Monday, November 12, 2018

Mystery Monday: Crimebake Mystery Conference

Mystery Monday: Crimebake Mystery Conference

This past weekend, I attended Crimebake, an annual mystery writing conference in Woburn, Massachusetts jointly produced by Mystery Writers of America and the New England chapter of Sisters in Crime. This year marks my eleventh conference, yet I learn something new (usually lots of "somethings") every time I come.

A Master class in forensics was chock-full of information to ensure I'll get my facts correct. Panels on writing short fiction and upending cliches rounded out the afternoon. A seminar on marketing tips and techniques is always helpful, and it was nice to find out I'm doing some of right! During his interview, Guest of Honor Walter Mosley shared that he was rejected seventeen(!) times for his latest book before it was accepted by a publisher. You would think fifty-four books in thirty years would have publishers lining up to release it.

As much as I love coming for the writer-part, I love the reader-part of rubbing shoulders with authors
I admire, some of whom are NY Times or USA best sellers for good reason, others who haven't received awards, but write some of the best mystery fiction I've read. Here are a couple of goose-bump-worthy incidents:

While I was standing in the registration line on Friday afternoon, Hank Phillippi Ryan intentionally approached me, gave me a big hug, and said how glad she was to see me. Hank, who has won countless awards for her investigative reporting and for her writing! Hank, treating me like a friend and cohort. And she does it every year.

Friday night, Tiger Wiseman and I ran the SinCNE game "Pin the Wound on the Corpse." (Yes, you read that right!) Chatting with one of the contestants I mentioned I wrote historical fiction and had several books published. Didn't two women overhear me and rush over to ask me about my books. They also asked questions about the industry, and I was pleased to be able to share from my experiences.

The weekend passed in a flash, and I'm already looking forward to next year's conference.

Do you attend industry conferences for your job? I hope they are as exciting as Crimebake!

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