When you read this, I’ll be in Indianapolis at a mystery conference, Magna cum Murder. It’s been a LONG time since I’ve attended a conference, so I’m looking forward to it. And I’m a little nervous. I’ll be on two panels, and I haven’t done that for a long time either. The last time I did a workshop was here in Fort Wayne with my writer friends M. L. Rigdon (Julia Donner), Les Edgerton, and Kyra Jacobs. It’s always fun to talk writing with them. Heck, it’s always fun to do anything with local authors I know.
I hope to learn a lot and come home energized with all kinds of new ideas swimming in my head. Swimming is the right word. After listening to panels for three days, my mind’s so full, it turns to mush for a while. A few authors from Kensington whom I’ve never met will be there, too, one even has the same editor I have–the wonderful John Scognamiglio.
When I first got serious about writing, I tried to attend one writers’ conference a year. Published authors pushed me to look at writing from a business angle. They talked marketing and trends, things I didn’t think about that much when I first decided to try my hand at novels. I’m constantly surprised by how generous other authors are with their hard-won experience and advice. Eventually, though, after enough conferences, authors don’t go to learn new things. They go to promote themselves and their books. So I’m hoping to get better at that part of writing, too.
Even when I only sold short stories, though, I learned how wonderful readers are. The very first time I was ever on a panel, readers came up to me to tell me how much they enjoyed the stories I had in WomenSleuth anthologies and Alfred Hitchcock magazines. It’s hard to beat the joy of having readers like what you’ve written.
My first mystery for Kensington, THE BODY IN THE ATTIC, doesn’t come out until November 27, so I’m not expecting many people have read it yet. Some have from NetGalley and the giveaway on Goodreads, but I doubt many of them will be at Magna cum Murder, so I’ll be pretty much an unknown quantity. I had postcards made for my book with the cover on one side and an excerpt on the other. That’s about all I could do this time. But it’s exciting to get back into the mystery buzz again.
I should be having a good time when you read this. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, too, and happy writing!
P.S. I’m starting to post new chapters from a YA novel I wrote and never did anything with on my webpage. It has a little paranormal element in it, but back then, I’d decided I’d rather write urban fantasy, so tossed it in a drawer. If you go to my webpage to take a look at it, I hope you like it!