Bouchercon 2016–Five Days of Friends, Food, and Fabulous New Orleans

There are so many reasons I love being a writer. One I could never have anticipated was how much I would treasure the time I get to spend with other people who love books: editors, agents, other writers, and readers. To me, writing was only about telling the story. The publishing part was secondary, and so I stayed in my room, writing, writing, writing. Sure, I imagined that maybe, someday, possibly I’d have my books published, but I never understood that a novel is actually a two-way communication. Yes, the writer tells the story, but the reader brings the understanding. And there are a whole lot of wonderful people in between!

Last year, Bouchercon–the World Mystery Convention was in Raleigh, NC. It was a smallish crowd as Bouchercons go. Fun, yet intimate. But last week in New Orleans was a fabulous blow-out. I had never been to New Orleans, and couldn’t wait to go. In the end, there were almost two thousand attendees, nine hundred of whom were writers. There were panels and presentations, meet-ups in bars and restaurants, a parade, and books, books, and more books. I could tell you all about it, but I’d rather just show you pictures.

The Bridge at Cape Girardeau, MO

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My view of New Orleans from the 23rd floor

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Dinner at Muriel’s Restaurant

(J.T. Ellison, Allison Brennan, Toni McGee Causey, Me, (standing L–Erica Spindler, R-C.J. Lyons)

(photo by Erica Spindler)

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Savory Cheesecake at Muriel’s

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The gorgeous view of downtown from a friend’s deck in the French Quarter

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Shrimp Louie with Avocado at the Hotel Monteleone

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The Carousel Bar at the Hotel Monteleone

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Dana Chamblee Carpenter and Erica Wright

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Bourbon Street from above

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Yes, I would have this in my house

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All of these things, too

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The view from the dais for the “You Only Hurt the Ones You Love” panel

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Local entertainment

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Look! I found where all the 1960s barware lives

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Holly West and Toni McGee Causey before our Soap Opera panel

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That there is fried alligator at Mulate’s–delicious

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With my wonderful BFF, J.T. Ellison

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Catherine Coulter, Sheryl Zajechowski, and Eileen Hutton

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My Sunday haunted tour in the Garden District started at Lafayette Cemetery #1

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At a grave

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A gate that refuses to be locked or even closed

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The former home of writer Anne Rice

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The garden

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Solo lunch at the Red Fish Grill, with a tiny taste of shrimp and spinach soup

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Spotted this while Uber-ing, because of course one would have mannequins on one’s balcony

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My very first Whataburger, fries and shake–on the way back

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Southern Illinois sunset at about hour 11 on my drive home

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