Worth Flying For – Tuesday, 23 November 2010
A man walks into a mystery convention….
Okay, so you enjoy reading the Reacher novels. This fictional character is tall and heavy, I’m tall and heavy, he’s blonde with blue eyes, so am I, he was a cop of sorts for thirteen years and mustered out of the army as an officer, I’m still in the army as an officer and have been a cop for 11 years. Reacher enjoys a life free from responsibility and restrictions, he has no car, no fixed address, no wife and children… neither do I. So, reading about a character who enjoys this peripatetic lifestyle is a great way to relax, the ideal escapism when the life of investigating real life crime becomes more disturbing than fiction.
What could be better? How about competing in Random House Australia’s recent ‘Are You Jack Reacher?’ competition and winning my name in an upcoming Lee Child thriller. Sound too good to be true? Add to that Lee Child extending an all-expenses-paid invitation to attend The Bouchercon Mystery Convention in San Francisco, to compete in an international Jack Reacher look-alike competition. I’m not making this stuff up folks, Lee Child writes good fiction, but he does great reality too.
Bouchercon, in its 41st year, is an annual mystery convention held at different locations around the US which brings together all things crime fiction; writers, both recognised and aspiring, agents, publishers and fans. Lots and lots of fans. A seemingly limitless range of interviews, panels and presentations involving your favourite authors were available and opportunities abounded to discover more favourites.
As a Guest of Honour at Bouchercon, Lee’s status as the rock star was highlighted at several key events, being toasted at the opening address and the closing VIP breakfast, hosting the Reacher Creature party and receiving the ‘Distinguished Contribution To the Genre’ Award for his Reacher series. More well deserved praise for his work.
Instead of Reacher’s swift justice delivered violently, Lee dishes out warmth and generosity. During the convention, fans were rewarded with the opportunity for photos and an autograph and Lee picked up the bar tab for a thousand strong crowd of fans at the Reacher Creature party held against the stunning backdrop of the Hyatt Embarcadero.
And what a fantastic few days in the city by the bay, hearing authors like Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Chris Mooney, Gregg Hurwitz and Chelsea Cain speaking about their work was entertaining and almost as big a thrill as reading their work. My only difficulty was trying to attend two events at the same time so I wouldn’t miss anything.
After the convention, I was ready to explore more of the United States. What could be more appropriate after Reacher’s creator flying me there than setting off without luggage or itinerary across the country? Buying new clothes as I needed them and sleeping wherever I found myself when I was tired. A great way to meet fantastic people, see the real USA and immerse in the adventure of travel. Burdened only with the shirt on my back and the toothbrush in my pocket.
So I bid goodbye to Lee and the Bouchercon crew, tucked my folding toothbrush in my pocket, walked out of the Hyatt and headed off in the direction of the bus station…..but that’s another story.
International Jack Reacher Look-Alike Winner
Originally posted by Jack Reacher Official on Thursday, 01 September 2011
How perfect a fit is Duncan Munro?!? He is Jack Reacher come to life. (Certainly a better match than say… ohh… Tom Cruise?)
Thanks to Random House Australia for allowing us to re-post this piece.
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Available from 3rd October 2011
The Affair: a Jack Reacher novel
by Lee Child
The new Jack Reacher thriller from the number one bestseller.
March 1997. A woman has her throat cut behind a bar in Carter Crossing, Mississippi. Just down the road is a big army base.Is the murderer a local guy – or is he a soldier?
Jack Reacher, still a major in the military police, is sent in undercover.The county sheriff is a former U.S. Marine – and a stunningly beautiful woman. Her investigation is going nowhere. Is the Pentagon stonewalling her? Or doesn’t she really want to find the killer?
The adrenaline-pumping, high-voltage action in The Affair is set just six months before the opening of Killing Floor, and it marks a turning point in Reacher’s career. If he does what the army wants, will he be able to live with himself? And if he doesn’t, will the army be able to live with him? Is this his last case in uniform?