Friday, May 7, 2021

The Bouchercon Memoir Part One


For various reasons, like the house falling down, I am packing stuff into boxes and  shuffling the boxes around as the builders make their way from one disaster zone to another. For the last  10 years, a visit to my fridge has necessitated a  walk on a plank as the kitchen has no floor. Some vagrant who goes by the name Zoe Sharp once visited for a overnighty, expecting bed and breakfast. She got a curry for her tea at a wee curry house and no breakfast, as we have no ‘kitchen’ in the normal usage of that word.


                                                    I have no recall of writing this. Honestly.


I view this as part of my wild and crazy writer's lifestyle. ( I have a lifestyle now. Before that it was a survival plan.)

The packing up has  meant going through old notebooks. I realised I had seven notebooks on the go for current issues and have just typed out all the lists under the correct categories. The document was ten thousand words long - no wonder my head felt like it was exploding, carrying all that information/nonsense/murder plots around.   The notebooks make for scary reading. I don’t use public transport as I would be arrested if anybody looked over my shoulder and read what I was writing.

Phone dentist.

Put mathilda in a cage

Kill the blonde in the hut, The DNA of the paramedic will be smeared in her  face.

Buy beans.

Push Kerr off the Connell Bridge


                  Anatomically correct and precise forensic image of somebody being hit on the head.


I also found the notes that I made during a Bouchercon. I'm not saying which Bouchercon  and I'm not saying which MIE blogger was sitting beside me. They did comment on the blood red colour of ink in my fountain pen.  Then they moved one seat away. If they wish to make themselves known, they can. If not, they can pay me for my silence.

The panel was called, "how to reboot your career; 6 losers and a cowboy hat".

 I have no idea why I have written down what I did but here it is. Make sense of it if you can…

Re-imagine your future; Shakespeare  wrote a whole load of different things. She (name's hidden to protect the guilty) auditioned (?) for a cosy. Got the gig and that was her career. She then self published mystery and her second career took off.

Eg faith based books- how to drag your readers along  on your mystery fiction journey. Christian books – like being married to one man- there’s only one way to do it. They have 40 books, all co-authored. So to reboot yourself as a writer – there are 6 ways to kiss, 7 ways to die.

Lee Goldberg ( monk, diagnosis murder) commented that he has never written Christian fiction but  will do so by the end of the day. He advises to write what you write – follow your own fashion but keep an eye on the market. Agents will stick you in a genre and want you to stay there. Write first and then keep writing.

  The eye witness gave a description 
to the forensic artist.


If at first you do succeed, keep striving to do it better.

(for some reason, I have then scribbled 'The Goddess of Fire' )

You have to be a marketer and a performer.

The lady at the end said that she had written twenty books, had them published but  had still managed to avoid having a writing career.

If you come to a fork in the road, take it. A Stonewall Jackson joke. 



Reboot by tie in books. Writer for hire. Be wary as the work does not belong to you. Maybe sign up for four and walk away. A publisher can own books but writers gets royalties. Riding the coat tails  of a hugely successful author ( esp a dead one) can be good for  a career. He’s applying  to be the next Tom Clancy,

Reboot your name- Avery Aims ( can’t read writing too well) is a good name as first on bookshelf. The name was owned by the publisher not the author when she was writing the cheese shop mysteries.


 Obviously a triangulation of cell site  activity involving a location,  a Chelsea bun and the bloke from David Bowie's  Ashes to Ashes video.



The cook might write a cookbook but cook book readers don’t read crime. The crime fiction writers will go onto read cookbooks.

We might have more of that later!

And one writer I know went on to edit a  cookbook that reached the short list of some kind of prize- no idea what but the ‘do’ for it was in the Louvre - yes that one; the one that Tom Hanks  threw the tracker device out of the loo/louvre window to distract the baddies and move on the plot of The DaVinci Code, The Dan Browne one. Yes, there was a plot.

Anyway,  the editor didn’t go to the big function. The  book didn't win. Thank goodness. I could see us being detained and having to explain Craig Robertson's  recipe for black pudding made from human blood. Don’t ever get into a lift with that man. He's from Stirling.







  1. Just my luck that I missed that Bouchercon, Caro. Or did I?

  2. Omigod, I haven't stopped laughing. What wit! Your "to-do" list would make anyone laugh, or could get you arrested on suspicion of contemplating murder(s).
    Your writing is fascinating. Hope your kitchen is repaired and you can sit down and have tea and biscuits without "walking the plank."