Bouchercon 2013, the world’s leading convention for crime fiction readers and writers, was last weekend! Since we couldn’t make an appearance, we enlisted Lucy Carson, a literary agent from the Friedrich Literary Agency, to be our eyes and ears at the event.
Here’s Lucy’s report of this year’s Bouchercon.
You just came back from Bouchercon 2013! What’s new in the world of mystery?
Things are certainly shifting. There was a lot of not-fully-articulated genre discrimination, depending on who is bending your ear. Writers who consider themselves hard-boiled did a bit of cozy-complaining and vice versa. I was amazed at the number of writers who were self-publishing multiple books in a series and then deciding that book #3 or #4 would now be submitted to major publishing houses. Mystery writers are often folks who write quickly and in high volume, so I think there’s sometimes an impatience to publish, which shouldn’t trump strategy. The most common swag items were printed products like bookmarks and basic card stock with excerpts and cover art. A lot of folks were bemoaning the recent closures of some beloved mystery bookstores, but carrying Kindles to solicit author signatures (!). There was an overall atmosphere of excitement, and the “big shot” authors were incredibly gracious with their time in talking to each fan who approached them. It’s a supportive community full of voracious, loyal readers.