Hard to believe, but this is my fourth Bouchercon. It doesn’t seem so long ago that I wandered into my first one in Indianapolis without a clue as to what might happen. In any case, the 2012 version wrapped up in Cleveland on Sunday in fine fashion.
(By the way, if you’re reading this blog on a white background, it’s because I just changed servers and my original website design was lost. You’ll see little code glitches here and there. That will all be history when I get the new design, so until then, please bear with me.)
It was a good conference, as conferences go. The hotel conference facilities were more than adequate and very convenient (anyone remember the walkathons required in St Louis last year?). I thought they could’ve used a little more signage telling us where the specific meeting rooms were, but the rooms themselves were spacious, the chairs comfortable, and the sound systems more than adequate.
The panels were pretty good, too. I was on one titled Bringing Back Noir, addressing the influence the early noir writers have over today’s crop. Moderated by Robert Downs, the panel included John Rector, Thomas Kaufman, Frank Wheeler Jr, and Peter Farris. It was a lively discussion and the crowd was large. I even sold a few books at the signing afterward.
I met up again with Max Allan Collins, who was gracious enough to have given me a blurb which adorns the front cover of my latest novel, Man-Slaughter. He asked me if I would sign a copy of it for him, and he in turn signed his ARC of his current novel, Target Lancer, which I reviewed on this site not long ago.
Yes, the conference went swimmingly. If only it had been held somewhere other than Cleveland. Cold, windy, and wet, the gray city showed why it’s fading from the American consciousness. There are a lot of good people in Cleveland who love their city, and they’re trying, they really are, but they’re fighting a losing battle up there. The gray patina clings to everything and speaks only of a past, not of a future.
I’m not looking for improvement next year, as Bouchercon moves to Albany, NY, but you never know. I might be surprised. Stranger things have happened.