A week ago, I found myself in beautiful downtown St. Petersburg, FL at the historic Vinoy Renaissance Hotel attending the 49th Annual Bouchercon 2018 or The Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention. I’ll be honest, for a big reader, I’d never heard of the World Mystery Convention, but since it was close to home, a writer friend and I decided to attend.
I soon learned that Anthony Boucher (1911-1968) was a science fiction editor, author of mystery novels and mystery reviewer. He helped found the Mystery Writers of America in 1946. The conference was named after him, as well as the Anthony Awards presented each year for outstanding crime fiction.
Every year the event is held in a different city. This conference was sold out, writers and fans there to spend four days meeting authors, attending writing panels and listening to popular authors speak about their work. I’ve been to many different writing events, but I have to say, the crowd was excited and it was contagious. Speakers from here in the U.S. and around the world represented the genre, happy to discuss the craft of writing as well as their books. I discovered new authors as well as getting to see those whose books I already love to read.
The panels featured authors who write P.I. series, police procedurals, amateur sleuths, cozy mysteries, to name a few. Since I write cozies, I was especially drawn to those panels. There were book signings, as you can see I came home with a bag full.
And sweets at an Agatha Christie trivia contest.
So what did I come away with?
That I love to read mysteries as much as I love to write them.
Authors, no matter how many books sold, are very generous with their time and these authors couldn’t have been friendlier. Or funnier. I suppose you have to throw in some humor when writing what can sometimes be dark material.
Crime fiction is a big seller.
I’m an accessory to excessive reading.
It was a great weekend and I will definitely make it to another convention in the future. If you ever happen to hear about Bouchercon coming to your city, now you have an insight into what takes place. If you’ve already been, you know what I’m talking about.
Tara Randel is an award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of eighteen novels. Family values, a bit of mystery and, of course, love and romance, are her favorite themes, because she believes love is the greatest gift of all. Look for her Harlequin Heartwarming romance, THE LAWMAN’S SECRET VOW, available now and OUR CHRISTMAS VOW, her 2018 Christmas Town novel, available October 9 . Visit Tara at www.tararandel.com. Like her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/TaraRandelBooks. Sign up for Tara’s Newsletter and receive a link to download a free digital book.