Sunday, February 12, 2012

Conferences are great times

Just last weekend I was at Love is Murder conference in Chicago and had a great time and actually accomplished some terrific things. The biggest was getting a chance to talk with Billie Johnson, our beloved Oak Tree Publisher. Anytime I can talk about the book business, it is a great day. (I kept Billie up until the single digits in the morning.) The other bonus was meeting Jeana, who helped keep Billie alert on the drive. She is as nice in person as she is at getting us all the reviews, interviews and other gigs that she does.

Other highlights were the FBI agent who did a great presentation on cyber crime fighting and then was in the bar for several hours talking about his life and answering many of my questions and showing me his credentials which was huge for my current work in progress. The beauty is that the FBI rules prohibit him from accepting free drinks so for cash strapped writers, it was a double bonus. Mitch Malone will be fighting cyber crime soon and his FBI femme fatale will be on another mission. Actually the conference had a whole Forensic track that was filled with experts from coroners, to accountant specializing in finding hidden assets, fingerprint specialists, former undercover police officers and much more.

Billie has mentioned how much you can get out of conferences and for me, this one is relatively close to home, rooms were less than $100 per night, and it has some great names and contacts. I will never sell enough books at the conference to pay for my expenses but what I gain in knowledge and friendships is priceless.

Marilyn Meredith is working on the speakers for the Public Safety Writers Conference in Las Vegas and I’ve attended that one for the past three years and it has some great advice and wonderful people. I’ve gotten more than my monies worth in that one as well and lots of time talking with Billie there too.

Also on my calendar for this year is Bouchercon in Cleveland. This one features thousands of people and is drivable for me, a big expense saver. My first one was three years ago and I had no idea what to expect. My first book was only just out. Luckily I ran into Mike Black (an Oak Tree author now) who I had met at the Public Safety Writers Conference. He invited me to dinner and I met some great fellow authors and from there the conference was great.

10 comments:

C.K.Crigger said...

An excellent, informative post on why we should attend conferences. I just wish I could attend more!

Sunny Frazier said...

Loved the photo of the three of you!

Conferences and conventions come at a hefty expense, but like you said, the networking and information is priceless. It's also a chance to hang out with others who write and share the passion. I'll be the weekend felt a whole lot longer than two days! I always come back exhausted.

William Doonan said...

I'm looking forward to Left Coast Crime, which will be my first mystery convention!

William Doonan

Jennifer Hillier said...

Sounds like a great conference! Would have loved to attend that one, even just to hear the FBI agent speak. Very cool.

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Anonymous said...

William, look me up when you get to Left Coast Crime. It will be my first major mystery convention (I've been to the Calif. Crime Writers Convention twice but that one is more local and shorter).
Sally Carpenter

Marilyn Meredith a.k.a. F. M. Meredith said...

OTP authors, I'll be at LCC too. Look for the plump great-grandma with dyed red hair. I'd love to meet you and do some yakking.

Marilyn

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