By Becky Clark
I launched my newest book, FICTION CAN BE MURDER, the first in a light-hearted mystery series, on April 8th. My publisher made sure copies were available for the Left Coast Crime convention in March, though. As I write this, I’ve just returned from the Malice Domestic convention, and in October 2017, I attended Bouchercon.
If you’ve never been to a mystery fan convention, it’s essentially a long weekend of hobnobbing with authors you love and discovering new authors you’ll soon love. Bouchercon is huge and caters to all genres. Left Coast Crime isn’t quite so big, but also covers the spectrum of crime fiction. And Malice focuses more on traditional mysteries, like Agatha Christie’s.
All these fan conventions have a similar agenda, to connect authors with readers.
There are tons of books given away and sold, and numerous opportunities to get them signed by the author.
There are also panels scheduled all weekend where four or five authors discuss a single topic … for example, small town settings, research in crime fiction, amateur sleuths, gender roles in crime fiction, writing a great villain … and a gazillion more.
There’s a New Authors Breakfast where debut authors have a minute or two to talk about their new book, so you get 30+ titles to add to your TBR pile.
There’s also an Awards Banquet honoring fans’ favorite books.
When I attended my first Bouchercon, I went strictly as a fan, but a fan with a purpose. I wanted to meet certain authors and ask them to read and blurb FICTION CAN BE MURDER before it came out. I culled my list from the Left Coast Crime “Lefty” Humorous Mystery Award nominees over the years (since FICTION CAN BE MURDER is humorous), then cross-referenced them against the authors who’d be attending Bouchercon. I figured it’s harder to say no to me in person.
It’s very stressful to ask famous authors you admire to do you a favor for which they get absolutely nothing in return. But I screwed up my courage and did it anyway. I probably asked a dozen authors, some on the spur of the moment. To a person, they were thrilled to help, most saying something like, “people did this for me when I started out and I’m happy to return the favor.” I was nervous for absolutely no reason. For folks who kill people for a living, mystery writers are a lovely and generous bunch.
At both Left Coast Crime and Malice Domestic, I was lucky enough to attend as both a fan and an author. I wrote about splattering fangirl all over the place at the Mysterista’s blog.
It’s still a bit surreal and I can’t help think this is all some weird cosmic prank, but there’s nothing quite like having people line up at my book signing table with a copy of my book, shyly asking if I’d sign my name to it.
They needn’t worry. The day I’m not thrilled by someone asking me to sign a book is the day I’m dead.
Here are the live links to the fan conventions —
Left Coast Crime … http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/
Malice Domestic … http://malicedomestic.org/
Bouchercon … http://www.bouchercon.com/
And the Mysterista’s blog post I refer to is here …. https://mysteristas.wordpress.com/2018/05/02/i-splattered-fangirl-all-over-the-place/
Becky Clark —
Becky Clark is the seventh of eight kids, which explains both her insatiable need for attention and her atrocious table manners. She likes to read funny books so it felt natural to write them too. She surrounds herself with quirky people and pets who end up as characters in her books. Readers say her books are “fast and thoroughly entertaining” with “witty humor and tight writing” and “humor laced with engaging characters” so you should “grab a cocktail and enjoy the ride.”
Becky’s website …. https://beckyclarkbooks.com/
Follow Becky Clark on Amazon … https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B004NQO14I
on Facebook at Becky Clark Author … https://www.facebook.com/BeckyClarkAuthor/
and at Goodreads … https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4730815.Becky_Clark
Fiction Can Be Murder Ordering Links