A Stellar Writers Conference

by | Nov 3, 2019 | Karna Small Bodman, The Writer's Life | 4 comments

Submitted by Karna Small Bodman

Several of us Rogues just attended one of the best writers’ conferences in the country. Sponsored by Mystery Writers of America, some 1,000 authors (published and aspiring) along with agents, editors, reviewers, librarians, booksellers and fans of the mystery crime genre have been meeting in Dallas, Texas for the past four days.  Named in honor of famed writer and editor, Anthony Boucher, it is called “Bouchercon” and features interviews, speeches, panels and parties. Since this year it was held in Dallas, the cowboy” theme appeared everywhere.

The Rogues in attendance, Robin Burcell, Jamie Freveletti Chris Goff, K.J. Howe (and me) were so pleased to be invited to have our own panel with terrific bestselling author Meg Gardiner as our moderator. It was billed as a discussion of how the thriller genre in general had been dominated  by male authors (the operative words are HAD BEEN) — but now how many women are having success as authors of thrillers.  

Our Rogue Panel at Boucheron 

Of course Meg Gardiner is a prime example, garnering rave reviews such as this description from Stephen King: “Meg Gardiner is the next suspense superstar.”  She is currently the author of 14 thrillers. And here’s an interesting tidbit, Meg is also a three-time Jeopardy champion! Her new thriller, The Dark Corners of the Night will be released in February. 

Among the headliners at the conference we had Peter Lovesey, dubbed MWA Grand Master and “Titan of the English detective novel” who is the author of more than thirty highly praised mystery novels. His various series have been made into well received TV shows.

Peter Lovesey

A most familiar author, James Patterson, was feted as a “Distinguished Contributor.”  His new book might make a great Christmas gift for your mystery loving friends.  It is The 19th Christmas

which has already hit the bestseller lists, as have many of this author’s endeavors.  He also often works with co-authors. This new story was written with Maxine Paetro and features the actions and crime solving techniques of the Women’s Murder Club during the holiday season in San Francisco. 

As for Maxine, she has been writing her own novels since the 70’s.  It turns out she got to know James Patterson when both worked in the advertising industry, and she has been working with him on these mysteries and thrillers for the past fifteen years.

An author who is a good friend of the Rogues and has been one of our guest bloggers was named “American Guest of Honor” at the conference…she is bestselling author Hank Philippa Ryan. I got to know her several years ago at another conference when we discovered that we both worked as TV News Reporters for the same network but in different cities.  Her new novel, The Murder List is described as “An exhilarating thrill ride. Just when you think you have it figured out, Ryan deftly pulls the wool over your eyes and delivers a denouement as shocking as it is satisfying.” 

Hank Philippi Ryan 

 One more honoree to tell you about was Felix Francis, named the “International Guest of Honor,”  who has carried on the legacy and terrific story lines of his father, Dick Francis.  Felix is now a New York Times bestselling author in his own right.  I recall reading many of his father’s wonderful tales focusing on horse racing.  Now Felix has a new thriller that will be released on November 19.  The title is Guilty Not Guilty, and the setting is once again in England at the Warwick races.   

As you can see, this Bouchercon conference has drawn so many talented writers, it’s been an exciting one to attend.  And for all of you authors or fans of  mysteries or thrillers, you might consider coming to the next one which will be October 15-18, 2020 in Sacramento, California. 

Now, in addition to the talented and prolific authors listed above, who are some of your favorite mystery and thriller authors? And IF you attended Bouchercon, what were some of your impressions and “take-aways?” Do leave a comment and let us know — we Rogues always like to share ideas for the next great read. And thanks for visiting us here on Rogue Women Writers.

….Karna Small Bodman   

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  1. Lisa Black

    I”m so sorry to have missed this year’s, sounds like the best ever! I’ve been to three, including last year’s in St. Petersburg (gorgeous hotel!). But I’m glad the Rogues were so well represented 🙂 and meeting Dick Francis’ son would have been great. I read all the Dick Francis novels.

  2. Karna Bodman

    We missed you, Lisa – but know you've been super busy since your brand new thriller LET JUSTICE DESCEND was just released – to rave reviews, I might add!

  3. Gayle Lynds

    Thanks for this wonderful roundup, Karna. What a great time you guys must've had at this rip-snorter of a conference. So much going on, and your terrific descriptions took me right there. Loved it! 🙂

  4. Chris Goff

    It was a great conference. Enjoyed the panel immensely, and our lunch. I’m looking forward to next year in Sacramento!