Why I Love Going to Writers Conferences…

…even though they are expensive and exhausting. It isn’t just what I learn attending panels on a variety of subjects, either. For me, it’s the camaraderie, getting together again with people I only see at these events. It’s the sharing, laughing, commiserating. it’s worth its weight in gold. The truth? I love mystery writers and I love being a part of their world. Not just because we have a common interest, but because mystery writers are so danged generous of spirit. They are willing to share tips and lessons that took them months, if not years to learn. Basically, why should you go through what they went through? No beauty pageant mentality here. The attitude is we are all in this crazy business together, so let’s help one another out. And we do. I just returned from Left Coast Crime (LCC) in Vancouver, Ca. What a beautiful city. What a beautiful event. What beautiful, like-minded people. I may be prejudice, but I happen to think LCC is the premier example of a writers and fans conference that promotes the learning/friendship/mentoring approach to these conferences. And even though they are expensive and exhausting, I can’t wait for next year’s 2020 LCC event in San Diego.  I mean, do we look like we’re having a good time or what? Left to right:  Danna Dennis Wilberg, Ana Manwaring, Heather Haven, Cindy Sample, Janice Peacock and Baird Nuckolls  

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A Little Chit-chat With Cindy Sample And Me

              Cindy Sample, the talented writer of the humorous Laurel McKay Mystery Series, and I had a wonderful time on Sept. 9th, talking to the Norcal Sisters in Crime about Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Self-Publishing (but were afraid to ask). Cindy is the taller, elegant one on the left. For an hour and a half, we were led by our moderator and fellow Sister, Marla Cooper, another dazzling writer.

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I followed Walter Mosley!

No, not as a stalker but as a fellow author, and I am still jazzed about it. As part of Mystery Writers of America, I was one of eight authors doing a reading for Noir at the Bar for the Bay Area Book Festival on June 3rd. The other authors were (reading from right to left): moderator Tony Broadbent (standing), Bill Moody, Mysti Berry, Nick Mamatas, Walter Mosley, yours truly, Hans Olav Lahlum, Randall S. Brandt and Laurie R. King. Hope some of the surrounding talent rubbed off on me. I’d like to mention Walter Mosley, author of the fabulous Easy Rawlins Series. He read an excerpt from the first of the series, Devil in a Blue Dress. The man wears a mean fedora, is an incredible writer, and a fine reader. If you haven’t read this novel, please do so. You could even rent the movie starring Denzel Washington. Or do both;  you can’t go wrong. I am also a huge fan of Laurie R. King’s work. Among other works, she is author of the Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes series. Let me mention, Ms. King is president of Mystery Writers of America, NoCal Chapter. Long may she reign. The lady lets no grass grow under her feet. Her latest novel, The Murder of Mary Russell, is mystery fiction at its finest.  But you could start with the first of her series, The Beekeeper’s Apprentice. Whatever book of hers you pick up to read, once again, you can’t go wrong. I read from The CEO Came DOA, Book 5 of the Alvarez Family Murder Mysteries and to pound it into the ground, I followed Walter Mosley! I mean, how cool is that? I want that in my epitaph and on my tombstone!

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