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Heard & Overheard (BOOKED's mystery writers roundtable)

On Saturday morning, the Canadian Crime Writers’ Association put together a group of notable mystery authors to chat about “What’s Hot and What’s Not in Mystery” in the Speigeltent, next to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre, as part of the BOOKED! event. Participating were authors Linwood Barclay, Lyn Hamilton, Maureen Jennings, José Latour, and Louise Penny. Author Rick Blechta acted as moderator.

Rick Blechta, encouraging audience participation in the discussion: “Obviously, we don’t have all the answers, or else we’d be selling as much as J.K. Rowling.”

Linwood Barclay, on what distinguishes Canadian mystery writers from their international brethren: “Lower sales.”

Louise Penny, on what comes first when starting a new novel, plot or setting: “The chicken…. I was chicken for many years!”

José Latour, on the publishing industry’s Achilles Heel (and perhaps thinking of the Stephen King event the night before): “We are, unfortunately, part of an industry in which publicity is in its infancy. Most of the publicity dollars go to authors who sell in the millions – the ones who don’t need it. It’s a contradiction.”

Louise Penny, on the resistance to Canadian-set novels: “The only people I have ever got that from are Canadian publishers.”

Penny, on whether she would agree to set her books elsewhere, given enough financial incentive: “I would like to say I would stand firm…. [but] for a gazillion dollars I would set it on the moon.

For more photos from the event, click here or on the photo above.