This year’s conference promises lots of other famous guest speakers including Simon Wood, J.A. Jance, Edward Marston, Eoin Colfer, and Jeffery Deaver. Oh, and one more—me! I have a small slot for new authors. I’ll describe features of the Andy Veracruz series. I love to write about messed up family-type situations (we all know about those), romantic turmoil (we all know whom we shouldn’t try to date), and moral dilemmas (what do we do when what we know is right is also wrong?). But since all the victims are fictional, I can’t cry over them. Thus I love to put Andy in ridiculous situations, the kind that we hope will happen to our enemies but often happen to us instead.
Another benefit? Location, location, location! This year’s conference is being held in Long Beach, California. Who doesn’t want to spend a few days next to the beach? Of course, without the most expensive wet suit, the Pacific is way, way, way too cold, but it’s nice to look at. And dream about. How many fictional murder victims have been claimed by the sea? Ah, why not set a mystery in Long Beach?
Oh, wait! I did that already, kind of. For Mariachi Murder, I created Squid Bay. Actually I was thinking of a combination of Long Beach and Seal Bay, but I was worried I might make a mistake (such as putting a gasoline station on the wrong corner), so I thought I’d be better off with a fictional location.
I gave Andy a great apartment that he really liked. I gave him a sweet neighbor who watched out for him. But by the end of the book, I also put him in so much danger that he had to leave the area, at least for the next book……
But since he likes the beach, I sent him to a Greek beach for
Island Casualty. He thought he was going for a relaxing vacation (perhaps with romance thrown in), but instead he found himself escaping from bullets with the help of a motor scooter and substituting in a bouzouki band!
If you live near L.A. or have a chance to travel there, be sure to check out this year’s Bouchercon, Nov. 13-16. The conference was named for writer/critic Anthony Boucher. He would be proud to know that it has sponsored so many writers and fans of the mystery genre.