A Mystery-Lover’s Paradise
Today I’ll be looking back on Bouchercon, the trade name for the World Mystery Convention held every year in a different city around the English-speaking world. It’s a three-and-a-half day celebration of the mystery genre (the overarching name that includes thrillers, suspense, private detective, police procedurals, and other forms of crime-related fiction). This year, Bouchercon was held in Minneapolis, so of course, I had to go. And I was glad I did.
To give you a taste of my schedule and activities, here are more photos and captions.
A popular event on Friday evening was “Noir at the Bar.” Selected readers read excerpts from (usually) their latest work as listeners ate and drank in a casual atmosphere.
Saturday was an exceptional day for me both for what panels I attended and the “performances I gave.” One panel, one 7:00 am Author Speed Dating marathon and a Hygge-style MN Author Tea.
Author speed dating consists of forty authors, more than a hundred interested readers, and two minutes per author to talk to a table full of potential readers in groups of 4-8 per table. Eighteen rounds, two rest breaks, and lots of swag passed out. Whew! I was exhausted after two hours of selling myself, but gratefully, I didn’t lose my voice (until that night and the next morning. Even then, it just drops an octave, and it turns into my “James Earl Jones” voice. 🙂
Live conventions and conferences with other writers are always exhausting for most authors, who are generally introverts. But we get energized meeting with, talking to, and listening to each other. Bouchercon is unique in that it also invites readers of mysteries to attend. I only sold one book (and bookselling was not my goal), but I met dozens of potential new readers/customers and felt their energy and enthusiasm for the genre too. And finally–knock on wood–I didn’t catch COVID!!!!
All in all, an exhaustingly fun weekend. If you’re a mystery fan, consider attending next year’s Bouchercon 2023 convention in beautiful, spectacular San Diego!
- SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 17, 9 AM-3 PM. Rustic Mamas’ Market, Four Seasons Centre, Owatonna MN
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 1, 9:30 am-3 pm. Deep Valley Book Festival, at the WOW! Zone, Mankato MN.
- THURSDAY, OCTOBER 6, 1:00 pm. Woman’s Club of Owatonna. St. John’s Lutheran Church, Owatonna MN. Presentation: “The Ins and Outs of Mystery Writing.”
- SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 10:00 AM – 5:00 PM. Twin Cities Book Festival. Minnesota State Fairgrounds, St. Paul MN