Books

World Mystery Convention Bouchercon Comes to Dallas For the First Time This Weekend

"It's like Comic-Con, but for mystery lovers."

Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, celebrates its 50th anniversary this year—and it just so happens to be taking place in Dallas for the first time ever.

The convention is named after Anthony Boucher, who was a mystery fiction critic, author and editor. The first Bouchercon was held in Santa Monica, California in 1970, and it has travelled all over the U.S., Canada, and the U.K. since then.

This year’s event, which will be held October 31 through November 3, will have something for everyone in the mystery community, including panels, parties, and of course, your favorite books and authors.

The theme, “Denim, Diamonds, and Death,” pays homage to the hosting city.

“Every year at every location, the theme is always tied into the city that it’s located at,” says Harry Hunsicker, who is Bouchercon’s 2019 Toastmaster. “Last year it was in New Orleans, and it was Mardi Gras themed. For Dallas, they are going for the cowboy theme, going with the denim, and it has nice alliteration, too.”

Hunsicker is a Dallas-based author who has written eight mystery novels since 2005. He also served two terms on the Board of Directors for the Mystery Writers for America, and has remained active in the community ever since. As Toastmaster at Bouchercon, he will act as the Master of Ceremonies for the convention and will be seen at numerous events throughout the weekend.

“I am thrilled that it’s in Dallas, because Dallas is such a great city,” Husicker says. “It is also a great convention, and it is a wonderful opportunity to showcase the city to people all over the country.

Thérèse Plummer, one of the speakers for the ‘Unlocking the Mystery of Audiobooks’ panel (taking place Friday at 2:30 p.m.), has been involved in the audiobook community for the last 15 years, and is excited to show people that side of the literary spectrum.

“The audiobook panel at this year’s Bouchercon will be a behind-the-curtain look at the booming business of audiobooks,” Plummer says. “Seeing how audio publishers acquire the books, how professional actors approach the craft of audiobook narration, and how authors react to hearing their words interpreted in the audio medium.”

Plummer has narrated over 400 titles across all genres, including all 20 of the books in the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr. She will also guest star in an episode of the upcoming television adaption of the series, which is set to premiere on Netflix.

While it is her first time attending Boucheron, she is already very excited for what the weekend has to offer.

“I love talking to all the different authors, because I bring their characters to life, and I love to hear about their process of writing the characters in the first place,” Plummer says. “It’s a great combination of storytelling and storytellers all together in one place, celebrating what we do.”

The schedule includes unusual opportunities for readers and authors to interact, like author “speed dating” breakfast sessions, and workshops for aspiring writers.

Throughout the weekend, other featured guests will make appearances, including James Patterson, who has written dozens of novels for both adults and children and is known for the popular Alex Cross series and the Women’s Murder Club series.

Peter Lovesey, who is known for his Peter Diamond mysteries, will be awarded the Lifetime Achievement award during the convention, and Emmy-award winning journalist and best-selling author Hank Phillippi Ryan will receive the American Guest of Honor. The International guest of honor, Felix Francis, is trained physicist who took up the family trade of writing when his father Dick, retired. These authors will be honored by Hunsicker during the weekend’s festivities.

Tickets for Bouchercon are $175, and include admission to all four days of the convention. The Hyatt Regency Dallas, which is hosting the convention, has special room rates for attendees. Find the full schedule, lineup of guests, and event details on the Bouchercon 2019 website. 

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