Those who follow this blog know I’ve just recently discovered I am a mystery writer, having chased the romantic dream for more years than I care to remember. I’ve gone to a gazillion romance writers conferences and had a blast at every one of them. Last weekend, I flew to Boston for my very first mystery writers’ conference – the Crime Bake.
OMG!! Those people know how to party!!
Friday started with my flight getting in late. By the time I got a taxi and headed for the hotel, we were right in the middle of Boston rush hour traffic. There were two master classes that I had paid forty bucks each for, and I missed the first one. Bummer! I went to the classroom at the end of the session to see if there were handouts, and the wonderful Jan Brogan gave me ALL her lecture notes! My day was picking up.
And then I went to my second Master Class and learned how to put acting techniques to use in my writing. At the bar afterwards, I met up with Cassy Piccard (from this blog), Rochelle Staub, Pete Morin (all clients of Book Cents) and Lindsay Downs, a fellow writer and daily commenter on this loop. I had already hooked up with Laura Morrigan, a writer friend from Florida who also just discovered she was a mystery writer.
After a few drinks, my agent, Christine Witthohn, and the rest of us moved to a vacant room where we sat around a round table and had a séance. Now, mind you, I’m not a believer – never have been – but I needed to know how it was done for a scene in Book Two. My dear friend, Rochelle, lit three candles, and we had to take off our jewelry as we sat around the table. Seems the spirits don’t like metal!
Unbeknownst to Christine who doesn’t like Ouija boards and stuff like that, Rochelle had downloaded a scary audio on her iPhone and set it to go off ten minutes into the séance. So, we’re all talking to my sister who died several years and it’s getting intense. At the exact precise moment when we waited for my sister to let me know something, the phone went off, and we all cracked up. The laugh was on us, though, as it still had a minute and a half to go before it was supposed to go off. Do do do do……..
We ended up closing down the bar.
Saturday was terrific with agent/editor panels, lunch with Charlain Harris (True Blood and Sookie Stackhouse series) and book signings. Here I am with Charlaine and with Dennis Lehane. OMG! Dennis Lehane ..author of GONE BABY GONE, MYSTIC RIVER, SHUTTER ISLAND and many other books.
On to the Red and Black Ball on Saturday night. Donna Cummings (another BC Babe) drove up to go with us, and we had a blast. A lot of people dressed in their vampire best as there was a contest. Here’s the winner – a Vampire Lobster with my friend Laura who came as a dominatrix.
There was a lovely meal with chocolate volcano cake as desert…..heavenly and very rich. Then the DJ started playing the best music ever and we sang every word. Here’s Rochelle and Cassy doing Sweet Caroline!!
We got a few glasses of wine into Pete and got him out on the dance floor with 4 women (me, Rochelle, Donna and Laura)….and we couldn’t get him back in his chair!! For a lawyer, the guy has some moves.
Here’s the BC gang – me, Pete, Donna, Cassy, Rochelle, and Christine. Don’t we clean up well?
Anyway, my first mystery conference was a roaring success, and I’m ready to send in my check for next year’s event. Kudos to everyone who had a hand in making Crime Bake so great. There were about 350 people there which made it intimate. After going to romance writers conferences where there is a 99% female to male ratio, I was surprised to find about 40% of the attendees were men at the mystery one.
We ended the night in the bar where the senior editor from TOR did a tarot card reading for me. Seems I have a great creative mind but I’m having a problem making a decision about something. When I confessed I was worried that my Berkley editor wouldn’t like Book One of my series, he nonchalantly said, “If she doesn’t like it, send it to me.”
Now that’s my idea of schmoozing!!
And what better way to close out the conference than with Laura and I dancing on a table.
Oh, we closed the bar down again on Saturday night, and talked until after two. I had to leave for the airport at six that morning. Hubby wants to know what the hell those people did to me. Except for watching the Cowboys game yesterday, I slept all day.
You gotta love writers! And Crime!!