Friday, March 28, 2014



Just back from Left Coast Crime in Monterey, CA. It's a mid-sized conference, getting bigger every year it seems, with about 800 participants this time. So, not as big as Bouchercon.

I remember my first mystery conference, Malice Domestic in Bethesda sometime in the late 1980's (I think). It was on the small size, which helps when it's your first time. I and my Ladies' Killing Circle pals were bright eyed and eager to learn. Of course, we were also looking forward to discovering the charms and bargains of Washington, DC, just as short subway ride away. However, back to the conference. We appeared armed with notebooks and pens. We sat in on as many panels as we could manage, sometimes having to split the hour between two competing topics. Did I mention we were there to learn?

The by-product was meeting so many new people who were readers like us and sharing favourite reads. The bonus was meeting our favourite authors. I considered myself lucky at being trapped in a hotel elevator for 20 minutes with one of my heroes, Nancy Pickard. Not only did she share her agent's name and contact info, she also distracted me from the view from the glass elevator. Did I mention I become decidedly uneasy with heights?

We were also there when the now famous Sisters In Crime was in it's early stages, and even took on the role of starting a Canadian chapter. You cannot imagine the high we felt from this weekend. We all came back eager to write. Now, after many years of writing and attending mystery conferences, we're there as published authors.

The high is still the same. Meeting readers who are fans is exhilarating. Meeting authors who are favourites is equally so. Now it's a mixture of networking and attending panels. Of course, we're also participants on the panels, another experience all together.

I'm more convinced with each conference that there's bang for your buck in attending. Next on my agenda is Malice Domestic, of course, May 2-4 in Bethesda, MD. And that's followed by Bloody Words, another favourite, in Toronto, June 6-8.

What's been your best conference experience?

(I know it's difficult at times to post comments on this blogsite -- I haven't been able to figure out how to solve it. You can post your comments on my Facebook page, also. Linda Sundman Wiken.)

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