Thursday, October 26, 2017

Love Inspired Ladies at Bouchercon 2017

Katy Lee / Sandra Orchard

This past month I was Canada bound for the World Mystery Tour known as Bouchercon. This was my first conference where the main focus wasn't on the romance of writing, but rather on the body-count. There were all kinds of talks on forensics, private investigators and amateur sleuths from all backgrounds.

But first, I would love to know if you have a favorite mystery series and/or mystery character you love to read. How dark and dangerous are you willing to go? And do you like a little humor in your mysteries to break up the tension?

I ask these questions because the five-day conference covered a wide range of mysteries. From the terrifying horror genre to the sweet cozy, from the twisted psychological thriller to the amusing comedy. I had no idea the gamut of sub-genres existed in the mystery world. I'd decided to make the trip to garner a better grasp of the mystery genre, but instead came away with more questions on where I fit in.

And more importantly, where a Katy Lee books fit in.

As an inspirational romantic suspense writer, my name carries with it an expectation to fulfill a certain kind of book. When I wrote Blindsided my editor warned me not to go too dark. It's a story on human trafficking. How can that not be dark? I had thought. To express the weight of the issue, I thought it had to show an accurate representation of this very dark world. But looking over the many sub-genres at the conference, I began to see why my editor curtailed my pen. Each book I looked at held a promise for a certain emotion. Some books made me smile. Some I dropped as though they burned me. But then, there were the ones that called to me with messages of hope and of purpose--even with a bit of blood spatter on the cover.

That's when I knew my editor had only been considering my readers when she had warned me to keep the story light. She knew a Katy Lee book held a promise to readers of a higher purpose story, and I would never want to surprise my readers into dropping my book as though it burned them.

So, knowing this I was able to concentrate my focus at the conference on the workshops that would highlight my style--while still giving me ideas on ways to bring in the danger--and maybe a few dead bodies. After all, my characters do have to fight and overcome the evil deeds the villain has in store for them, and not everyone will make it out alive.

But I promise, I will keep it light!

So, tell me, do you have a favorite mystery series and/or mystery character you love to read? And what emotion do they promise you?


6 comments:

  1. As someone trying to learn the LIS craft, it's good to think about what sort of book I want to write. I like serious issues, but keeping it light with a bit of humorous moments.

    Thank you for making me think a little more.

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  2. Katie, do you plan to attend another Bouchercon? Did you get enough "bag for your buck" as the saying goes? I've always wondered about the conference. Would love your opinion in comparison to RWA and other romance focused events!

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  3. I've never heard of Bouchercon. Interesting.

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  4. Katy, this conference sounds great. I'd love to hear a response to Debby Giusti's question...was it a good conference with lots of "meat and potatoes" for your efforts? Thanks for telling us about it.

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  5. That sounds like an informative conference, Katy. I agree, it's a delicate balance to keep hope alive when you're killing off bad guys, but that's what makes LIS so special to me. Your cover is intriguing. Glad you gained some insight at the conference.

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  6. I’ve thought about attending that conference. It sounds amazing. Glad to hear you enjoyed it.

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