Thursday, July 8, 2010

Hurray for Newbies!

So, I've been thinking about Bouchercon a lot lately - yeah, I know, I'm supposed to think about it, I'm the dratted Chair. But I've been thinking about more than just panels and the program and Opening Ceremonies and the Book Room, etc etc etc.

I've been remembering what it was like to attend my first Bouchercon. I was scared to death.

Until I went to Bouchercon Toronto in 2004, I would not have described myself as a convention-goer. The idea of spending four or five days with a large group of people I didn't know......gak.

But, I'd started hanging out on Lee Child's Forum, which was fabulous then and is fabulous now, and the regulars there were nice and friendly and, well, normal. So, when I heard about how much fun Las Vegas was in 2003, I decided that I was darned well going to Toronto. And I did. I had no idea what to expect, and the closer the time came, the more nervous I got.

What if no one liked me? What if I couldn't find anyone to talk to? What if it was boring and awful and full of Mean Girls?

But I needn't have worried. I had a blast, was made to feel welcome, and haven't missed a Bouchercon since. I've heard it said a lot, and it's true: the mystery community is a group of people who are always looking to make a new friend, and can't wait to make newcomers feel right at home.

And now that I'm the Chair one of these little fiestas, I'm getting a lot of email from people who are coming to their very first Bouchercon. Which is terrific - I'm delighted that so many of you are choosing San Francisco for your first B'con experience.

So, if you're a B'con newbie, we're glad you're coming. If you have questions, don't hesitate to ask (here's some basic info from our website). We're planning some special programming just for you - more to come on that topic - because we want your first Bouchercon to be so much fun that you become a regular.

And for those of you who aren't newbies, thanks for making Bouchercon such a friendly place.


Blogger Jon The Crime Spree Guy said...

My first Bouchercon was so friendly I met my wife!

July 8, 2010 at 7:01 AM  
Blogger Rae Helmsworth said...

Awww, that's so sweet ;-)

July 8, 2010 at 8:26 AM  
Blogger A. Wright said...

My first B'con was in Baltimore and I was hooked from the first minute. I met so many internet friends for the first time at that B'Con. It was amazing how comfortable I felt with those I had only known on-line up until this first face to face meeting. I can't wait for Oct. With Laurie R. King as Guest of Honor I'm really excited about this B'Con

July 8, 2010 at 2:57 PM  
Blogger Rae Helmsworth said...

Thanks! Laurie's just great, and we're delighted to be honoring her this year....

July 8, 2010 at 8:38 PM  
Blogger ~ kjb said...

Looking forward to the conference already. If it is anywhere as fun as your blog posts, we'll never stop laughing.

July 10, 2010 at 9:00 AM  
Blogger Rae Helmsworth said...

Thanks! The posts are great fun to write, I'm delighted to know you're enjoying them ;-)

July 10, 2010 at 1:30 PM  
Blogger Robin McCormack said...

I've gotten to know many authors through their blogs. Will be nice to meet them face to face. I'll be a newbie and coming alone, so looking forward to meeting other newbies. Have enjoyed reading your blog. So much fun!

July 10, 2010 at 10:08 PM  
Blogger Rae Helmsworth said...

Hi Robin,

The good news is, people are as nice in person as they are on their blogs, so you're sure to have fun meeting everyone.

Looking forward to seeing you in San Francisco!

July 10, 2010 at 11:26 PM  
Blogger Fran said...

While this is my first B'con, I figure I'm not exactly a newbie to the mystery and author world, so I'm excited but not particularly nervous.

I say that now, of course.

I'm just afraid my wife will be a bit uncomfortable, since she's not fond of crowds but doesn't necessarily want to go exploring SF by herself. It'll all work out, though.

And it's gonna be FUN!

July 11, 2010 at 12:39 AM  
Blogger Rae Helmsworth said...

Fran, I can't tell you how excited I am that you guys are coming. Hopefully, we'll have some quality hanging out time ;-)

July 11, 2010 at 8:31 AM  

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