Tag Archives: conferences

Book ‘Em by Ginger K. King

On February 19th 2012 I was at my sister’s home for the weekend to celebrate her birthday.  We had been shopping all day and were watching a movie or reading quietly in the room together.  I was just browsing around on my I-pad and saw something about a writer’s conference in Lumberton NC, where I live.  I cannot recall perfectly, but I believe it was in a newsletter from the Lumberton Area Visitors Bureau Executive Director Mickey Gregory.bookem-nc-logo

A change in my career path had me thinking about writing, and a very personal event lead me to write a short story in October of the previous year.  This newsletter in February (a month I typically get the winter blahs) piqued my interest because just a few weeks prior I had been looking at a writer’s conference at the Greenbrier in West Virginia, wishing I had time to go.  Needless to say that once I researched the event in Lumberton, NC a little further and found out that it not only was a writer’s conference, but it was a charity event as well I knew I was definitely going.

My interest in this event kept growing and I have to say I was really excited about it and telling anyone who would listen that they too… should go.  Just getting to see the authors and hear them speak was so interesting to me.  The event was a huge success for the Book ‘Em NC Foundation and well, quite frankly for me too.

When I found out about the event, I was interested in writing, but knew I had a long road ahead of me learning about the publishing industry and the craft of writing fiction.  Little did I know that I would leave the event with the business cards of a publisher who was interested in my make-shift cookbook that was really the paperless version of a wine journal I had created just for myself.  It looked more like a cookbook after I put some serious thought into it that night having a fresh glimpse into the publishing world, and meeting Mike Simpson of Second Wind Publishing.

Second Wind indeed picked up the book and it was released in September of 2012.  This year I will be at the Second Annual Book ‘Em NC event in Lumberton, NC on Saturday February 23rd, 2013.  This time, I will be there as an author.

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Conference Insanity by Catherine Gayle

I’m leaving for my first ever writer’s conference tomorrow. And, as I tend to do with a lot of things, I’m not taking the slow and steady, easy path into conference-going. No, I chose to go to the Romantic Times Convention for my first ever conference, which isn’t just for writers, but also for readers. That’s right, I’m jumping in head first without looking to see how deep the water is before I go.

I let a few of my writing friends talk me into this one. “Come on, Cat, it’ll be a blast.” “RT is the place to be.” “I’m not going to any others this year, so this is your only chance to meet me until 2013.” Yeah, that’s what they said, and more.

So I caved. I registered. I booked a flight.

And then I started looking at everything that goes on at RT. It’s going to be an absolute madhouse. For this super-introvert, I think I may have bitten off a bit more than I can chew. This is a convention, not just a conference. An absolute madhouse. There will be people everywhere I turn around. Aaahhh!

Nevertheless, I’m busy doing my laundry and packing everything I can possibly imagine I’ll need and trying not to panic over being surrounded by so many people–people I have to talk to, no less–and ignoring the slight state of panic that set in sometime around a month ago.

At least I know my books are already there, waiting for me, for the big book signing. Jane Charles, another Second Wind author, lives in the area and allowed me and a few others to have our books shipped to her house. She’s already gone through and cataloged everything and let us know that everything is just as it should be. That’s one less thing for me to panic and worry about.

I’m sure I can find a few other things to worry about, in its place.

Have you ever been to a reader’s convention? Do readers get as panicked as writer’s do about these things?

http://www.secondwindpublishing.com/index.php?manufacturers_id=51&osCsid=7630a5bef82524c88e462f92c1e9c086

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Left Coast Crime 2012 Experience – by Deborah J Ledford

I returned from the Left Coast Crime conference in Sacramento earlier this week and thought I’d give you a little wrap-up.

The highlight of my experience was the “Cultures & Communities” panel. My latest thriller, SNARE (last year’s Finalist for The Hillerman Sky Award at LCC 2011), features a Native American rock star and takes place on the Taos Pueblo Indian reservation so it was an honor acting as monitor for this fascinating subject.

Joining me on the panel: bestselling authors Cara Black who writes the Paris-based Aimée Leduc series, and Naomi Hirahara author of the Mas Arai series. Also on the panel, Edmonton, Canada novelist and journalist Wayne Arthurson, and Heidi Naroozy who writes Persian-American stories. I had a blast hearing of the different cultures and characters these fascinating writers present in their work.

The photo below is provided by Clark Lohr who took loads of excellent pictures at LCC.

I also appeared on the short story panel with Gigi Pandian, Jack Erickson, Richard Lupoff and Tim Wohlforth. The gentlemen on the panel have published hundreds of short stories and I learned a lot about their process.

Fellow Sisters in Crime (SinC) members were well represented at LCC. It was great to finally meet Second Wind Publishing author Mickey Hoffman and her SinC Chapter hosted an excellent hospitality room, constantly stocked with tea, coffee and snacks. Way to go Sacramento Sisters!

There was much excitement at the Awards ceremony where Darrell James won the Eureka! award for his debut mystery Nazareth Child (Midnight Ink). And one of my all-time favorite Sister in Crime, Kelli Stanley, was presented the Golden Nugget prize for her latest California-based PI noir historical City of Secrets (Minotaur Books).

Kudos to Co-Chairs Robin Burcell and Cindy Sample, as well as their extraordinary and hardworking crew. You all did an incredible job. Well done, indeed!

If you’ve never attended a mystery conference, I urge you to register for Left Coast Crime 2013 to be held in Colorado Springs, March 21-24, 2013.

Deborah J Ledford’s latest suspense novel SNARE, The Hillerman Sky Award Finalist, is book two of her Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela thriller series. STACCATO, book one of the serial, is also available. Both novels are published by Second Wind Publishing. To find out more about Deborah, receive a Free Download of the first chapters of her novels, and to read a few previously published short stories, she invites you to visit her website.

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The Benefits of Conventions and Conferences by Coco Ihle

What is the difference between conventions and conferences? My belief is that conventions are mainly for fans, but are also attended by writers, agents, editors, and publishers; whereas conferences are geared more toward the craft and business of the writing and publishing world.

I like to include both for a well-rounded perspective. My field is mystery and I classify what I write as traditional, maybe even cosy books. When deciding which to choose, my eye is open to how I can learn the most about my craft and whether or not I have the opportunity to meet other authors to ask what has and hasn’t worked for them. I also look for the chance to meet potential fans.

Another benefit to going to conventions and conferences is the infectious enthusiastic atmosphere that permeates every nook and cranny there. I started attending these events years before I had a book published,
and upon returning home, I couldn’t wait to get back to my writing in progress. I was refreshed and filled with the desire to exercise some of the ideas I had just learned, to try out a new approach with my characters or plot, or just bask in the delight of the new friendships I had made.

At first, smaller venues seemed to provide me with the most “bang for my buck” by the very fact that there were more opportunities and time to make the connections I wanted. The larger ones were good for showing me more of the whole picture and exposing me to more genres.

For beginners, I would suggest starting at smaller cons and conferences and work your way to larger ones. That way your experiences won’t be so overwhelming. Bouchercon, for instance, can seem a bit intimidating to a
newbie, although thrilling in its immenseness.

Everyone, these days, talks about the importance of networking. Cons and conferences are perfect occasions for this. Putting away your shy streak is tough, but necessary. Meet everyone you can. You’re most likely a reader, a fan. Start by complimenting a favorite author. If you don’t have one, you certainly will by the end of the event—probably several. Be brave, you’ll be so glad you were.

I’m off to Bouchercon next week. Wish me luck!

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Book Award Season

I hope everyone enjoyed a fabulous holiday season. 2011 is upon us, which means it’s time to get ready to submit books and short stories for award consideration.

My novels are released by Second Wind Publishing, therefore my latest title, SNARE, qualifies for the Independent Publishers Book Awards (IPPY), and the Glyph Awards, sponsored by the Arizona Book Publishing Association. I plan to submit SNARE to the Suspense/Thriller and Multi-Cultural categories.

As for short stories, I submitted “Loose End” which appeared in the Sisters in Crime Chapter Desert Sleuths mystery anthology How NOT to Survive a Vacation for consideration to the Derringer Award.

The award possibility I’m most excited about takes place during the upcoming Left Coast Crime Conference (LCC) which will be held March 24-27 in Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is one of the most prestigious fan/writer conventions. I networked and mingled with readers from around the globe and some of the finest crime novelists in the publishing world at last year’s conference.

One of the locations of my latest thriller is set in the Great Smoky Mountains of western North Carolina. The female lead is Native American and the other location takes place on New Mexico’s Taos Pueblo Indian reservation, therefore SNARE qualifies for The Hillerman Sky Award.

Since this pop/rock music-based thriller was only officially released 12.21.10 I’ve been doing all I can to spread the word about book two of the Deputy Hawk/Inola Walela series. I unveiled the visual of the cover on the Second Wind Publishing blog titled: “Snare – Uncovered” and have received a fantastic response to the cover.

Writers and readers I’ve met since the release of book one of the series, STACCATO, have been very generous with their thumbs up based upon the first pages of SNARE. You can download this sneak peek from my website before the printed version of the book becomes available.

If you plan to attend LCC 2011, I hope you find SNARE to be worthy of a nomination to The Hillerman Sky Award.

Another Second Wind author, Eric Beetner, will be at LCC Santa Fe as well. He and J.B. Kohl co-wrote the fantastic 1940s noir novel Borrowed Trouble, worthy of the Bruce Alexander Award. I hope you will also consider this book for nomination.

Am I missing any other awards you’d like to share information about?

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon and Kindle. If you’re in the Arizona area, STACCATO can be found at Borders Scottsdale Waterfront, The Well Red Coyote, and Changing Hands Bookstore.

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We’re Going to Disney World!

By now I’m sure most of you are aware of the devastating floods in Nashville. It’s really a tragedy, and my heart goes out to all those whose lives have been affected by the devastation.

Romance Writers of America was to hold their annual conference at the Gaylord Opryland Hotel this summer, but unfortunately, the Gaylord has had to cancel everything for at least 90 days, which includes our conference. I had so been looking forward to spending a few days at this hotel-it looked absolutely incredible-and it saddens me that we won’t be able to now.

However, the board of RWA worked incredibly hard at securing a new spot for us in what I would consider record time (especially considering they typically book the sites 8 years in advance!!) And honestly, I couldn’t be more thrilled with the new site…

We’re goin’ to Disney World!!!

As soon as we heard the news, my husband and I started plotting our trip. We’re scheduled to visit friends and family in Atlanta first for a week, and then we’ll be heading to Orlando for the conference, the parks, and a little fun in the sun! Not to mention, the hubby’s mom is in Orlando, so we get to kill two birds with the one stone!

The Swan and Dolphin Resort happens to sit on the property of our all-time favorite Disney Park, Epcot. And that park is tame enough that we can stroll the baby around with us as we drink our way around the world :)

But the most exciting part is that we’ve been talking for a couple of years about how we were going to get to the new Harry Potter World at Universal once it opened. Well, now we know! We’ll be leaving The Princess with Grandma or a babysitting service for the day and heading over to Universal to explore the Wizarding World! We can’t wait!

I know I probably shouldn’t be so excited in the midst of such devastation…and I know, too, that many people won’t be able to attend now, which is very sad. But for me, there is a bright side…I hope there are others who will benefit from the change!

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Appearances

My world has been a whirlwind of opportunities since the publication of my debut thriller STACCATO last September. I’ve met some incredible writers online and have found more confidence to approach big time authors who come to the Phoenix area for personal signings. Having a book actually published has emboldened me in a way I never would have figured. I am honored and humbled to receive the gift of new friendships that have come my way.

I’ve made quite a few guest appearances on blogs, corresponded with a lot of writers, even received some fan mail. A couple weeks ago I traveled to Sedona, Arizona and presented my workshop Novels vs. Screenplays. Fellow Sisters in Crime member and award-winning author Kris Neri owns The Well Red Coyote bookstore and has been extremely supportive of me and STACCATO. 28 people braved the slashing rain to attend and I sold over a dozen books.

A couple months ago I registered to attend the Left Coast Crime (LCC) conference in Los Angeles, California. I normally go to the International Thriller Writers conference in New York City, but I kept hearing that LCC is more of a fan conference. Getting the word out about STACCATO is first and foremost on my agenda, so I decided to attend that conference instead. Excited that I’ll be able to meet fellow Second Wind Publishing author Eric Beetner, co-author of the great noir mystery One Too Many Blows to the Head.

I received word about a week ago that I will be appearing on the LCC panel “Art of the Short Story” along with a group of venerable short story authors Robert Levinson, Gar Anthony Haywood (nominated for The Panik award), Toni L.P. Kelner and Gayle Bartos-Pool. Gotta tell you, I’m stoked . . . and a little bit terrified.

So next Thursday Kris (her High Crimes on the Magical Plane, published by Red Coyote Press, has been nominated for The Lefty award) and I will drive together to California and no doubt trade stories about how absolutely awesome it is to be a published author (she’s just released her seventh mystery novel). And to talk about all the incredible people we’ve met, and the opportunities I could never imagine until now.

Deborah J Ledford is the author of the debut suspense thriller novel STACCATO, now available from Second Wind Publishing, Amazon, Kindle, and independent bookstores.

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