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hi everyone- has anyone gone to one of these conventions? I read an article about the malice domestic and it looked really cool- I just wanted to see if anyone has gone to these and what to expect, such as what do you do, do you get anything there, or is it just a time to have all your books signed?
I love mystery conventions. There's a number of them all around the country. Bouchercon is the world mystery convention and is the biggest. They go down to much smaller one day cons in various places.
Malice in Washington is devoted to cozy mysteries.
They all pretty much follow the same format. There will be panels of authors discussing variousl topics. They are frequently hysterically funny. The audience always has a chance to ask questions of the authors. The large cons will have four or five panels going on at the same time and you can take your pick of which ones you want to see. Many will repeat several times.
There's almost always some social events where you can meet and talk with the authors. At Malice one year, I stood around a piano with a bunch of authors and readers singing old show tunes. Almost every one author have met has been gracious and easy to talk to. There are formal book signings, and it's acceptable to stop authors in the hallway or anywhere (except restrooms) to have books signed. There's also always a hospitality room where people just hang out. Again, the authors are very approachable.
Everyone wears nametags so you know who people are. They're very casual with a lot of sitting around and talking. I've gotten to know some of my favorite authors a bit and had lunch with some of them. One of my favorite all-time moments was when Laura Lippman said to Jan Burke, "Jan, do you know Sharon?" I'm Sharon and I love both of their work. I'm not easily intimidated, but that did it.
When you register, you always get free books. At Bouchercon, it's between 15 and 20. At Malice I think I got about a dozen. Smaller cons give fewer books. They all also have nice book rooms where you can buy till your pocketbook hurts.
If you like to get involved, all but the smallest always need lots of volunteers. I've done that and it's a great way to meet people.
I love them. I recommend them highly. My next con is Bouchercon in Oct in Baltimore. Here's a link to the site. It has a list of all the attendees, including authors and a prelimanary schedule. It would give you a pretty good idea of what goes on.
I'm always up for meeting online friends at mystery cons.
Wow, they sound fantastic! I've only met one author, and that was Matthew Stover when I bought a Star Wars book for my DH's birthday. He was all done for the day, but it was a deluge outside and so he was hanging around and said he'd sign the book since he was still there. Very nice guy!
I'll have to check out your link for other cons, I'd LOVE to meet up with PBS friends at one some day :)
Do you have any links for Cons throughout the year and where they'll be?
Last Edited on: 6/5/08 1:29 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
I have never been able to find a place that links to all the cons.
There's three big ones in this country (although Bouchercon sometimes is held in Europe.)
Bouchercon is the biggest. It's in a different place every year. This year is Baltimore and that link is the one I gave before.
Left Coast Crime is held in early spring somewhere in the Western US. Next year it's in Hawaii. This is their general link:
Malice is in late spring and always in Washington DC. Their link is
Where are you located? I'm in Wisconsin. There's a three day con in Omha at the end of May that I like. It's link is
There's one in Muncie Ind late in the fall. I've never been to this one. It's link is
There's one in New Jersey and one in Alabama and I know that there's more. Sometimes the authors list the cons they'll be attending on the schedule page of their web sites.
There's a lot of one day cons.
If you're in the Midwest, there's a real fun one in Muskego, Wi in Nov. For a really cheap, like $10, con in a small Wis city, they get a great selection of authors. Last year, Laura Lippman and Robert Crais were the headliners. It's link is
If you google mystery conventions, you can find others.
Like I said before, I love them and highly recommend them.
Thanks, Sharon. I'm in NC and there aren't too many around, though Raleigh and Charlotte are big on author appearances and signings so I can hit those if I find authors I like. Thank you for all the links, I'll check them out.
Last Edited on: 6/7/08 9:21 PM ET - Total times edited: 1
Wow, Sharon! I visited the link you gave. I went to "attendees." If the "A" beside the name indicates an author, I'm certainly impressed! I thought I knew mysteries and authors, but that list certainly lets me know how little I actually do know about mystery authors. You are correct! There are so many authors who will be attending, one would never be able to see ,hear, or talk with even 10%! Lots and lots! Surely do wish my budget would allow me the pleasure. Thank you for telling us about it. M'ann