1,000 authors, fans, publishers, reviewers, booksellers, editors, and every other part of the community for a fantastic four-day event.


I love reader/fan conventions which are truly a godsend for book loves like me. From arriving in Raleigh, North Carolina on Tuesday to leaving Sunday morning, it’s been a whirlwind of non-stop activities (okay I did allow 5 hours for sleep) of hilarity, dining and plain old-fashioned fun at the 2015 Bouchercon. In addition to that, I am deeply honored that my blog, dru’s book musings, was nominated for a 2015 Anthony Award for Best Critical or Non-Fiction Work, but alas I did not win. Again, the honor was being nominated and I felt like a princess throughout the convention as everyone came up to greet me celebratory congratulations on the nomination.

Thanks to the many people who helped put this event together this year: Al Abramson, Ali Karim, J.D. Allen, Ingrid Willis, Kerry Hammond, Molly Weston, Naomi Kappel, Kim Hammond and the much missed Erin Mitchell

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Tuesday, October 6, 2015
My first day there was an adventure as my flight was delayed and then a airport worker’s mishaps caused another delayed. Happily we landed and we were free to start our new adventure. I like to arrive early so that I can volunteer my services before the convention started. It’s a good way to help and get to know other readers and authors as well. This year, we got shiny badges to signify our volunteerism. Because it’s our tradition, I had a lovely time and conversation with Susan Boyer at our Pre-Bouchercon dinner. After dinner Priscilla B. and I went exploring in the vicinity of the Sheraton and Marriott Hotels.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015
First sighting of the day Ali Karim and Laura DiSilverio. Had a nice breakfast with Priscilla, and Ovidia Y., where we joined Laura DiSilvero at the Plaza Café. Volunteered by helping stuff book bags and inserting additional materials in envelopes. The rest of the day was spent author watching until it was time to head out to dinner where Gayle Trent arranged a pre-Bouchercon dinner over a T.K. Tripps. In attendance was Aubrey Nye Hamilton, Priscilla Caporaletti-Bean, Gayle Trent, Toni L.P. Kelner, Ovidia Yu, Barb Goffman, Sherry Novinger Harris,Shari Randall, and Alan Gratz (photo courtesy of Aubrey Hamilton). After dinner a few of us went to the see Susan Boyer and Art Taylor at Quail Ridge Books & Music where they were doing a book launch. Wine and crackers were served and a good time was had by all. I know I did something later in the evening, but it’s all a blur.

Thursday, October 8, 2015
Having breakfast with Kristi Belcamino, Kristopher Zgorski, Judy Bobalik, and Ann from Oz at Jimmy V’s Osteria & Bar located in the Sheraton’s lobby. We had a lively conversation this morning at breakfast and some of the words bantered around were YayNo, entourage, I thought it was Literature, Assistant are paid – Partners are not, and Horse deliverers. Then it was off to the Author Speed Dating event where authors get 2-3 minutes to tell us about their books. You also pick up swags, chocolate and good book recommendations. I attended the New Faces – Best First Novel Nominees with Margaret Maron moderating; Kristi Belcamino, M.P. Cooley, Julia Dahl, Allen Eskens and Lori Rader-Day. I like going to this panel to see up and coming authors. I’ve read two of the new faces and plan to read the others.

I had lunch with Dorothy McFalls at The Twisted Mango and I had the fish taco. Then it was time for my panel: Tweet This: Taking Social Media to the Next Level with Deborah Lacy moderating and Maddee James, Janet Rudolph, Cara Brookins and myself sitting on the panel. We had standing room and people who came up to me after the panel said they got good information from it. I was happy to see some of my friends in attendance.

We had a pre-opening ceremony dinner with Kristi Belcamino, Julia Dahl, Lori Rader-Day and Martha Cooley at Jimmy V’s. Then it was time to attend the opening ceremony where nominees were given their certificate of nomination … then had to scoot out to volunteer at the HarperCollins book signing event where I helped give out the books for Kristi Belcamino and Deborah Crombie. I went to the BBQ that was held under the tent and enjoyed some chicken, coleslaw and sweet tea.

Then it was off to the first ever “Game Night” with Kendel Lynn, Diane Vallere, LynDee Stephens Walker, Debra Goldstein, Riley, Melissa Lenhardt, Nancy G. West, Paula Benson, Rochelle Staab, Susan Boyer, Wendy Tyson, Eleanor Caewood Jones, where UNO, Pictionary and Spoons were played. I never laughed so hard that night. A fun time of ruckus laughter, covert moves and hilarity ensured especially when the game of Spoons was played. At the other table where they were enjoying a game of Pictionary was loud as well. Diane Vallere sure knows how to capture her spoons – achieving the status of SPOON Queen of the Night.

Friday, October 9, 2015
Had breakfast at Jimmy V’s with Matthew Clemens, Judy Bobalik, Kristi Belcamino, and Claire Booth. Then it was off to attend a couple of panels that were engaging. I attended my first Bouchercon Members Business Meeting where we approved the 2019 Dallas Bouchercon and the 2020 Sacramento Bouchercon events. I had lunch at The Twisted Mango with Nancy Parra and I had chicken wings. Then it was off to my buddy Kristopher Zgorski panel where he was moderating.

Unknowingly, Libby Fischer Hellmann and I were waiting on the couch for the same person, Judy Bobalik. We walked over to Big Ed’s City Market Restaurant to attend the Shamus Award. I had southern fried chicken, green beans (they were Good), coleslaw and delicious sweet tea. It was my first time attending this event and I had a good time. I love the décor of the place.

After dinner, I made my way back to the second “Game Night” and what a fun time was had by all.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Had a nice breakfast with Jack Getze at the Sheraton restaurant Jimmy V’s, then went to check out the rest of the New Author’s Breakfast. Attended a few more panels and then had a nice lunch with Kendel Lynn and Diane Vallere. Had pre-dinner with LynDee Walker at Tango Twist where I had the nachos and then it was time for the Lifetime Achievement GoH Spotlight featuring Margaret Maron and after that the Anthony Awards Ceremony. A late night gathering with Eleanor Cawood Jones , Matthew Clemens and Michaela Shannon-Sank at Jimmy V’s ended the day.

Sunday, October 11, 2015
I had breakfast with Sj Rozan and Ovidia Yu at Jimmy V’s and then it was the evitable…saying goodbye to all my friends. Goodbye until New Orleans.

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13 responses to “Bouchercon Recap 2015

  1. Great recap. Game Night sounds like a hoot!

  2. Thanks for posting the recap! Sounds like great fun!

  3. Almost like being there…and now I’m hungry 🙂

  4. Looking forward to seeing you before New Orleans! Remind me not to sit next to you the next time there is a game night. All I can say is that I’m glad the spoons didn’t have any rough edges.

  5. Thanks for not mentioning what I ate for breakfast.

  6. Regret not going, dagnabbit! 😀

  7. Dru, you definitely added to the hilarity at game night!! Such fun.
    Nancy G. West

  8. Lovely recap, Dru—I so enjoyed getting to hang out with you in Raleigh! See you in May. 🙂

  9. I can not wait for the 2016 convention here in New Orleans.

  10. Wonderful recap. I was so lucky to get to hang out with you so much!
    x

  11. Sounds like an absolutely FANTASTIC time!!

  12. MaryAnn Forbes

    Thanks for sharing your trip, and congratulations on your nomination and for being a presenter. You certainly spent time with some wonderful writers. I would like to attend the event one year
    soon.📖📚

  13. Thanks for this marvelous play by play! It was almost like being there 🙂 Hope to make it next year and get to meet you in person!