Monday, March 28, 2011

Readers and Authors F2F

The WINNER of the $25 Amazon Gift Certificate is
                  ~ Bethany C ~

Bethany, please get in touch with me via my website's
contact page at Thanks to everyone 
who shared a comment. I enjoyed reading all of them!

They say writing's a lonely business. Whoever "they" are, they're right. There's no avoiding the application of one's butt to a chair in front of a computer for long hours in solitude. Sometimes days can slip by when my view of the world is through my office window. Happily, there's a cure for a writer's isolation: conferences! Time to get out and network with other writers, talk with readers, learn a little something, and maybe visit an interesting new city. Selling books and getting your name out there add to the benefits. For readers, it's a chance to get to know the authors of your favorite books face-to-face, to be surrounded by people who share your love of books, and to make new friendships and rejuvenate old ones. Plus, there's one element no conference should be without: fun!

Here are a couple of major conferences that fit the bill. I recommend these from personal experience, and you'll find supernatural authors at both of them!

ThrillerFest VI
July 6-9, 2011
Grand Hyatt Hotel
New York City

This is the sixth annual ThrillerFest. I've been to every one since International Thriller Writers began having them. This conference has grown roots in New York City (at least for the foreseeable future), due in part to the availability of many agents for its AgentFest event. For authors looking for agents, it is a dream come true: pitching f2f with 50+ top NY agents (all accepting new clients) in one afternoon! This is a vibrant, growing conference that showcases the thriller genre, the only one of its kind. A spectacular lineup of top thriller authors can be found here, and one of the amazing things about ThrillerFest is its intimacy. Authors are accessible, ready to sign books, have their photographs taken with you, and chat in the halls. Head for the bar when the day winds down and you'll find it filled with authors you can talk to--just walk up and join a group.

This conference offers two days oriented toward writers (CraftFest/AgentFest), followed by two days for readers and everyone else in the publishing field (ThrillerFest), followed by a glittering and glamorous Awards Banquet. You pick the events you want to attend. Headliners this year are R.L. Stine, Ken Follett, Robert Crais, Diana Gabaldon, John Lescroart, Joe McGinniss, and Karin Slaughter, plus many more. Exciting, fun, and unique. You'll be talking about this experience long after it's over. Add a new dimension to your conference experience by volunteering.

"A few years ago, I was asked, 'What is ThrillerFest?' I replied that ThrillerFest is Summer Camp for thriller readers, fans, writers and industry professionals. That definition stuck, and the truth of those words grows with each ThrillerFest, as we come together in New York to make new friends, learn, and share our love of the thriller genre." - Kathleen Antrim, International Thriller Writers, Vice President - National Events, ThrillerFest Chair

Bouchercon 2011
September 15-18, 2011
The Renaissance St. Louis Grand Hotel
St. Louis, Missouri

This is the 42nd annual Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention. The first part of the name rhymes with voucher. The name Bouchercon and the associated Anthony Awards were named to honor the memory of Anthony Boucher, an author of mystery and science fiction novels and short stories and an influential editor. Bouchercon moves from city to city each year, and lives up to its name as the World Mystery Convention by being held abroad occasionally.

Bouchercon is a B-L-A-S-T! I have been to six of them and loved every one. This one will be in my backyard and I'll be doing a lot of volunteering, something I highly recommend. Bouchercon can seem overwhelming at first--many people and many things to do--and I'd suggest going with a friend, especially if you are a conference newbie. You'll make new friends there, too, and probably see them year after year when you return. You will love the bookroom. Dozens of independent bookstores from all over the country are represented. Authors make the rounds of the bookroom signing at the tables, plus there are designated signing periods. Panels galore! So many panels your head will be spinning and you'll wish you could be several places at once. If you register for Bouchercon, you get to vote for the recipients of the Anthony Awards, which are readers' choice awards. Bouchercon is not sponsored by a specific writers' organization. It's more of a "by the people, for the people" event. That means you'll see writers from a number of different organizations there. You'll bring home books and memories and start planning your next year's attendance.  

"Bouchercon is a fan convention for people who love mysteries and crime fiction and thrillers. The beautiful thing about it is the sheer volume of fans. The St. Louis Bouchercon this year is anticipating at least 1,800 fans to show up for four days of panels and events. With over 400 authors it gives the fans an awful lot to choose from. This year's highlights include a bowling tournament for charity, a live performance by Max Allan Collins' band Cruisin', and a live auction run by Mark Billingham and Laura Lippman. Plus the guests of honor are incredible. Sara Paretsky, Charlaine Harris, Robert Crais, Val McDermid, Colin Cotteril, Robert Randisi and John Lutz and Kate Stine and Brian Skupin of Mystery Scene magazine. Bouchercon has something for EVERY mystery and crime fiction fan!" - Jon Jordan, Chair, Bouchercon 2011

I'd love to see you at either or both of these conferences. Be sure to introduce yourself! I'll be handing out free pens. Leave a comment to tell me about your past experiences with ThrillerFest, Bouchercon, or your favorite conference. If you're attending this year, what are you looking forward to most? Everyone who leaves a comment will be entered in a random drawing for a $25 Amazon gift certificate!! Start your spring off right with new books of your choice! :) Last chance to enter is Thursday, March 31st, and the winner will be announced at the top of this post on April 1st.



SandyG265 said...

I haven't had a chance to attend a convention yet.

Virginia C said...

One of the nicest things that I have observed about authors is their friendship and support of other authors. Writers are booklovers and great fans of other authors! What a fabulous experience it would be for someone like me, a lifelong bookworm, to mix and mingle with book people from both the writing and reading worlds! I wish you lots of fun that you can write about and share with us : )

US Resident, GFC Follower, Subscriber

gcwhiskas at aol dot com

Casey H said...

I've never been!! =( At first, when I was younger, my parents wouldn't let me go because they didn't want to go and I couldn't go by myself. And now that I've grown up, I just can't find the time/money and it's depressing me. Hopefully I can save enough to go within the next couple of years!!


StacieDM said...

Ooh I hadn't heard of ThrillerFest before. It looks really good. Since it is in St Louis it would be a short train ride from Chicago.

I will be attending my first book convention in a week. I am going to the RT Booklovers Convention in LA.

The only convention I have ever attended was the X-files convention at Navy Pier back in 1998. Yes, I know I'm dating myself. LOL

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

StacieDM said...

My bad I misread the post. ThrillerFest is in NYC. Oh well maybe next year. :(

Vivien said...

I've always wanted to go to a convention. I'm just too far away. It usually takes at least 8 hours of driving to get anywhere the convention is. I wish I could...maybe if I could get a few people together. One of these days :)

deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

Scorpio M. said...

I haven't attended the ones you named but I'm signing up for RomCon in Denver in August. I'm looking forward to meeting my favorite authors and just chillin with likeminded readers & picking up goodies. :)

jenma76 at hotmail dot com

Maria said...
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Maria said...
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Maria said...

I would love to attend a conference but so far most of the big ones that I know of seem to be mostly happening on the coasts which puts them out of my affordability zone. I didn't know about this conference so this is definitely something that I can look up and possibly attend:)
Thanks for the information.

GFC Follower

Sharon S. said...

I always google all the cool conference I want to go to one day. These two are definitely on my list! I also want to go to RT and RWA, comicon and some horror cons.

I think I will go to one next year. Which one though? Got time to plot...

Barbara E. said...

I've never attended a conference, but I was able to attend the book signings at RT when it was in Orlando, and RWA last year in Orlando. I'd love to attend the RomCon in Denver, that sounds really awesome.

Melissa (Books and Things) said...

One day I will go to a con. I will! However, it is sweet to offer a chance to in $25! Thanks!

Stephanie said...

I have not been to a convention yet but would love to go so I can meet my favorite authors.

Llehn said...

I sure wish I was going to a convention this year but there aren't any in my part of the world.


Ashleigh said...

I've always wanted to go to a convention, I just haven't had the time and money to do so yet. Looking forward to the day I get to go to one :)

Jenny N. said...

I haven't been to one yet though I do know of a couple that are held in my area annually.


mariska said...

i haven't been to any of them ...oh, i wish i lived nearby :)

uniquas at ymail dot com

Jessica said...

Really would like to attend Boucheron since it is in my city but my funds are pretty low since I'm still job hunting.

Is there a day that's open to the public for signings or anything?


SdyLion said...

I would love to go to one, just to have the experience. In the past there has always been a reason to hold me back, but I am putting in on my future wish-list of things to accomplish.

Bethany C. said...

I would love to go to a book convention, but I've never seen one near me (I live in VA.) The only author I've ever actually met was Jeri Smith-Ready since she lives not too far up in MD. If you gather up the lovely authors here and head down to the DC metro area, I'll be there! Come on, we have big shiny monuments!


June M. said...

I have not been to a convention and probably never will due to having panic attacks in crowded situations. They do sound like they would be fun though.

manning_j2004 at yahoo dot com

babygirlG said...

Haven't had a chance to attend one yet.


cheesecake.thief59 said...

I haven't managed to get to one yet but hopefully one day soon!!


Anonymous said...

Living in South Africa, I don't have a snowball's chance in hell of ever attending one of those conferences of awesome you guys are always having. :( However, someone here has finally written an interesting book, so I'm off to my first signing next weekend, which I'm so excited about! :D Hey, I'll take my author awesomeness where I can get it, hehe.

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Bella said...

It feels like just yesterday I had no clue there were even book blogs and now suddenly I there are tons of conferences I'm dying to go to! lol I'm saving money to go to ALA this year but next year I'm gonna try and add ComicCon (which I dreamed of going to as a kid) and ThrillerFest which sounds amazing:)

Spav said...

I haven't attended any conventions yet.


Justine R said...

I'm hoping I'll have enough money to make it next year!!


Harris said...

I so wish I could go one year!