Confession: I've never been to a writing convention. Not sure why. Distance, for one, seeing as how I live way the heck up in Maine – a lovely place to spend one's time, but not exactly central to anything. Also, there's the whole what-do-I-do-when-I-get-there question. Okay, there are these panel things, and dinners, and a whole bunch of drinking, but for years, I didn't know many of the attendees, so I kind of expected I'd wind up having a quiet cocktail at the end of the bar with my lovely wife while wondering why we hadn't simply elected to do so in our living room.
Then Twitter happened, and suddenly, I knew all kinds of writerly folks. And to a one, the con they most talked about was Bouchercon. So, said lovely wife and I decided to hell with it – we'd go. Mostly, we figured, we'd just lay low; you know, watch our friends' panels, have some drinks, grab some books. It sounded like a decent enough plan.
Then I got a book deal and an Anthony nomination, and that plan went out the window.
In lieu of lying low, the fabulous Judy Bobalik, Jon Jordan, and Ruth Jordan have seen fit to put me on a couple panels.
Yeah, I said a couple.
The first of them, titled BAD SEED: SEX, VIOLENCE, AND EVERYTHING THAT MAKES A BOOK GREAT, is scheduled for Thursday night at 9:00 PM. Moderated by Scott Montgomery, this panel features such ass-kicking name-takers as Christa Faust, Craig Johnson, Scott Phillips, John Rector, Benjamin Whitmer, Jonathan Woods – and, um, me. Oh, and I hear tell there will be a bar.
The second panel, which I'll be moderating, is titled DARK ANGEL: MORALLY CHALLENGED HEROES, a topic close to my heart. It's set for 2:30 PM Friday, and damn did I luck out with panelists: slated to participate are Bill Cameron, Blake Crouch, Leighton Gage, Theresa Schwegel, and Michael Wiley.
Oh, and as a super-duper added bonus, the missus (aka ace mystery reviewer Katrina Niidas Holm) is moderating a panel called DEATH BY GOOD INTENTION, which features such luminaries of the cozy mystery scene as Donna Andrews, Shirley Damsgaard, Rosemary Harris, Julie Hyzy, and Joanna Slan. You can catch that one at 11:30 AM Friday.
So there you have it. In one fell swoop, I went from no cons and no appearances to one con and two appearances. Three, if you count me cheering from the back (or, more likely, right in front) while Kat does her thing. So stop by. Say hi. Feel free to heckle (me, not Kat). I should be easy to spot; I'll be the one surreptitiously snapping cell phone pictures of my fellow panelists whilst simultaneously trying my damnedest not to vomit. ('Cause dude. Big crowds. Big nerves. I'd best get interesting quick.)