There is nothing quite as exciting to a mystery writer as a mystery writers’ convention. Writing is a solitary endeavor—just like reading, and many of us readers and writers tend to enjoy that solitude. But every now and then there’s nothing I enjoy more than joining hundreds, or even thousands, of fellow readers and writers to talk about books! This year so many writer’s conventions and book festivals were cancelled, so I was thrilled to learn that Bouchercon was taking a stab (hehe) at a virtual convention!
Bouchercon is the world mystery convention; the granddaddy of them all and it’s huge. In person, it can be a little daunting. It’s usually at a sprawling location with nearly two thousand people rushing from one event to the next. There are so many panel options to choose from along with programs like author speed dating, 1-minute readings, and one on one interviews, and author signings—there is always something to do.
My first Bouchercon was in St Petersburg and I was lucky enough to be on a panel for historical mystery. I made the mistake of checking out the room where the panel would take place the night before. It was huge! But since Deanna Raybourn was on my panel, it’s what I should have expected. I didn’t sleep all night. By morning I was a nervous wreck. But once it began, it was just a group of people talking about books—our favorite subject.
Virtual Bouchercon will be different in the sense that we won’t have to rush from event to event, there won’t be crowds, and we certainly don’t have to dress up for it. But it will be the same in the most important sense—booklovers will be sharing our love of books!
If you plan to attend, I hope you’ll drop in on my panel, Long Ago and Far Away, October 16th from 3:00 to 4:00 PDT. I’ll be there with along with wonderful authors Kim Taylor Blakemore, R.J. Koreto, Edith Maxwell, and Karen Odden. Moderated by Sarah E. Burr.