Anticipating Bouchercon ~ Rosemary McCracken, September 17

Rosemary McCrackenTomorrow I head south to Albany, N.Y., for a four-day crime fiction immersion at Bouchercon. The granddaddy of all mystery conventions, Bouchercon’s full moniker is the Anthony Boucher Memorial World Mystery Convention, in honour of the late U.S. writer, reviewer and editor Anthony Boucher. The event has been held annually since 1970.

I’m a huge fan of mystery conferences. They’re terrific opportunities to meet writers, editors and agents, exchange ideas and keep up with developments in the world of publishing. I’ve attended most of our Canadian Bloody Words gatherings since the first was held 1999. But I’ve only been to one Bouchercon, the event that was held in Toronto in 2004. They generally take place in September when I’m getting back to my journalism work and a trip across North America is not possible. But this year’s Albany venue is close enough to home to work for me.

And I’m looking forward to it. Many of the greats of crime fiction will be there. Guests of honour are Sue Grafton, Anne Perry and Tess Gerritson. And I see from the list of attendees on the Bouchercon 2013 website that many well-known Canadian authors will be there, including Louise Penny, Sean Chercover, Robin Spano and Robert Rotenberg.

Thirteen, an anthology of Crime StoriesOne of the highlights for me will be representing the Mesdames of Mayhem on a Friday morning Author’s Choice panel. It will feature three recently released Canadian crime fiction anthologies. I’ll talk up the Mesdames’ new anthology, Thirteen, and Helen Nelson and Karen Blake-Hall will discuss the The Whole She-Bang and Nefarious North. I’m proud to say that I have stories in all three!

I’ll speak on another panel on Friday, this one made up of authors who write about financial crime. I’ll join Canada’s Ian Hamilton, author of the Ava Lee (a forensic accountant) novels, and three American writers on Easy Money – Making Finance Thrilling. I’ll talk about Pat Tierney, the financial advisor protagonist of my two mysteries, Safe Harbor and Black Water.

Three other Mesdames of Mayhem will be in Albany: Catherine Astolfo, Catherine Dunphy and Dorothy McIntosh. Astolfo will be on a Friday panel with the intriguing name of Weekend Song – I’m Not a Detective but I Stayed at a Holiday Inn Express Last Night. McIntosh will be on a Saturday panel with Tess Gerritson called You Can Make Me Free – Writing as Therapy. I wouldn’t miss either of them.

I see on the schedule that there will be an “International Attendee Reception” at 5:30 p.m. on Friday. I assume that includes all the Canadian writers and readers who will there.

Bouchercon is where the Anthony Awards for excellence in crime fiction are presented – named again for Anthony Boucher. They’ll be given out on Saturday evening. Louise Penny and Sean Chercover are both up for best novel, Penny for The Beautiful Mystery, Chercover for The Trinity Game. Michael Sears, one of my fellow Easy Money panelists and a former Wall Street bond trader, is up for best first novel for Black Fridays.

Don Longmuir of Scene of the Crime Books, who’s well-known to authors who’ve attended Bloody Words, will be busy selling our books in the bookroom. A terrific opportunity to give the Mesdames’ writing more exposure!

Black Water, a Pat Tierney mysteryRosemary McCracken has worked on newspapers across Canada as a reporter, arts writer and reviewer, and editor. She is now a Toronto-based freelance journalist, specializing in personal finance and the financial service industry.

Her mystery novel, Safe Harbor, was shortlisted for Britain’s Crime Writers’ Association’s Debut Dagger Award in 2010. It was released as a paperback and an ebook by Imajin Books in 2012.

Black Water, the second Pat Tierney mystery, has recently been released.

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