Bouchercon well and truly starts this morning (Thursday) here in St Louis. However, Tuesday at St Louis was spent doing last minute things, which included unloading two u-haul’s full of boxes and over 1500 book bags. It took us over 16 hours to fill all the book bags and load the trucks but luckily due to the large number of volunteers which also included some panel members it only took us 1 ½ hours. Rather sadly since it started raining the movement of all the boxes and other related matters took place in the rain.
The booksellers also started to arrive and set up in the book room, which is massive. As indicated in yesterday’s blog post there were a number of pre-Bouchercon events taking place last night. By all accounts they went very well indeed. I spent the day helping the organisers with various things whilst meeting and saying hello to various people which included Sara Paretsky, Reed Farrell Coleman, Daniel Woodrell, Matt and Denise Hamilton, Jason Pinter, Jason Starr, Adrian Muller, Steve Hamilton, Pete Rozovsky, Martyn Waites, Robert Crais, Colin Cotterill, Catriona McPherson, Jan Burke, Charlaine Harris, Christa Faust and Yrsa Sigurdardottir and CWA short story winner Sean Chercover to name a few.
Jeremy Lynch has put together a wonderful and huge amount of gifts for the silent auction. If you are around you must go up and have a look at the stuff and be prepared to bid! Some of the stuff is amazing especially the items donated by Sara Paretsky and Robert Crais.
To say thank you to all the volunteers who have given up their time and have been helping with the event they arranged a dinner at the famous “Pappy’s Smokehouse”. It was an incredibly fun evening and the food was fantastic. I got to spend sometime catching up with two of the guests of honour Sara Paretsky and Val McDermid and also spend time with the extremely lovely Jen Forbus.
As one can be expected everybody congregated in the bar after and it heaving! I am not sure that they had seen so many people in the place.
The panels well and truly start today at 8:30am and it is going to be very interesting and difficult trying to sort out which of them to attend. The programme organisers have done a fantastic job. A number of them have already wetted my appetite. The only one that I know that I am going to certainly make sure that I have a front row seat for is Passengers – Fasten your Seat Belts….. I mean it is not often that you have all your guests of honour on one panel. It is in my opinion inspired programming.
The opening ceremony and reception takes place this evening as well and I am sure that it will be a lovely event. PS – For those of you that are here and reading this blog don’t forget to complete your Anthony Ballot! The box to submit your ballot can be found at the registration desk! The closing time for submitting your ballot is 5pm on Saturday evening!