As is my custom, I took my disappointment and put a positive spin on it. At least now, I had the opportunity to take what I learned that day and continue to work on Perfidy so I could pitch at the Love is Murder Mystery Conference in 2010.
I did just that. In 2010, I pitched to four publishers, all of whom requested the manuscript. Then I was fortunate enough for one of them to offer me a contact and Perfidy became a reality in November 2012.
February 1-3, 2013, I attended my third Love is Murder Mystery Conference. This wonderful conference is a great place to network and make new friends. Compared to other conferences, it is the most financially feasible conference around.
The meals are included in the cost of the conference and held in the dining room, giving attendees the chance to sit anywhere and network with others. Each day, except for mealtimes, attendees are treated to a choice menu of classes and panels. The only extra expenses derive from pitch sessions and Master Classes. If you don’t want to participate in the meals or you can only attend one day, there are less expensive options to fit into any budget.
This year I was more excited than ever. This time I was going as a published author. As a volunteer, I helped assemble the goody bags and let our speakers know when it was getting close to wrap up time.
I was privileged to be on the Sisters in Crime Chicagoland panel, “A Group of One’s Own” Friday afternoon with David J. Walker (Company Orders) as our guest. He has been a member of this organization for 20 years. Other members on the panel were Gale Borger (The Miller Sisters Mystery Series), D. M. Pirrone (No Less in Blood), Frances McNamara (Emily Cabet Mysteries), and Emily Clark Victorson (Allium Press). It was great to be able to let people know how beneficial this organization is to women in the mystery genre. After our panel discussion, Frances took over and interviewed David for the audience.
During the cocktail hour on Friday evening, published authors sat in alphabetical order at the book signing tables so fans could find their favorite author easily. Ironically, I sat between D. I. Marriott (SoulJourner) and August McLaughlin (In Her Shadow). All three of us were nominated for the Lovey for Best First Novel. It was such a pleasure sitting between these two wonderful authors, getting to know them as people. They did such a good job of “pitching” their books to me; I couldn’t help but buy them both. I can’t wait to read them and will definitely review them for you at a later date.
Saturday morning I along with seven other first time writers, were on the—you guessed it—First Time Authors Panel. My friend, Allan Ansorge (Bay Harbor Mysteries), moderated this panel. It was a little scary for me because this was my first “on the spot” panel where I would answer questions without previous knowledge of what would be asked. I think I did pretty well at holding my own. Actually, everyone was great.
The rest of the day was packed with workshops on do it yourself publishing; CSI effect; polygraphs, Graphology and more. Panels discussed writing about the past; new directions for traditional mysteries; keeping amateurs plausible; thrillers; paranormals; and romance. By the time we met for afternoon tea our heads were spinning with knowledge and new ideas.
Another round of book signing came just before the Lovey Award Banquet. The M’s were again at the back of the room, but at least we were right in front of the bar. No one was going to miss seeing us. Especially since everyone was given a red ticket for one free drink.
Then came the banquet and the awards. Our host, Allan Ansorge and a few volunteers laid out the red carpet for the winners. If you have looked at my Home Page, you already know that I was honored with the 2013 Lovey for Best First Book. Here are the rest of the winners of the 2013 Loveys.
Best Short Story – Luisa Buehler, Harry’s Fall from Grace
Best Series – William Kent Krueger, Tricksters Point
Best Historical – Robert Goldsborough, Archie Meets Nero Wolf
Best Suspense – Libby Fischer Hellman, A Bitter Veil
Best Paranormal/Sci-Fi – Molly MacRae, Last Wool and Testament
Best Thriller – David J. Walker, Company Orders
Best PI/Police Procedural – Rob Riley, Portrait of Murder
Best Traditional/Amateur Sleuth – Kathleen Ernst, The Lightkeeper’s Legacy
When they called out Perfidy as Best New Novel, I turned to my friend, Sue Myers (Deception coming in 2014) and asked if they’d said Perfidy. She said, “Yes, get up.” It was wonderful to share that moment with her. Sue has been such an inspiration and help to me. In addition, to receive the award from Allan, who was so encouraging when he found me in the hallway at the 2010 LIM Conference fretting over my pitch, made it even more special.
Sunday can be a little sad. We only have until noon with all of our new friends. One thing Sue Myers taught me and I would encourage others to do, was to pick up several business cards, bookmarks, and bookmarks from fellow authors. Give them to other readers to spread the word. August McLaughlin for example, lives in Los Angeles. Now I will make sure people in the Midwest become aware of her.
The one thing I take with me every year is a feeling of camaraderie, not competition. Authors help one another to grow through classes such as the Master Classes presented at LIM; the Mentor Program sponsored by Mystery Writers of America; and professionals who speak at Sisters in Crime meetings. That is why I am so proud to be an author and to associate with such wonderful people. I’m also thrilled to have been asked to participate on the 2014 Love is Murder Committee. I’m looking forward to another year of great reading and writing.
Until Next Time