Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Bouchercon 2014 - Day 1 Recap

The 45th Annual Bouchercon, a mystery/thriller convention, was held in Long Beach last weekend. I'd never attended Bouchercon, but had heard great things about it at other conferences, and it didn't disappoint. These were the panels I attended on Day 1 (Thursday).

Crime in Tinseltown (Hollywood as the Setting for Murder)
Lee Goldberg (Moderator), retired LAPD Captain turned novelist Connie Dial, Diana Gould, Melodie Johnson Howe, Nathan Walpow, Sheila York.

The always entertaining Lee Goldberg led the discussion of authors discussing their showbiz-based novels. My favorite parts of the panel were via Goldberg, at one point ranting about how an inept lead actor on one of his shows led him to write his novel My Gun Has Bullets (which is now on my Kindle waiting to be read). The best story was when he was working on Diagnosis Murder and bringing his then eight year old daughter to the set to meet Dick Van Dyke because she was enamored of Bert the Chimney Sweep in Mary Poppins. She didn't recognize the white-haired man as Bert, so Van Dyke began performing a song from the movie. The panel also recommended the following as some of the best books about Hollywood: City of Nets, The Day of the Locust, The Dame in the Kimono and The Last Tycoon.

Mixing Murder with Food (Why We Love Cozies with Recipes)
Kate Carlisle (Moderator), Connie Archer, Leslie Budewitz, Daryl Wood Gerber (aka Avery Aames), Karen MacInerney, Ovidia Yu

Some tidbits about cozies with recipes from this entertaining panel: If you mention a recipe and don't include it in the book, you will hear from fans wanting it. Archer had included a made-up soup in one of her books and had fans requesting the non-existent recipe. Yu referred to the combination of cozy mysteries and food as "comfort reading. One of the things I love about cozies is the titles. Titles from this panel include Crime Rib, A Spoon Full of Murder, As Gouda as Dead, Days of Wine and Roquefort, and Dead and Berried.

"Mixing Murder with Food" panel.

Short But Mighty (The Power and Freedom of the Short Story)
Travis Richardson (Moderator), Craig Faustus Buck, Barb Goffman, Robert Lopresti, Paul D. Marks, Art Taylor

Panelists have had their work published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, and various anthologies (Buck contributed to Murder at the Beach, this year's Bouchercon anthology). Richardson, Buck and Taylor were all nominees in the short story category for Bouchercon's Anthony Award (John Connelly won). Buck said he writes short stories to procrastinate when working on novels. Buck recommended buying newspapers for story ideas. Goffman suggested News of the Weird.

On my to-read list.

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