Welcome to my honored guest blogger, F. M. Meredith, aka Marilyn Meredith. When it comes to talking about conferences and conventions, she knows whereof she speaks! Here’s Marilyn:
“There are a multitude of reasons for attending a mystery conference or convention, and many of them to choose from. I’ll tell you about both and what has turned out to be the most satisfying part of going to them for me.
“Bouchercn in Milwaukee was my first experience with this great and huge mystery convention. I didn’t know many people who attended though I certainly recognized the big name authors, some from photos on book covers, others from their name tags. One of the booksellers was willing to sell my books that I hauled with me, taking such a big percent I made nothing. Didn’t make much difference, I think only two or three of the books were purchased.
“There were so many exciting sounding panels it was hard to choose which ones to attend, but I filled my days with them. Hubby had a great time going to the Harley-Davidson Motorcycle Museum and a brewery.
“My first Left Coast Crime was in Monterey. This time hubby stayed home, but several of the women from the San Joaquin chapter of Sisters in Crime attended. Besides them, I actually ran into some of the people I’d met at that first Bouchercon. I also met more writers that I admired. I was on a panel, but had no books to sell.
“I don’t really know what came next because I went to all sorts of conventions and conferences after that, including some that no longer exist. Among them, Mayhem in the Midlands, which was one both hubby and I looked forward to every year. We made friends with lots of readers, people who lived in Omaha where the conference was held, and fellow writers. Though some big name writers attended this conference more midlist writers came. Among them were Radine Trees Nehring (whose blog I’m visiting today) and her husband, John.
“Over the years, we looked forward to spending time with the Nehrings, sharing at least one meal with them, and visiting about writing, promotion, and living in general. Sometimes we were fortunate to see them at more than one conference during the years. We truly formed a bond with them both, something that would have never happened if we hadn’t gone to all these mystery events.
“Being a writer can get lonely at times. Of course the Internet has helped authors and readers connect with one another, but it’s not the same as sitting down and having a conversation with someone and getting to know them. And that’s what you can do at a mystery conference or convention.
“Over the years, I’ve met so many wonderful people, some readers of mysteries and of course writers of mysteries. Now when I go to a convention or conference, it makes me feel like I’m attending a reunion of old friends. Sure I’m going to promote my latest book by handing out cards, hopefully getting to be on a panel, and having the book available in the convention or conference book store. The best part though, will be connecting with all the wonderful people that I’ve met over the years.
“The book I’m promoting right now is the latest in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series, No Bells.
“Officer Gordon Butler has finally found the love he’s been seeking for a long time, but there’s one big problem, she’s the major suspect in a murder case.”
F. M. Meredith, also known as Marilyn Meredith, is the author of over thirty published novels–and a few that will never see print. Her latest in the Rocky Bluff P. D. crime series from Oak Tree Press, is No Bells. Rocky Bluff is a fictional beach community between Ventura and Santa Barbara and F. M. once lived in a similar beach area.
F. M. (Marilyn) is a member of EPIC, Four chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and serves as the program chair for the Public Safety Writers of America’s writing conference. She’s been an instructor at many writing conferences.
CONTEST: The person who comments on the most blogs on my tour will win three books in the Rocky Bluff P.D. series: No Sanctuary, An Axe to Grind, and Angel lost. Be sure and leave your email too, so I can contact you.
Yes’m! Conventions and Conferences are great — especially if Hap and Marilyn are there!!!
Thanks for coming to my blog, Marilyn. At least we can meet this way. And, sorry, our feeble Internet service wouldn’t let that “terrific” photo of the Merediths and Nehrings upload. (We really tried and are planning now to take the laptop to a wifi place and see if we can add it that way–maybe separately. Readers here may need to go to another blog post to find it! ) Maybe by next time we’ll have better Internet service at our home.
Sending a hug to both you and Hap. Your grateful friend, Radine