As usual, it was jam-packed with information for readers and writers. Author panels gave the reader an idea of what each author writes and why they chose to write their particular type of mystery. Experts were there sharing information on topics such as drug investigation, crime scene investigation, computer forensics, cyber crime, guns, and more. There were also sessions geared toward the mystery writer to help them hone their craft and others that helped them understand the business.
My favorite was the Guns and Roses session with Michael A. Black and Dave Case. Dave is with the Chicago P. D. and Michael is a recently retired Chicago policeman. This session could have gone on for hours as far as I was concerned. I suspect I was not alone in that opinion since many of the participants were asking questions during and after the session. The conference coordinator finally had to throw us out. There was a lot of very specific and helpful information about guns and ammunition. AND I learned what type of gun and ammo I should be using in my third novel, which is currently in process. It was also an honor to meet Michael A. Black and to thank him for reviewing my first novel, Perfidy.
There was also lots of fun to be had. I was able to spend a lot of time getting to know my publisher, L. Sue Durkin-Eggerton and her assistant, Melissa Baron. I saw old friends and met people from all over the country. I had a nice conversation with featured author, Donald Bain of Murder She Wrote fame (I met him at the Killer Nashville Conference last August). Hank Phillippi Ryan was not only a featured author, but she did a special interview with Frances McNamara, President of Sisters in Crime Chicago. It was interesting to find out that Hank was raised in the Indianapolis area not too far from where I grew up.
All-in-all, it was a fabulous experience. I will always be grateful for this conference since this is where my career got its start. A year ago, I met L. Sue Durkin-Eggerton in a pitching session and she offered me a contract through the True Grit Publishing imprint of Weaving Dreams Publishing. Next year, I’ll be on the New Writers panel and maybe I’ll be nominated for a Lovey for best first novel. Wouldn’t that be something!