Sunday, October 24, 2010

So long, farewell....

It's been wonderful to see you, and certainly a thrill....

...but the traveling road show that is Bouchercon is packing up and moving to St. that we can do it all again next year!  If the smoke, confetti, and sparkles that are drifting our way from the vicinity of Bcon 2011 Central (chez Jon Jordan) are any indication, we're in for a whale of a good time.

A note about charity

We did good by having fun, and raised about $5,000 for charity from our raffle and our live auction;  proceeds will benefit 826 Valencia and Casa de las Madres.  And we're able to donate books to Friends of the San Francisco Library.   Many thanks to auctioneers Hank Ryan Phillippi, Harley Jane Kozak, and Donna Andrews.  And to Charity Wranglers Andi Shechter and Laura Atkins.  And to you, for opening your hearts and wallets.

Got photos?

Friend of Bouchercon and Webmaven Extraordinaire Maggie Griffin is looking for photos of Lee Child's Reacher Creature party at Bouchercon, or any photos of Lee. If you have them, send 'em along to her at

About those panel titles....

If you haven't already heard, they were episodes of The Streets of San Francisco.  Clever, huh?


And to be ever so slightly serious for a fraction of a second - it really has been wonderful to work with so many of you to put Bouchercon 2010 together over the past couple of years.  Challenging, frustrating, exhilarating, exhausting - usually all at the same time.  I'm ready for some serious relaxing, but so, so grateful for the experience.

So many people gave so generously of their time and talent that it would take hours to list them all.  But to name just a few:
  • Jon and Ruth Jordan
  • Dana Fredsti
  • Janine Wilson
  • Kim Krabill
  • Judy Bobalik
  • Andi Shechter
  • BG Ritts
  • Madeira James
  • Martine Holmsen
  • Laura Atkins
  • Wendy Watkins
  • Suzanne Murphy
  • Karen Hamilton
  • Allison Davis
  • Cara Black
  • Maggie Mason
  • Maggie Griffin
  • Eddie Muller
  • Lee Child
  • Denise Mina
  • Laurie R. King
  • Maddy van Hertbruggen

...I know I've forgotten some folks, which is why I hate these lists.  But trust me, it takes a huge amount of effort from countless volunteers (volunteers, as in we are not paid to do any of this) to create a Bouchercon.

And, once it all starts, to see smiling faces and hear happy conversations makes it all worthwhile.  Was it perfect?  Certainly not.  Was it fun?  Oh, yeah.  If I had known what I was getting into when I raised my hand back in 2008....I'd raise my hand again.  There's no experience like it.  But now it's Jon's turn to have all the fun, and Marjory after him in Cleveland, and then Al in Albany, and Ingrid in Long Beach.  Bouchercon just keeps rolling along.

So, without too much further ado......

See you in St. Louis!!!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

We did it!

We achieved Bouchercon!

If you all had half as much fun as I did, then the weekend was a rousing success.

Many of you told me you were having a good time, which was wonderful to hear, because that's really the point, isn't it? I mean, do you know anyone who comes to Bouchercon to have a bad time? 

There are things left to do before we say a final goodbye and start getting ready to have more fun at Bouchercon 2011.

But first, I need a nap.......

See you in a few days  ;-)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

This just in....

We have great news - Jacqueline Winspear will be stepping in for Robert Crais to interview Lee Child during his Guest of Honor spotlight on Saturday.

And Hank Phillippi Ryan will be interviewing David Baldacci on Friday morning.

We are very pleased, here at Bcon Central ;-)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

We interrupt our regularly scheduled foolishment... give you some unfortunate news.

Robert Crais is unable to attend Bouchercon this year. He's really disappointed not to be able to see all of us but an issue arose that, well, even Joe Pike couldn't fix it.

The silver lining is that now you get to guess who's going to interview Lee Child and David Baldacci.

More to come....

It's Here!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Bouchercon is here!  Yay!

After all the weeks and months of planning, and nerves, and panic, and fun, Bouchercon is starting.  Tonight! 

I've said it before and I'll say it again - I can't wait to see you all, and I hope you have a fabulous time.

Let's get this party started!!!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Take a walk with Dashiell Hammett...

I'm very pleased to tell you that the Great and Fabulous Don Herron has graciously agreed to give us two Dashiell Hammett walking tours.  You'll travel the path of Sam Spade, The Continental Op, and many of Hammett's other famous characters

The tours will take place Friday at noon and Thursday at 1:00, and are strictly limited to 30 people.

You'll meet in front of 870 Market, between 4th and 5th Streets - it's a 9 block walk or a 2-stop BART ride.  The lovely folks in the Hospitality Suite can help you figure out how to get there.

If you're interested, send an email to

In other news....

Guess what!  Bouchercon starts the day after tomorrow!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

More packing...

The aftermath of the Great Book Bag Extravaganza of 2010.....

The aftermath of the Great Rae Packs For Bouchercon With No Luggage Restrictions Extravaganza of 2010.....

The grumpy looking critter is Chief of Staff Sam.   He and his mom, Executive Assistant Missy, don't like it when I leave.  I will return to welcome-home gifts of the sort that....well, they barf when I'm gone.  A very effective way of showing their displeasure  ;-)

We're now at the point of being able to actually count down the hours, not the days, before all the fun begins.  I'm excited, and petrified (what gigantic undone task is going to leap out from under the bed as soon as I crawl beneath the covers?) and excited some more.

Bouchercon starts this week!

What I did today....

So, today was book bag stuffing today.  Publishers have been incredibly generous with the books they sent to us for your enjoyment.

We think we probably started with about 7500 books.  That's a bunch.  It took a looooong time and required a break for yummy Mexican food, which made us all happier workers.

And then we finished, and went home to count the minutes until Bouchercon officially starts...

Friday, October 8, 2010

Last minute travel tips - getting to the Hyatt

I'll bet most of you are getting to the Hyatt using BART - Bay Area Rapid Transit. If that's not your plan, it should be. BART is easy, economical, and keeps you out of San Francisco's utterly heinous traffic jams, which I would swear are timed so that you only miss your important appointments....

Flying into San Francisco?  There's a BART station inside the International Terminal, and the fare to your destination, the Embarcadero BART station, is $8.10.  The trip will take about 35 minutes.

Flying into Oakland?  You'll take an AirBART shuttle from the front of the airport to the Coliseum/Oakland Airport BART station.  The AirBART fare is $3.00, and the fare from the Coliseum/Oakland station to the Embarcadero Station is $3.80.  The trip, including your AirBART ride, will probably take about 30 minutes.

Once you get to the Embarcadero station, you'll see a sign like this, only less blurry (my Blackberry takes lousy photos  ;-)

Head toward Main | Drumm | Spear streets, looking for this sign....

Come on up the escalator.  There's an elevator if you travel with as much luggage as I do.  Wait. No one travels with as much luggage as I do.  And by the way, one of my favorite things about Bouchercon this year?  No luggage restrictions!

Anyway, as you come up the escalater, you'll see a big building......
It's the Hyatt!  I took this from the top of the escalator, so you can see you don't have far to travel to check in. 
Bouchercon is almost here!  Yay!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More on Bouchercon a Go Go

Pretty much everybody has at least one friend in San Francisco. It's that kind of town. So, if your San Francisco friend likes to dance and hang out with fun people, bring 'em along on Saturday night.

Here's the rule, though. If you want to bring a friend to the dance on Saturday night, you have to be with them (and wearing your badge) when they come in, so we can give them the official "I'm With a Member of Bouchercon" day-glo hand stamp (just like a real dance club ;-). Friends of Bouchercon are welcome; random people we don't know, not so much.

In the meantime, to get your toes tapping (and because I am really not in the mood to be making name tags right now ;-)........

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The clock keeps ticking...

...and there's still a whale of a lot to do....

...but it's beginning to feel like Bouchercon might just actually happen (good news, I'm sure, for all of you who've bought your plane tickets and made your hotel reservations  ;-)

Just today I had a conversation with the DJ for our Disco Dance.  Until now, it wouldn't have occurred to me that you have to tell these folks the kind of music you want - I guess I thought they just magically knew that anything sounding like this...

....will get them tossed out on their ear.

So we had a fun chat, during which I told him that I wanted great dance tunes from across the decades.  Like this one....

....and this one....

Lest you think I'm completely prejudiced against anything recorded after oh, say, 1989....

...there are some more recent tunes that make me want to shake my booty....

....and we're having an old-style photo booth, just for fun....

So, any requests for the DJ?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

And speaking of books...

So, take a look at our Book Room page.  There are booksellers and publishers and purveyors of all sorts of wonderfulness signed up to make sure you can get copies of books by your favorite authors.

I really don't know how the booksellers do it.  Somehow, they pack up their entire store and bring it to Bouchercon and unpack it, and make sure that they have books by just about every single author attending, and still leave their store back home open for business.  It's amazing.

So, after you've seen your favorite author on a panel, or discovered a new author whose work you want to try, well, just march on down to the Book Room and grab one of their books.  And chances are, the author will be there to sign it for you.  

And, Why I Love You Tube, Reason Number 4867:  I entered the words "good book song" in the search bar, and found this.  Pretty cool,  I think...

Books, books, books, books......

So, I work for a very large financial services company.  (Don't ask me their name.  They Would Not Like to have it used in a blog.)  Of late, however, it looks less like Money I$ U$, and more like the world's biggest book warehouse.

There are actually desks under all these boxes......

My colleagues are very eager for Bouchercon to start, and not because it's going to be so much fun  ;-)

I'll bet you can guess what's in the boxes.


And who are the books for?


That's right. We're having a book bag stuffing party this weekend, and everything in those boxes is going into book bags.  Well, except for the ONE THOUSAND BOOKS  we're giving away on Thursday night.  (The bags are very cool, by the way, they turned out just as I hoped. Thanks, MWA!)

Anyway, you may be wondering which books are going into the book bags. Well, I'm not going to tell you. It's a surprise. What I will say is that it's not just books. There are galleys and ARCs and all sorts of things that the general public just doesn't have access to yet.

Remember when we asked for volunteers a few days ago? Well, it occurred to us that if people are willing to work for Bouchercon while they're at Bouchercon, they should get a treat. So we're setting aside a few very special copies of a few very special books, just for volunteers.

There are still volunteer opportunities. Just sayin'.

Oh, and here's a clue. Patrick Larry Peter.

Heh ;-)

Monday, October 4, 2010

It has come to my attention...

...that Bouchercon is next week.


You know how I figured this out?

If I go to the Yahoo Weather extended forecast, Wednesday October 13 is on it....

Oct 13
Mostly Sunny
High 69°F
Low 59°F 
Precip 10 %

On one hand, I want my 36 hour days, dangit!  I have a lot to do.....

On the other hand, I can't wait to see you all, and finally get this party started.

I can't wait!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

So, let's see how much fun we can have in one evening...

So, our Thursday Night festivities are shaping up to be super cool.

First, the Opening Ceremonies are action-packed.  Toastmaster Extraordinaire Eddie Muller has come up with a starter - well, you just don't want to miss it.  That's all I'm saying.  We'll be handing out the Barry and the Macavity Awards  - can't wait to find out who wins...

And then, our friends at William Morrow are sponsoring the Fabulous Reception (that's its official title  ;-) and boy, oh boy.  I just finalized the menu.  Yum.

And, just to add to the general merriment, we're going to have a signing.  So, while you're enjoying beverages and nibbling on yummy treats, you'll have the opportunity to get books signed by these terrific writers:

Lou Berney, Robin Burcell, Wendi Corsi Staub, Deborah Crombie, Jamie Freveletti, C.S. Graham, Jonathan Hayes, Matt Hilton, Declan Hughes, Patrick Lee, Katia Lief, Attica Locke, Val McDermid, Michael Stanley, Charles Todd, Kate White, Jacqueline Winspear, Ken Wishnia

Sound like fun?  I think so, too.

And, speaking of the program....

It's about as close to final as it can be before October 14.  I'm guessing there'll be a couple of minor changes, but we really have it pretty well nailed down.  Check it all out on the program page, which we've updated with room assignments.  If you haven't seen all the newsletters, there are three types of panel this year:
  • Traditional Panel:  The thing that Bouchercon is famous for.  It's typically a moderator and four panelists.  Jon Jordan and Judy Bobalik came up with some great lineups, bless their hearts.  And remember, the first person who finds me on Thursday morning and tells me where the panel titles come from will win a prize.  
  • Continuous Conversation:  This is the one you get to participate in.  Think of it as a really cool and relaxed dinner party.  We've given the panelists general topic ideas just to get started, but the rest of it is up to all of you in the room.
  • 30 on the 30:  This is a half hour session, where one person speaks on the topic of their choice.  Take a good close look at this one, we have terrific presenters this year  and intriguing subjects.
And then there are the special events, like the reading of plays by Declan Hughes and Domenic Stansberry.

The fabulosity just never ends....

Bouchercon is less than two weeks away!   I feel a bit like the little kid who's been waiting for Santa to come since Halloween, and Christmas is almost here....

I can't wait to see you all,  and to start actually having the fun we've been planning for the last 24 months.

See you soon!