Real Mystery Writers Attend Mystery Writers’ Conventions. Right?

Left Coast Crime 2015: Crimelandia!Next winter we’ll be taking a break from the bitter cold of northern Wisconsin to get soaking wet in Portland, Oregon at Left Coast Crime.

Until James Preston asked if I was attending LCC and Bouchercon this year (both within driving distance of where he lives, lucky dog) I hadn’t even considered writers’ conventions.

I love being with people. It’s one reason book-signing events still appeal to authors. We want to look our fans in the eye, feel their adulation, take their cash with our own grubby little paws. Okay, maybe not that last bit.

In my previous careers I’ve never considered conventions as a way to promote myself. A web developer’s convention? Scarier than Bloody Words, I assure you.

How about an accounting convention? Latest exciting development in accounting was when the Babylonians invented the zero 5,000 years ago. At least it would be short. “Anything new? No? See ya next year.”

As A Long, Hard Look (Tom, you convinced me about the comma) nears completion, I’ve begun thinking of myself, not just as a writer, but a mystery writer. Elizabeth Craig‘s cover blurb didn’t hurt none.

For the first time since February Album Writing Month, I feel like part of a community, one of the gang.

You Might See Me

Bloody Words is the oldest mystery writers’ convention in Canada. Held in Toronto, it’s close enough for us to drive over, and I know enough musicians there we could probably even work in a gig and a couch.

Somewhere Down the Road

Book Passage’s Mystery Writers Conference seems like a great event, but $540 (each) seems like a great pile of money, even for 4 days. Since I don’t go anywhere without Best Beloved, that’s probably a $2,000 event. Income will have to increase a mite before we pull that off.

Not Gonna Happen

Malice Domestic seems almost like my cup of tea: it focuses on traditional, or cozy, mysteries. It’s not cheap, at $350, but the thing that puts me off is that they won’t even consider self-published authors for any of their events. Zero possibility. I don’t suggest they should let just anyone speak, but to use the commercial concept of traditional publishing as the first determining factor seems lazy, not prudent.

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