Tuesday, October 13, 2009

A Most Mysterious Weekend

By Chester Campbell

Most mysterious eyes will be on Indianapolis this weekend, where the 40th Bouchercon World Mystery Convention kicks off on Thursday. With the economy still in the tank, it probably won’t draw the usual 2,000 readers and authors, although at last report registrations were running well. Under the sure hand of Jim Huang, owner of The Mystery Company in Carmel, IN, a prodigious program has been organized, including a wealth of side events. Jim has had many years of experience in planning Magna Cum Murder in Muncie.

Wife Sarah and I will be there for our third Bouchercon (Las Vegas and Madison, WI previously). I’ll be on a panel Saturday at 1:00 p.m. titled GEEZER LIT COMES OF AGE, The graying of the genre. Others on the panel are Mike Befeler, Naomi Hirahara, fellow Nashvillian Mary Saums, and Patricia Stoltey. It should be fun as we explore the boom in older protags and the aging mystery readership.

I have met lots of mystery writers at previous outings and will get reacquainted with numerous others I haven’t encountered in a while. That networking process is one of the main attractions of conferences and conventions like this. The other, of course, is the opportunity to choose from a multitude of panel subjects for further enlightenment. After nearly a decade of attending such sessions, I rarely hear anything new but get different slants on old topics and am reminded of things I should be doing but aren’t.

One of the closing features, new this year, will be The Bazaar. More than 100 authors will sit at tables and give away 50 books to readers who bring tickets (five free, five more for $5). The event will be hosted by its originator, Joe Konrath, who can be counted on to turn up anywhere at anytime. I will give away copies of my third Greg McKenzie mystery, Deadly Illusions. The idea is that people can choose which books they want to take home. In the past, everyone received a bunch of books in their bags at registration, and many were left behind, unwanted.

I hope to see some of you in Indianapolis this weekend. If you encounter a geezer with CHESTER on his nametag, chances are it’ll be me. Stop and say “Hi!”

1 comment:

Mark W. Danielson said...

Anything can happen in Indy, which is why it's the number one LEGITIMATE convention center in the US. Hope there's a good turnout.