I'm sitting in the Phoenix airport on the way back to Las Vegas. It's Sunday morning. I think there are still remnants of Bouchercon going on, but all the real stuff concluded last night.

It was well-attended, I'll have to admit. Many panels were standing room only, and Michael Connelly spoke in a convention center venue that attracted upwards of 1500 people.

I liked the idea of the "continuous conversations". It gave me somewhere to go during down time. They weren't all that eye-opening, but they beat sitting around waiting for a panel I wanted to attend.

And speaking of the panels, this leads right into my chief complaint with the whole conference. The panel moderators would not make the panelists speak directly into the microphone. Some panelists have a sort of natural projection, so they don't have to "eat" the microphone, but far too many tended to mumble, without realizing they could not be heard.

Many of the moderators, however, were well-prepared, and it showed! They kept things moving, they stayed on topic, and they opened it up for Q and A in a timely fashion.

Next time, I'm going to book my trip earlier. This way, I will snare a room at the host hotel. I stayed at the Omni, an aging facility (built in 1913!) about two blocks away. There was no problem with safety in walking that distance, but it was horrendously inconvenient.

This was my first Bouchercon, so maybe some veterans can tell me: does the host city usually produce a high turnout such as what they had in Indianapolis? It seemed like everywhere I turned, name tags ended in "IN".

I came down with the beginnings of a cold yesterday afternoon, so I missed the Anthony awards, but I'm sure I can find out who won.

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I'd love to know who won what.
Sarah Weinman posted the awards on Confessions of an Idiosyncratic Miand.
Thank you, Ingrid!
Nice report, Mike. Yep--staying at the main hotel is always good if you can swing it, though the Indy Hyatt (c. 1973) is no great inspiration--my room looked like semi-pro hockey players had been partying in it. Plus it was very hard at times to catch an elevator, and the stairs were like something out of Brazil. Still, I've stayed at worse places.
We stayed at the Embassy Suites across the street. It had some nice features, including free Internet IN THE LOBBY (connect with one of the Training servers).

There are a large crop of Indiana writers. Ball State usually hosts Magna Cum Murder in October, but didn't hold it this year because of Bouchercon. They cultivate them, apparently. The Indiana chapter of Sisters in Crime (founded by former members of MY chapter of SinC) provided a lot of the volunteer work.

About six of our volunteers were from the local Sinc. The vast majority of volunteers were simply fans. Historically Indiana is usually second only to New York for the numbers of authors on a per state basis.
Very impressive! Perhaps I noticed them the most because I was looking for them.
It is nice to see a state with people who want to cultivate their writers.
I also stayed at Embassy Suites. Directly across the street from the Hyatt, and I loved it.
Your reports make me feel better about not going. I'm planning on San Francisco next year, though.

I'm looking forward to the Poisoned Pen WebCon this Saturday, October 24th. Only $25 to register, and since I'm moderating 2 panels, I get to have a web page up on their site for the foreseeable future. In these tough economic times, this type of virtual event makes a lot more sense! Check them out at www.ppwebcon.com. There's still time to register!

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