Friday, October 06, 2006

Beyond the Panel Fuck-Ups - Anchorage

My 2 cents on Bouchercon 2007 - an absolute must.

I have been to Anchorage before and can't wait to return. There are tons of things to do locally, and it typically isn't that cold end of September. I mean, anything can happen anywhere - Calgary can get snow in July and be at +25 in January - but that time of year in Anchorage? Fantastic.

I know people are griping about cost. If you live close to the border, you might consider flying from Canada. Just check out all your options.

Or make it a holiday combo and go up in inside passage.

Maybe I'll dig up some photos and post them over the next week, if I get ambitious. But truly, I am anxious for Alaska.

And authors, think on this. Because a lot of people aren't planning to attend, fewer authors. But I heard a lot of readers talking about making Alaska their holiday for the year and going.

Easier to get on panels, you'll still have a great audience of readers in front of you, and it's one of my favourite places out of 25 countries I've traveled to. As a debut author for 2007, there is no place it's more important for me to go.

If you've seen Northern Exposure, it was actually filmed in Washington state, but having been to both places, I can tell you it presents a fair likeness to the north. I may just fly up to Whitehorse and drive over to Anchorage... Through Kluane. I get goosebumps just thinking about it.

Now, on to how to royally fuck up a panel and make a negative impression at Bouchercon...

27 comments:

Bill Cameron said...

I'm actually a little worried about Anchorage. Cost is a valid concern, especially given that it's more expensive to stay in the Conference hotel in Anchorage than in the Thrillerfest hotel in New York City! How much will a bowl of oatmeal cost? $24?

I'm also a little worried by the fact that there is no "for more information" email at the Bouchercon site. It's great that I can book all kinds of touristy stuff via a link, or I can ask about ads in the publication, but I can't ask a general question about the conference itself.

Maybe I'm cranky this morning, but I'm looking at a trip likely to cost almost double Madison. That's intimidating.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Okay, here's the thing.

The convention part isn't at a hotel next year. It's at a convention center.

And that means you don't have to stay in the official hotel - stay elsewhere within proximity.

And share a room.

Plus, one thing I do is take protein bars/power bars and I can use those for breakfast fall-back.

There are ways to cut the costs back a bit. I know it isn't cheap, but have you seen the Thrillerfest costs for New York next July? If I don't get the grant money, I can't afford that. $200 per night for hotel alone? Never mind the airfare. I kid you not, cost totals it's cheaper to go to Harrogate than for me to go to Thrillerfest.

Unreal...

Bill Cameron said...

That's good to hear about the hotel, anyway. I'm probably sensitive because I just had a client freak about a project due to HER failure to multiple properly, so she wants to cut my fee in half. Which is also cutting my income for September in half. Not good timing for me to be thinking about expensive frolics with the grizzlies.

Sandra Ruttan said...

You're too nice Bill! Really.

We can find ways to make it work. Trust me, I think it's worthwhile to plan on Anchorage if you're a debut author. Remember, all the B'con coordinators for a certain number of years attend. So the people planning Baltimore will be at Anchorage. If they hear good things about you on a panel, they'll remember that when planning for the next B'con.

anne frasier said...

just when i was actually slightly considering anchorage, i read this. i couldn't find any hotel info online, but cost is definitely a consideration. i was silly enough to think alaska might be cheaper than madison.

panels: i was told it was a must to bring at least one of my books -- preferably more -- and display them in front of me during my panel. thank god i didn't! :O for one thing, i thought there's no way i'm lugging my own book/books around. if i'm going to be carrying a book, it will be something i actually want to read.

Bill Cameron said...

I'm not sure how nice I am. I believe the phrase I used was, "If I'd known you were going to cut my balls off, I'd have applied for a job at Starbuck's instead."

Might be the end of this particular relationship, but maybe just as well.

As for organizers going to previous B'Cons, I didn't realize that. But of course it makes sense.

Oy. My credit card is going to melt.

anne frasier said...

is there a park nearby where i can just pitch a tent? i'd really like to do that. :D

Sandra Ruttan said...

Anne, I think it's okay to show your book if asked. It's the clutter stuff that drives me mad.

And there are plenty of places to camp near Anchorage. Honestly, if we had the time a road trip would be fantastic!

Bill, just lay off the beer. And the Teddy Wedgers for breakfast - LOL!

Bill Cameron said...

At the marketing panel where Joe and I had our tryst, one of the authors had a Lambchop puppet sitting up front. And I thought of John Connolly the day before in a panel saying the next time he saw a Lambchop on the table at a panel he was going to rip its head off.

John, where were you?

As for Teddy Wedgers, lord, I think I'm still attempting to digest the three or four bites I ate.

Rob Gregory Browne said...

Teddywedgers. Ugh.

Sandra Ruttan said...

I'm still processing mine as well Rob!

JT Ellison said...

I'm definitely going to Anchorage, but when I called to make a reservation, they don't have any record of Bouchercon at the host hotel. What the hell's that about? I sent a message to the BCon folks, but still, no one seemed to know what I was talking about...

Julia Buckley said...

Well, it's great that you guys can at least DEBATE it. Thanks to the Catholic School System which expensively educates my sons, I have no money, ever. Not until Bill pays the blackmail.

Sandra, maybe you could pick me up on your way there. :) Since we all know that in order to get me on a plane you'd have to knock me out like Mr. T in the A Team and then revive me with smelling salts once we were in Alaska.

Bill Cameron said...

I pity the foo' that doesn't knock Julia unconscious and haul her to Anchorage!

Anonymous said...

www.anchorage.net is a website with travel and visitor information for the city of Anchorage. It has a list of hotels in the city, including their distance from the airport. In the meetings sections it has a link for Bouchercon, but don't bother with it, it just leads to the link for the 2007 Bouchercon website. Glad to hear I'm not the only one looking into this stuff already. norby

Sandra Ruttan said...

JT, that is weird!

Julia, stay away from Bill! (I love flying!)

Norby, no you aren't the only one!

anne frasier said...

does anybody know if it's at the eagan convention center?

Anonymous said...

I was just telling my husband last night I know I'm obsessing but damnit I just want to be able to make some decisions, even if I don't have to act on them yet. I just want information damnit!!! norby

anne frasier said...

egan, not eagan

Sandra Ruttan said...

I hear you Norby!

Anne, I'm not sure, but apparently the convention center is very close to the 'official' hotel. That's what the lady at registration told me. I'm looking through my info but still not finding that yet.

If I do, I'll let you know!

S. W. Vaughn said...

Alaska?

Er, gee, that's kinda far...

Have fun, y'all. :-)

anne frasier said...

sandra, i found the addresses of egan convention center and hilton. both 500 block. one is i think third street, one is fifth street so i'll bet it's at the egan. i'm on the case.

David Terrenoire said...

Being a veteran of only one Bouchercon, and that was Chicago, I have to say I enjoyed Thrillerfest a lot more. Smaller group, the panels were excellent, and there was just more of an air of collegiality. You could actually get to know people rather than have those flash hellos with the multitudes.

So, unless someone else picks up my tab, and that's highly unlikely, I won't do AK as much as I'd love to see it.

But New York? That's like my second home.

(And we're trying to save for two weeks in Tuscany next year, and I can't do both cons.)

Trace said...

I want to go to Anchorage so friggin' badly. I'm going to pinch as many pennies as I can and see how it goes.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Anne - we're making good progress with the side project!

David, I understand what you're saying. I have heard that they expect Thrillerfest to be twice as many people next year. I don't know what that's being based on or if it's accurate. Still, I understand.

Trace, pinch those pennies and collect those airmiles!

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