Monday, November 14, 2016

Mystery Monday: Crimebake!

Mystery Monday: Crimebake!

Yes, you read that correctly - Crimebake, not clambake. Although this incredible mystery writers conference is held in New England, so any confusion is understandable. For nine of the last ten years, I have traveled from New Hampshire to Boston to learn about the craft of writing, meet agents, publishers, authors, and not-yet-authors, and immerse myself in the writing community. Every year I say, "This is the best Crimebake yet!" and this year is no different.

William Kent Krueger, author of the Cork O'Connor series, is this year's keynote speaker. Storyteller extraordinaire, he regaled us with episodes from his personal writing journey and encouraged us in our own. The panels included famous and not-so-famous authors,  and traditionally published and indie published authors - all of whom were down to earth and informative.

I attended two masters classes and was overwhelmed with the helpful information conveyed by the instructors, Author Jen Blood (yes, that's her real name), and PR Maven Nancy Marshall. Panels about plotting, researching, writing series, creating fictional towns, and writing suspense were interspersed with seminars about branding and reading like a writer. An ask the expert session gave attendees access to a former police officer, a crime scene investigator, a private investigator and and indie author.

Hosted by Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, the conference is affordable and well-run. Haven't we all been to events that start late and experience myriad "fits and starts?" At Crimebake, timekeepers and room captains ensure each segment is effectively and efficiently executed. The stop just short of using a hook to get folks off the stage at the end!

It was an exciting weekend during which I rubbed shoulders with Hank Phillippi Ryan, Hallie Ephron, Joseph Finder, Kent Krueger, and many more. As always I left with a head full of knowledge and a heart full of motivation. And I've already marked my calendar to attend next year!

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