Facets of a Muse

Examining the guiding genius of writers everywhere

Bouchercon 2022 recap

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Morning hangout with fellow B’con authors, including Linda Johnston, Christine DeSmet, and Priscilla Paton

It’s been a week since Bouchercon, the international mystery readers and writers convention. This year it was in Minneapolis, basically in my backyard (even though I’m a little more than an hour away). What an event!

Over 1300 people registered and attended. So many panels, so many authors, so many readers! I was on one panel, and had the opportunity to sit in on many others, from writing the first draft to humor to crime in a small town to using setting. I got to see a number of our Twin Cities Sisters in Crime members in person for the first time in two years. (We still haven’t gone back to meeting in person yet; the place where we meet has changed their procedures for groups using the space, and since I live over an hour from the place, I’m waiting until I’m in the Cities to coordinate a “this is how we do it now” session with them).

And I caught up with a lot of the authors I met this spring at Left Coast Crime. The authors I had on the LCC panel I moderated were there (I didn’t catch up with one of them, but she was there), and so many others I’d spent some time visiting with. I met local authors and others from farther away, and of course came home with a much longer TBR list.

Some of the most enjoyable panels were one on humor, moderated by our very own (and very funny) Jessie Chandler, and one on setting, moderated by Matt Goldman. The humor authors included Charlaine Harris (yes, that Charlaine Harris), Catriona McPherson, Matt Goldman, and Craig Johnson (of Longmire fame). Dang, they were all funny, especially Charlaine and Catriona.

Matt’s panel about setting and weather was a study in international writers (and accents!). Catriona again (from Edinborough and now in CA), Alexander McCall Smith (England), Jo Nesbo (Norway), Caro Ramsay (Glasgow), and Stan Trollip (South Africa). I didn’t realize the rivalry between Edinborough and Glasgow, either, until Catriona and Caro started their verbal joust (all in good fun).

I didn’t take as many pictures as I’d intended, because I always forget until the opportunity is past. However, there are a lot of pics on FB from other attendees like Jess Lourey and Jessie Chandler. So much work, so many volunteers, and what a great convention! The local committee did a fabulous job!

I enjoyed it, and I know other members of our SinC chapter enjoyed it; it was their first convention, and they came because it was local. I wouldn’t have gone if it hadn’t been local; next year’s B’con is in San Diego, where two years ago LCC was for a day before they had to shut it down because of Covid. Haven’t decided if that will be on my list of conventions yet.

One thing that was tough (compared to LCC, which is less than half as big) was finding the people you knew who were there and you wanted to catch up with. It took me a day and a half to find a couple author friends who were there. At LCC I probably would have found them in the first half of the first day.

I met some old friends, some new friends, and helped my writing teacher plot her next Door County Fudge Shop book. I met an author now writing a 3-book series about a 450-lb crime-solving pig (based on a real-life pig). I crossed paths with research resources I can tap when I need some information, and I know whom I can ask when I need blurbs for my books.

I’ll be in Tucson next spring for LCC 2023 for sure, but I haven’t decided yet about B’con in San Diego. I might have to go since my last visit to San Diego was cut short and I missed the opportunity to meet up with B. In any case, if you have an opportunity to go to a convention, whether it be a readers/writers convention or a writers conference, go. You never know who you might meet, whether they be future critique partners, or editors, or a new favorite author. Or just people you get to see every year at the annual convention.

Check one out. I predict you’ll have a better time than you expect.

Have a great writing weekend!

Author: Julie Holmes, author

A fiction writer since elementary school (many years ago), and NaNoWriMo annual participant for over a decade, I have been published in small press magazines such as "Fighting Chance" and "The Galactic Citizen". I write adult mystery with a touch of romance, mystery with extrasensory elements, contemporary fantasy, and epic fantasy, and I'm represented by the fabulous Cynthia Zigmund of Second City Publishing Services. My debut novel, "Murder in Plane Sight", has been released by Camel Press (an imprint of Coffeetown Press/Epicenter Press). In real life, I am a technical writer and empty-nester with a wonderful hubby, one cat (what writer doesn't have cats??), two dogs, five chickens, and more chipmunks, squirrels, and rabbits than any garden should have to deal with. My garden, our hobby farm, and Nature's annual seasons are some of my muses.

8 thoughts on “Bouchercon 2022 recap

  1. I’m so glad you had a good experience, Julie! There’s something about those in-person get-togethers, isn’t there? And the panels often give a person really helpful, interesting insights. I’m happy for you that you went. Now, your Muse bribed<del coerced asked me to remind you that you should be writing… πŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

    • LOL! There is something to seeing people in person again; more than one person remarked at how they felt more creative, like they’d gotten a jumpstart for their writing.

      And yes, my Muse has already threatened to pull out the fedora and bullwhip πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

      Have a wonderful weekend, Margot!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oooh, that looks like so much fun, Julie! For some reason, there are never any of these conventions being held in central Florida. I have no clue why, unless they’re afraid attendees will get distracted by all the other attractions in the area. I’d love to attend one! Maybe someday.

    Glad you had a great time and thanks for sharing! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was a lot of fun (exhausting, but fun!). I suspect a lot of the writer conventions are held on the coast in your neck of the woods. Sleuthfest is in Boca Raton every year. One thing I did learn at B’con regarding conventions is that the host city has to have enough space, both hotel and presentation space. For B’con, the minimum is 800 rooms available; we voted to have B’con in Calgary in 2026. If you ever get a chance to go to a convention or conference, do it. I’ve met some really cool people, and good friends.

      Have a wonderful weekend, Marcia!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Boca Raton is over 200 miles from me, and I don’t drive interstates any more. *sigh* I’ve seen them now and then down there in South Florida, but this is a long state, and that’s usually gonna be 5 hours or so. Back in my younger years, I might have been okay with it, but I wasn’t a writer then, either. Haha. Here in central Florida there are many HUGE hotels and resorts with plenty of room, so maybe one day, a writing conference will happen here. I’d love that!

        Have a great weekend yourself, Julie! 😊❀️

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Well, you know my vote about the SD conference. Come, come, come!!!
    If it all works out for you, etc. etc. But otherwise, come, come, come!!! πŸ™‚
    I’m so glad you had such a good time and met and revisited with friends old and new. You sure know how to sell the heck out of a conference!
    The panel on humor sounded like a lot of fun.
    Oh, Zoe-Zoe. Come lay on my lap, kitty. Purrrr… purrr….

    Liked by 1 person

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