Bouchercon 2022 – Minneapolis

Notes from Bourchercon 2022

Bury the Lead Panel

Vera H.C. Chan works with independent writers.

K-9 Panel

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.

Post animals

Creator economy

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.

Bouchercon 2022

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 and inform me which photos you want and I can send them to you as an attachment via email.