Notes from Bourchercon 2022
Bury the Lead Panel
Vera H.C. Chan works with independent writers.
Kathleen Donnelly is an actual K-9 handler.
Never kill the dog in the novel
Short Cuts to Great Dialogue Panel
Check out Black Cat Mystery Magazine
Give characters different voices, different ways and vocabulary when talking.
Don’t make characters sound the same.
Use syntax with foreign languages.
Characters have tells; a word, phrase, expressions unique to them
Don’t answer questions with direct answers, imply the answer.
Kids speak differently than adults.
Use subtext, body language: e.g. “Do you think?”
Read dialogue out loud. Get others to read the dialogue.
Editing Tips Panel
Editors must really like the book.
Avoid overexplaining which makes readers stumble through the text.
Avoid using dream sequences in novels.
Investigate the publisher, look at other books they are publishing.
Julia—looking for something unique—only you can write this book.
May times the book may be published 18-24 months after submission.
Don’t explain everything—Refuse to be done.
Cut one sentence from every page.
Don’t mix tenses, past is past, present is present.
Tips from Agents Panel
Include social media in 21st century fiction, it’s part of our lives.
Add social issues such as Black Lives Matter, Pandemic, Immigration, etc.
Personalize queries to the individual. One editor likes the personal touch, and it shows you did your research.
Put in a chapter or several pages from the novel, but no attachments. With the problems of computer viruses, many agents prefer it to be added at the end of the email message.
Follow-up with queries after a month to six weeks.
It’s okay to query several agents at the same time, just be sure to let them know you are querying more than one agent.
Publishers’ Market–$25.00 a month
P.I. Tradition Panel
Looking for diversity
Idea—having victims take on the bad guys, taking the place of the police.
Social Media Panel
Post messages about books you like.
Twitter—ask author to tweet back.
Support other authors—helps build followers.
Use Good Reads—Good Reads giveaways.
Editing 101 Panel
Timeline—create time for writing.
Create characters and their descriptions.
Head hopping—going from one character to another and their thoughts and points of view. Be careful with this.
Work on a daily writing habit
EFA List of editors
Editors will ask to see the manuscript first.
Police Procedures Panel
Women think differently than men. Women miss their family events, soccer games, birthdays, etc. more than men. Tend to have more empathy than men.
Talk to cops for ideas and what really happens.
Look up the president of the local/state PI Organization
Jeri Williams—former FBI agent
Michael Connely and Ed McBain have good police procedures.
At Bouchercon 2022, I took several photos of the panels I attended. I have uploaded them to this webpage. Feel free to copy and download any photos of you and use them for your own purpose. I do this as a way to say thank you to those who come and support Bouchercon. If you cannot download the photo you want, email me at email@example.com and inform me which photos you want and I can send them to you as an attachment via email.