I had a chance to learn from experts of all kinds and network with dozens of writers, agents and editors, and meet some of my favorites: Hank Phillipi Ryan, Lisa Gardner, Barbara Ross, Hallie Ephron, Joseph Finder…the list goes on. Where was I?
The three-day New England Crime Bake. It’s the mystery writer's conference put on by the New England chapters of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime - a gathering to die for, literally. The biggest thing I learned: writers are great people, friendly, down to earth and willing to help a newbie find her way and offer whatever their particular expertise might be before I even had to ask.
In workshops, agents, editors and published writers offered critiques on my latest manuscript and query letters. I honed my pitch and geared up for an exhilarating speed pitch session (ever try condensing a novel into 1 minute or less?) with mystery agents and editors. I made friends with other Guppies (the great unpublished). I attended master classes in conflict and suspense. I heard from a forensic expert on how to distinguish a homicide from an accident based on brain trauma, laceration characteristics, and more. (glad I hadn't eaten much breakfast - just sayin')
What a cool crowd! Where else can you talk about the best way to knock someone off without getting yourself put on a government watch list? It was a blast, but I’m dead tired. I haven’t packed that much learning and networking into one long weekend since….well, never. I’ll be back!