Saturday, October 06, 2012

Off to Cleveland and Bouchercon 2012

Our guest this weekend is Linda Wiken, or should I say, Erika Chase, because that’s the nom de plume under which she writes. I’ve known Linda for many years, first as an owner of the late and very much lamented Prime Crime in Ottawa, Ontario, then as the owner of the store, but all along she was doing her writing thing with the Ladies Killing Circle (award-winning short story collections) and now with her own series about a book club. How appropriate!

As you read this, I’m not actually writing it as I’m in Cleveland, Ohio at Bouchercon 2012, the world mystery conference. Along with many other Canadian mystery writers, I might add. In fact, we hosted a Meet the Canucks party last night and I’m sure everyone had a great time! That’s our line, anyway and we’re sticking to it!

If you’ve never attended a Boucheron, you’ve gotta do so at least once in your writing career. I haven’t been to one in about 12 years or so. At that time, I was attending more under the guise of bookseller than mystery writer so it will be interesting to see how this weekend compares. As if I could even remember that last one!

I’m more at home at the smaller conferences – Bloody Words, Malice Domestic, and Left Coast Crime. That’s where cosies – what I write – are more included. While at Bouchercon, it’s one big named gritty writer after another. Not that I’m complaining. I love attending the panels and getting their takes on the writing experience. After all, we all aim for the same thing – a novel that captures the reader’s attention. They might even take away a few tips from me and my ilk.

Did I mention the big names? This is the conference they make a point of attending. So what a great place to rub shoulders, get autographs, and schmooze. There’ll also be a Canadian bookseller on site – Scene of the Crime – which is great because the Canadian books will be most assuredly readily available.

And then there’s Cleveland. I used to choose my conferences based on which city I wanted to visit. Well, I’ve never been to Cleveland before and get this – the opening ceremonies were held in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. But that may be all I’ll see of this famed city as the panels are all hot.

I like doing the conferences. It’s a good energy boost and often results in lengthy writing sessions once I get home and the laundry’s been done. It means a lot, being part of this collegial group called mystery and crime writers. There’s not enough back-stabbing to warrant a mystery being set at one. The petty jealousies wouldn’t fill many pages. And the divas usually don’t take their designations too seriously. Which means, a good time is had by all and the mystery genre continues to flourish.

Good news for mystery authors and readers alike.

Maybe I’ll see you at the next one!

Linda Wiken is a former mystery bookstore owner in Ottawa, ON. Writing as Erika Chase, her first book in the Ashton Corners Book Club mysteries, A Killer Read, was released in April, 2012. Read and Buried will follow on Dec. 4,  2012.   Linda also maintains a blog site, Mystery Maven Canada, with news, schmooze and reviews about Canadian mystery writers.  Most recently, she’s returned to the bookselling world and can be found, often on Saturday afternoons, at Britton’s in the Glebe with the Prime Crime Bookshelf.

1 comment:

Charlotte Hinger said...

Linda, I agree on the energy boost. There's just something about the company of writers! Works for me every time.