Friday, October 15, 2010

On the road again: Bouchercon, San Francisco, day 3

One of the more interesting Bouchercon items today was an interview of bestselling writer David Baldacci. I've heard more than a few self-styled "literary" writers dismiss Baldacci and other top-selling thriller writers as hacks aiming books at the lowest common denominator. I haven't read his work, so I can't comment on it, but I can say that in the interview he came across as nice, intelligent, very focused on his work, and utterly unwilling to do anything simply to please the market. He repeated several times a statement I've often made: you should write books for yourself. As so frequently happens at such programming items, I left convinced to give one of his books a go.

Another excellent panel featured Declan Hughes and John Connolly discussing ten must-read crime novels. They actually covered ten must-read writers, and then added a few more in a rush at the end. Though I'd read most of the books and writers, a couple were on the list of people I keep meaning to read, and so perhaps now I will promote them.

Lunch was again at the Ferry Building, this time a Cowgirl Creamery grilled cheese sandwich of the day.

Mid-afternoon brought my one programming item, a thirty-minute session on children in war. The person in the room ahead of me ran more than ten minutes long, so I had a very short panel, but about eight folks showed up, and all of them seemed genuinely interested in the topic. So, though it was a very small group, it wasn't as soul- and ego-crushing as some of my solo con efforts.

Dinner was an absolutely excellent Persian meal at Zare at Flytrap. We sampled a range of appetizers and desserts, and every single dish was very good or better. The lamb sausages were superb. If you live here or are visiting, this place belongs on your restaurant short list.

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