Crime Book Festival Preview: Bouchercon 2018
Bouchercon 2018 // September 6 - 9
St. Petersburg, Florida
‘Tis the season… for Bouchercon! Every fall, crime writers and readers gather for Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention. Last year’s Bouchercon took place in Toronto, and this year it will be held in sunny St. Petersburg, Florida. 2017 was my first time attending Bouchercon, and, if it’s possible, I’m even more excited for my second Bouchercon than I was for my first! I'm packing my bags and heading to Florida this Wednesday (September 5th), and I can't wait to take you along to Bouchercon with me.
There’s nothing better than getting a bunch of crime writers, readers, and fans in one place - and Bouchercon 2018 will do exactly that! From author panels and interviews to Noir at the Bar and the Anthony Awards, there is so much to look forward to at Bouchercon. Perhaps most exciting of all to me is this year’s lineup of Guests of Honor, which includes Karin Slaughter, Sara Blaedel, and Lisa Unger (among others)! Talk about a stellar lineup—and there are so many amazing authors beyond this list attending, too. For more information on Bouchercon, make sure to check out their website, and stay tuned on my Instagram and blog for updates from Bouchercon later this week! And, if you haven’t yet read through my recap from Bouchercon 2017, you can find that blog post online here.
Read on for an overview of Bouchercon 2018, including a list of my most-anticipated panels and author appearances, and the conference “extras” I can’t wait to attend!
Bouchercon 2018 Preview
What an incredible lineup of author events this year’s Bouchercon has in store! There are so many different (and incredible!) components that go into each year’ Bouchercon, and this year is no exception. Highlights from the weekend will include:
- Guests of Honor: Bouchercon 2018 will include special interviews with and appearances by Guests of Honor including Sara Blaedel, Karin Slaughter, Lisa Unger, Ian Rankin, Mark Billingham, and more!
- Author Panels: There will be three and a half full days of author panels - a.k.a. tons of opportunities to learn from - and about - some of the biggest stars in the crime writing world (and a lot of up-and-comers, too!).
- Anthony Awards: an annual (and highly esteemed!) set of crime writing awards handed out at Bouchercon every year.
- Author Interviews for CBTB: Stay tuned, because I’ll be sitting down with a number of crime writers for exclusive interviews just for CBTB readers!
- Special Events: From Noir at the Bar to a crime fiction quiz and a whole lot more!
Bouchercon 2018 Most-Anticipated Author Appearances
Sara Blaedel (a.k.a. Denmark’s Queen of Crime!) is one of Bouchercon’s Guests of Honor, and she’s going to be appearing in a number of fantastic panels and interviews at the conference! Sara’s Louise Rick books have been with me since the very beginning of CBTB, and I am always so excited to learn from her and celebrate her achievements!
Panel 1: Pistols not Parasols - Strong Female Protagonists
Interview: Sara Blaedel interviewed by Lisa Unger
Panel 2: The Stars Are Out Tonight - International Stars
On the heels of her book tour for her newest release, PIECES OF HER, Karin will be appearing at Bouchercon as a Guest of Honor! I was so thrilled to have the chance to interview Karin at the Strand in New York recently, and I can’t wait to listen to her Bouchercon panels and interviews, too.
Panel 1: Writing Strong Characters
Panel 2: Fear Factor - Threatening Family in Thrillers
Interview: Karin Slaughter interviewed by Alafair Burke
This one is a no-brainer! CBTB readers already know how much I love Yrsa’s books. Yrsa writes horror-infused crime fiction - and some of her books are ghost stories, too. If you haven’t read any of Yrsa’s books yet, they’re an absolute must as the fall weather approaches. (And those ghost stories would make for perfect Halloween reading!)
Panel 1: Messing With Their Minds - Playing With the Mind of Your Protagonist
Panel 2: The Stars Are Out Tonight - International Stars
Another no-brainer! Ragnar’s books are CBTB favorites as well, and it’s been quite a while since I had the opportunity to catch up with him. Ragnar has a brand-new series launching in the US this October (book 1 is incredible, and it’s called THE DARKNESS!), so I’m really looking forward to his Bouchercon panels - and I’m hoping to learn a bit more behind-the-scenes info about the new series from his appearances, too.
Panel 1: Talking Tough - Writing Hardboiled and Noir
Panel 2: One-Book Stand or Long-Term Relationship - Series vs. Stand Alone
I loved Caz Frear’s exceptional debut SWEET LITTLE LIES - a classic police procedural modernized for our times. (Think: fiery, relatable female lead + a blend of procedural plotting and dark family secrets.) Caz is making a trip to the US this fall to promote her debut, and I’m so excited that I’ll get to see her at Bouchercon!
Panel 1: Both Sides of the Pond - Fictional Investigators in the US and UK
Panel 2: Shiny and New - Debut Authors
What a year it’s been for Riley Sager! After releasing his New York Times bestselling book THE LAST TIME I LIED this July, he went on to win a Thriller Award for his 2017 release FINAL GIRLS, too. Sager’s books are always original, binge-worthy, and just plain fun to devour. If you’re looking for some end-of-summer “beach reads,” Sager’s work would make a great choice.
Panel 1: Burning in the Desert - Isolation in Mystery
Panel 2: Looking Over Your Shoulder - Secrets from the Past
Remember that psychological thriller IN THE VINES that I became obsessed with this summer? Shannon Kirk is the author behind that one-of-a-kind story of psychological suspense, and I can’t wait to learn more about the woman behind that twisted story at this year’s Bouchercon.
Panel 1: Drawing Inspiration from Our Kids
Panel 2: Women Who Thrill
The Anthony Awards
The Anthony Awards are a set of crime fiction awards handed out yearly at Bouchercon. They are named after the late Anthony Boucher, a well-known critic from the New York Times who helped found the Mystery Writers of America. For more information on the Anthony Awards, head over to the Bouchercon website!
The Anthony Award Nominees for 2018 are:
The Late Show by Michael Connelly [Little, Brown and Company]
Magpie Murders by Anthony Horowitz [HarperCollins]
Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke [Mulholland]
Glass Houses by Louise Penny [Minotaur Books]
The Force by Don Winslow [William Morrow]
BEST FIRST NOVEL:
Hollywood Homicide by Kellye Garrett [Midnight Ink]
She Rides Shotgun by Jordan Harper [Ecco]
The Dry by Jane Harper [Flatiron Books]
Ragged; or, The Loveliest Lies of All by Christopher Irvin [Cutlass Press]
The Last Place You Look by Kristen Lepionka [Minotaur Books]
BEST PAPERBACK ORIGINAL:
Uncorking a Lie by Nadine Nettmann [Midnight Ink]
Bad Boy Boogie by Thomas Pluck [Down & Out Books]
What We Reckon by Eryk Pruitt [Polis Books]
The Day I Died by Lori Rader-Day [William Morrow]
Cast the First Stone by James W. Ziskin [Seventh Street Books]
BILL CRIDER AWARD FOR BEST NOVEL IN A SERIES:
Give Up the Dead (Jay Porter #3) by Joe Clifford [Oceanview Publishing]
Two Kinds of Truth (Harry Bosch #20) by Michael Connelly [Little, Brown and Company]
Y is for Yesterday (Kinsey Millhone #25) by Sue Grafton [A Marian Wood Book]
Glass Houses (Armand Gamache #13) by Louise Penny [Minotaur Books]
Dangerous Ends (Pete Fernandez #3) by Alex Segura [Polis Books]
BEST SHORT STORY:
The Trial of Madame Pelletier by Susanna Calkins from Malice Domestic 12: Mystery Most Historical [Wildside Press]
God’s Gonna Cut You Down by Jen Conley from Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash [Gutter Books LLC]
My Side of the Matter by Hilary Davidson from Killing Malmon [Down & Out Books]
Whose Wine Is It Anyway by Barb Goffman from 50 Shades of Cabernet [Koehler Books]
The Night They Burned Ms. Dixie’s Place by Debra H. Goldstein from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, May/June 2017 [Dell]
A Necessary Ingredient by Art Taylor from Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea [Down & Out Books]
Just to Watch Them Die: Crime Fiction Inspired by the Songs of Johnny Cash, Joe Clifford, editor [Gutter Books LLC]
Killing Malmon, Dan & Kate Malmon, editors [Down & Out Books]
Coast to Coast: Private Eyes from Sea to Shining Sea, Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks, editors [Down & Out Books]
Passport to Murder, Bouchercon Anthology 2017, John McFetridge, editor [Down & Out Books]
The Obama Inheritance: Fifteen Stories of Conspiracy Noir, Gary Phillips, editor [Three Rooms Press]
BEST CRITICAL/NON-FICTION BOOK:
From Holmes to Sherlock: The Story of the Men and Women Who Created an Icon by Mattias Boström [The Mysterious Press]
The Story of Classic Crime in 100 Books by Martin Edwards [Poisoned Pen Press]
Killers of the Flower Moon: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann [Doubleday]
Chester B. Himes: A Biography by Lawrence P. Jackson [W.W. Norton & Company]
Rewrite Your Life: Discover Your Truth Through the Healing Power of Fiction by Jessica Lourey [Conari Press]
And that’s a wrap on my Bouchercon 2018 Preview! I can’t wait to take you along with me to Bouchercon later this week. Stay tuned! xx A