In some ways, networking at conferences is my favorite part. Although I tend to be an introvert,
I will always remember Malice Domestic 2012 as the place I acquired my first two loyal fans. I was participating in the New Authors breakfast when two women randomly sat at the table with me because the seats at the table they really wanted were filled. As one of the twenty-four new authors summarizing my book and my life in three minutes, I decided to stress the fact that my book, Maze in Blue, was designed to be a beach or airplane read – fun and fast. I topped my presentation off with an anecdote that left the room laughing and convinced the two women that not only had they not made a mistake sitting at my table, but they wanted to purchase my book. A year later, as I walked into the Sisters in Crime breakfast, the same two women grabbed me, told me how much they enjoyed Maze, and asked if I would join them for coffee or a drink. In the three years that have followed, we always make time for each other – they’re my fans and I’m indebted to them for being avid readers of my works.
Private agent and editor critiques are available at Killer Nashville but rather than pitch sessions, one can sign up for agent and editor roundtables. The roundtables each have ten to fourteen registered writers and two of the featured guest agent/editors. The first two pages of each roundtable participant’s work is read aloud and orally critiqued by the agent/editors, who also can express whether they would like to see more of the manuscript. In addition, everyone in the room has a paper copy of the pages on which they can dash written comments that are handed back to the authors. In my case, Deni Dietz gave me some solid comments, but also asked to see the entire book. Within days of receiving my full manuscript, she purchased it for Five Star.
Some of the other well-run conferences I have attended and plan to go back to include Sleuthfest,
In the next year or two, I hope to be able to report attending some of the other ones that everyone raves about like Left Coast Crime and Police Writers Academy. Let me know about some of the other ones I need to add to the list this self-confessed “Conference Junkie” should attend.