Let’s go to a convention….

There’s more fun to reading for fun than just the reading part.  (Did a professional writer really create that sentence?)

Book discussion groups, book reviewing, writers’ clubs, conventions….

Conventions.  I know they happen in most genres, as well as for poets, and for literary writers covering all areas of life.  There is at least one convention in New York specifically for women writers (and probably some for men).

I write in the mystery genre and there are dozens of fan/author conventions available to us around the United States each year. A few are huge, drawing thousands of people and offering a bewildering array of author panels, talks, and other writing-related events  for attendees to enjoy over several days. (Bouchercon, Malice Domestic.)  Most are smaller, expecting attendance ranging from a hundred or so to, maybe, five hundred. These are scattered all over the USA and most of the guests will be from a nearby area of the country.

Example?  Mayhem in the Midlands, held in Omaha, Nebraska each May.  Ever been to Omaha?  If not, you have a treat in store. It’s one of the most delightful cities my husband and I have ever visited.  The convention itself is held in an Embassy Suites hotel located in the heart of the city’s restored historic district. Brick streets lead tourists into fascinating shops with merchandise you aren’t likely to see anywhere else. (Much of it hand-fashioned in Nebraska.) My favorite is a shop carrying hand-made hats. There is a huge selection of restaurants for the hungry, and lots of entertainment otherwise. While at the convention, all of this is within easy walking distance. No struggle for parking.

A short ride will take you to a world-famous art museum, a superior zoo, and other attractions to fit individual interests.

Mayhem in the Midlands opens with a cocktail party and complimentary buffet on Thursday evening, May 21.  Make new friends and meet old ones.  There’s plenty of time to sit and chat, usually about the favorite topic– mystery writing.

The convention itself begins Friday morning with panels covering several topics. At 9:00 I’m moderating a panel titled “Not just a royalty check: What you need to know about being published.”  I’m also taking part as a panelist in “What difference does age make? Senior v. younger sleuths,” (Friday at 1:30), and “Causes and Casualties: Issue-driven fiction” at 10:00 on Saturday.

My husband John (who, thus far, has published only non-fiction) is also a panelist on “Marriage is a mystery: Meet the spouses” at 9:00 Saturday.

There are numerous special events as well, including a mystery dinner on Saturday night (actors chosen from conference attendees) and a fabulous Sisters in Crime breakfast buffet (included in registration) on Sunday, featuring Dana Stabenow and Jan Burke, both top-selling mystery authors.

What’s not to like?  Read the list of authors and all about the convention itself at http://www.omahapubliclibrary.org/mayhem

See you there?           Radine

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