“Bouchercon is the world mystery convention and has been taking place annually since 1970. It is open to anyone and is a place for fans, authors and professionals to gather and celebrate their love of the mystery genre. It is named for a famed mystery critic Anthony Boucher. During the convention there are panels and discussions and interviews with authors and people from the mystery community covering all parts of the genre. There are signing events for people to meet their favorite authors face-to-face and get books signed.

Bouchercon also has the Anthony Awards which are also named after Anthony Boucher. These are voted on by the attendees and given out during the convention.” (Cut and pasted directly from the Bouchercon 2011 website.)

Many of my favorite mystery writers will attend:  Terence Faherty, Sara Paretsky, Jan Burke, Robert Crais, Sean Chercover, Marcus Sakey, Charlaine Harris, to name a few.  One of the fabulous things I enjoy at this kind of “fan” conference, which differs from a “writers'” conference, is that it is populated by slews of readers who are geeks about mystery novels.  Many of those geeks are also aspiring writers.  We all walk around the hotel, attending panel upon panel starring our favorite authors.  Better yet, those favorite authors also walk around among the hoi polloi, and actually interact with us– nothing short of amazing in our celebrity-crazed culture.  I imagine it’s quite a rush for authors to have fans run after them, waving hardback novels purchased from the well-stocked book room, hankering for autographs.  My credit card can’t wait.

Most interesting to me is to listen to writers talk about their individual processes, how they write.  Some outline, some wouldn’t touch it, some are organic and write by the seat of their pants, others have to know who done it from the get-go and then write backwards from the ending.  Always fascinating, the human brain and how it creates.

Prior to the start of Bouchercon (9/15-9/18), Sisters in Crime (www.sistersincrime.org) will hold an 8 hour workshop on publishing on Wednesday, 9/14/11.  My pal Karen Burgess (www.literarylunchbox.wordpress.com) and I will drive down to Saint Louis to attend the SinC workshop and Bouchercon.  We will also doubtless blog from the Gateway to the West.