Today is the day after my favorite 3-day conference for mystery writers, New England Crime Bake. It’s the day after I reconnected with far-away friends, and made new friends.
Like past years, and attending any writing workshops or conferences, my brain is bursting with new tips, tricks, and inspiration for getting words onto the page.
But my big takeaway is thoughts of the people and conversations.
So many of my friends are now published authors. On Friday night, we got to celebrate the ‘debut’ mystery novelists. It’s such a thrill and honor to be able to congratulate others on their accomplishments. (If they can do it, so can I, right?)
The celebration was called “Death, Desserts, and Debutants.” The only thing that died was our will power to resist chocolate – the desserts buffet was simply decadent.
I ended up at a table with a debut mystery novelist I hadn’t met before. She was a so funny. I recognized her name and thought she was a panelist or presenter. She wasn’t. I knew I’d never met her before, but there was something so familiar that I had to keep staring at her and talking to her. I couldn’t write it off as simply recognizing her name from the attendees roster.
And then it happened. She mentioned the name of her book. Idyll Threats. And I swear I became a teenager barely able to contain a Squee of excitement. Yes! Of course! Stephanie Gayle! I became all “OMG,” and “Stephanie, I loved your book,” and “Stephanie, when’s the next one coming out?” Such a star-struck fan. I laughed at my behavior, but couldn’t help myself.
My fan status started a few months back when Stephanie’s publicist contacted me about Stephanie and her novel. I ended up interviewing Stephanie and reviewing her novel on my blog, and then even interviewed her for a couple of hours at The Writer’s Chatroom one Sunday evening. I loved the book, loved the fresh writing, the protagonist, all of it. It was a treat to get to know more about the author behind the story.
On Friday night, it took a while for all the pieces to click into place. But then, there I was, with the author, and, wow, like everyone else I’ve met at this conference, she was a normal person. She even has a full-time day job and has to find/make time to write. (She’s 3rd from the left in the 2nd row in the pic).
Several ‘big names’ always attend the conference (this year’s guest of honor was Elizabeth George, others include Craig Johnson, Joe Finder, Lee Child, Charlaine Harris) and guess what? They are people too!
I love being part of the community of mystery writers. And I love this particular conference for the wonderful conversations and long-lasting friendships that develop.
Two of my fellow NHWN bloggers, Diane, and Julie (aka Julianne Holmes, debut mystery novelist – 3rd from left in last row in pic) were there, too, celebrating and meeting their fave authors, getting star-struck, and striking up conversations with new friends.
What author(s) turn you into a (giggly) star-struck fan?
Lisa J. Jackson is an independent writer and editor who enjoys working with manufacturing, software, and technology businesses of all sizes. She loves researching topics, interviewing experts, and helping companies tell their stories. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.