Sunday, October 29, 2017

Bouchercon Recap

Bouchercon is an annual world mystery convention named after mystery fiction critic, editor, and author Anthony Boucher. It was held in Toronto, Canada this year and I could not pass up the opportunity to attend. On Tuesday, October 11, author Lissa Marie Redmond and I took the drive over the border and into Canada for a grand adventure.

I started writing a day by day synopsis of what I did, but it started to look like a humorous version of WAR AND PEACE. I had a great time and did a lot. I mean a lot; early mornings and late nights crammed with activities. So let me encapsulate.

I felt a bit like Blanche Dubois, "I have always depended on the kindness of strangers." Fortunately, I met several very kind gentlemen from Toronto who helped me navigate the streets of Toronto. A homeless man even complimented me on my hat! I managed streetcars, subways, and a taxi... with a little help!

Strange wonderfulness occurred with random Disney princesses, a Harry Potter Shop, a lemon, and more. Online friends and admired authors were met in person, including Dru, L.J.M. Owen, Judy Penz Sheluk, Gigi Pandian, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Nadine Nettmann, Margaret Mizushima, Sheila Connolly, Leslie Budewitz, Diane Vallere, and so many more. I even got my picture taken with Charlaine Harris, met Rhys Bowen in the elevator, and attended a workshop with Kate Carlisle!

Outside of the hotel I got to see the Arthur Conan Doyle Collection at the Toronto Reference Library along with a Sherlock Holmes Pop Art Exhibit. L.J.M. Owen and I also went on the Toronto ghost walk Saturday night in the rain. Lissa Marie Redmond and I attended Noir at the Bar along with Pub Games, and a Pub quiz. I also won an item from the silent auction: an ELUSIVE ELIXIR mug and mini gargoyle from Gigi Pandian.

I can't forget the panels! Dark Minds: Psychopaths and Serial Killers (with a lovely conversation about psychopaths afterward with Daniel Palmer), How authors are like their characters (scored a bottle of wine at that one!), Critters of Crime: K9s, cats, and cows - and their role in mysteries, 50 Minute Novel, Hard Boiled vs Cozy, Do You Want to Know a Secret? with the Jungle Red Writers, Diverse Characters, and the Bookshelf Did it.

And books! I bought and received so many wonderful books.That's  some of the loot!

I attended the Librarian and Blogger's Tea in which a fire alarm prompted the panel, including Sara Paretsky, to create a new story! I sat at the table with Nadine Nettmann and Ausma Zehanat Khan. I also went to the Sisters in Crime Breakfast, sharing a table with Leslie Budewitz and Shiela Connolly and went to the SinC into Great Writing Workshop led by Alexandra Sokoloff which also featured Canadian mystery writer Maureen Jennings, author of The Murdoch Mysteries.

I received a great deal from attending Bouchercon. I got great motivation with concrete tips, even the threat of a hungry ghost! Thank you so much Alex Sokoloff and Ovidia Yu! I also made great friends, especially L.J.M. Owen. 

I have written a lot, and yes, what I have written is the condensed version. You can see why it took me a week to recuperate! Toronto's Bouchercon 2017 was an enjoyable adventure that I'll always treasure.


  1. I can testify that, even on Sunday you were right up front at a panel session! It really was a rich full experience for both readers and writers. --kate, writing as c. t. collier

    1. Late nights and early mornings equaled exhaustion, but it was worth it!

  2. Love this! Truly fun to read your Bouchercon memories! Could you believe the fire alarms?

    1. Thanks, it was a great experience and I love talking about it. I will never forget those fire alarms. It was a challenge, but definitely made the panel memorable!

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.