Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, is held annually in honor of mystery fiction author, editor, and critic Anthony Boucher. This year it was scheduled to take place in Sacramento but, because of the Pandemic, it was rescheduled as a virtual event. The two-day conference that kicked off on Friday, October 16, included On-Demand programs and hourly panels on different topics as well as the Awards ceremony for the Anthony Awards. I enjoyed the “Far Away: Building a Fictional Town,” “Not So Secret Lives of Authors,” and “Things That Go Bump: Writing Other Worlds in a Mystery” panels. I was particularly interested in the “With a Little Help from my Friends” and “Our Furry Friends” panels because they featured some discussion about animals in mysteries. While I couldn’t view all the panels, I hope to see them during the YouTube playback on November 1st. But the highlight of the event for me was my debut as a panelist. Although I hadn’t attended Bouchercon before, I was selected to serve on the “Keeping Secrets” panel with fellow mystery authors: Jess Montgomery, John Copenhaver, Michelle Falhoff, and Lisa Towles. Author Keir Graff moderated the panel.
Since it was my first panel and was live, I was a little nervous, but I was put at ease by the moderator and the other authors. I enjoyed speaking about how the cats communicate with one another and help investigate the murder in my latest cozy mystery as well as the secret rooms, secret hiding places, secret affairs, and other secrets that are featured in No Gravestone Unturned.
In addition, I found interesting the discussion about writing series books vs. standalones and shared my experience writing the Cobble Cove cozy mystery series and my standalone mysteries.
Kudos goes to the organizers of this wonderful virtual conference. While not the same as the regular 4-day convention, it was a nice, safe substitute. After this taste of Virtual Bouchercon, I’m considering 2021 in New Orleans in August. I will update this post with a playback of my panel and the link to the other sessions when they are available.