|some very interesting characters on this train!|
Bouchercon starts tomorrow and if any of you are planning to attend here are some tips:
1. Wear comfy shoes. This is not the time to dress up in snazzy heels. The programming is divided between two locations (argh!) so you'll be doing some hiking.
1a (prompted by a midnight email from a friend) You'll fit right in if you wear jeans. Most people do not dress up for this.
2. Take a look at the panel offerings and mark the ones you want to make sure to attend. Get to those early (like 15 minutes ahead of time) to make sure you get a good seat.
3. If you can't decide between two panels, pick the one that's in the room that you want to be in next or will be in before hand.
4. Go to panels where you have no clue who the authors are or what kind of books they write. Finding new authors and new books is one of the great pleasures of this convention.
5. Unless you're an autograph hound, skip the autographing sessions. Maybe it's just me, but I hate standing in line.
6. The book room is a feast. You'll need to survey the inventory at least twice before diving in. Which reminds me: bring an extra suitcase for books. Trust me.
7. Talk to total strangers. The book room is an ideal place to do that. Obviously don't interrupt conversations, but if you see someone looking at the books, ask if they have a favorite author they like to recommend.
If by any chance you're in the book room with Lee Child, ask him what he's reading. He's a very nice man (ie he won't snap your head off) and the man is VERY well-read.
8. There are going to be a LOT of authors at Bouchercon. If you get a chance to say hello, do so. They are there to meet readers. After you say "I love your books" and the author says "thanks" you can ask what they're reading now that they love. Authors love to talk books. And asking about someone else's book is much easier for them than gushing fan noises.
9. If you want to ask a question at a panel, write it down first. A lot of readers get tongue tied in the Q&A and don't know how to stop talking. If you write your question ahead of time, you can read it, and then STOP, sit down, and listen to the answer.
10. If a panel is dreadful, you can leave.
11. Turn off your damn cell phone in the panel.
12. The early in the day panels, and the last panels of the day are the most sparsely attended. The authors on those panels are generally pretty darn glad to see you.
13. If you read this blog and you run into me, say hello. No matter what else I'm doing. Well, if Jack Reacher is sweeping me off my feet, stand aside, but other than that!
Normally I'd say "any questions" but I"m on the train and wifi is problematic so I'll try to answer anything in the comment column tonight from Raleigh.
David Montgomery has a nice list of B/con tips on his Facebook page too.