Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Guest Blogger Marilyn Meredith

Why I Love Mystery Conventions and Writers Conferences

The reason I chose this topic is because I met Holli at a Public Safety Writers Association Conference. I truly value Holli’s friendship and I would have never met her any other way. I love hearing about her and her family. Her life is quite different from mine, and partially because she’s young and still doing all the things that come with raising your children.

Holli lives in New Orleans. I live clear across the country in a foothill community of the Southern Sierra in California. We might have come across one another online because we are on some of the same lists, but there’s nothing like meeting someone in person. I admire Holli, her expertise and intelligence—and her sparkling personality.

Over the years I’ve attended lots of mystery conventions: Bouchercons and Left Coast Crimes. I’ve made many friends at both. There are other smaller cons I’ve gone to, Malice Domestic, Killer Nashville, Love is Murder and Mayhem in the Midlands which is no longer in existence.

Though through the years I’ve attended and presented at many writers conferences, but my favorite of all is PSWA. The majority of attendees are people who are or were in various types of public safety fields like FBI, Police, FBI, Military Law Enforcement, CSI, Scientific Fields, Fire who are interested in writing, and mystery writers who are interested in what the experts are willing to share. It’s a smaller conference and there is opportunity to network and find out answers to questions right while you’re there.

Spouse's Panel at previous Mayhem in the Midlands
For the last few years I’ve had the privilege of being the program chairperson and I’ve had a great time balancing the presentations between writing topics and what the experts have to say about crime, criminals and how to catch them. Holli has been a presenter a couple of times.

What about selling books at a convention or conference? Unless you are a well-known author, you probably won’t sell many books at a convention. This is where you meet people who read books and visiting with them. Of course you’ll meet other authors too.

Your chances of selling your book at a conference really depends upon what you are doing at the conference. If you are a speaker or on a panel you may intrigue some attendees enough that they’ll buy your book.

The best part of either one is the joy of meeting like-minded people—those who love to read.

If you are one of those who love to read, I hope you’ll try the latest book in my Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, Raging Water.

Raging Water Blurb: Deputy Tempe Crabtree’s  investigation of the murder of two close friends is complicated when relentless rain turns Bear Creek into a raging river. Homes are inundated and a mud slide blocks the only road out of Bear Creek stranding many—including the murderer.

Contest: The person who leaves comments on the most blogs will have his/her name used for a character in my next book—can choose if you want it in a Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery or a Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel.

Bio: Marilyn Meredith is the author of over thirty published novels, including the award winning Deputy Tempe Crabtree mystery series, the latest Raging Water from Mundania Press. Writing as F. M. Meredith, her latest Rocky Bluff P.D. crime novel us No Bells, the fourth from Oak Tree Press. Marilyn is a member of EPIC, three chapters of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and on the board of the Public Safety Writers of America. Visit her at http://fictionforyou.com and follow her blog at http://marilymeredith.blogspot.com/
Marilyn borrows a lot from where she lives in the Southern Sierra for the town of Bear Creek and the surrounding area.

I know there are some people who like to read a series in order, but let me reassure you that every book is complete. Though the characters grow through each book, the crime is always solved. Here is the order of the books for anyone who wants to know: Deadly Trail, Deadly Omen, Unequally Yoked, Intervention, Wing Beat, Calling the Dead, Judgment Fire, Kindred Spirits, Dispel the Mist, Invisible Path, Bears With Us, Raging Water.


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

Thanks for hosting me, Holli. There is a correction I'd like to make though, the photo is from a panel at Mayhem. It was hilarious, the spouses talked about what it was like to be married to a writer. You may recognize some of the authors who are standing behind their spouses.

Lorna Collins - said...

You know that I adore conferences. That's where we met. And that's where I've learned a LOT about writing and publishing.

Lorna Collins - said...

Oh, cure photo of Hap!

Jake said...

Great article to promote attendance at conferences. Readers take note you have another place to meet your favorites. Agree your books are stand alone stories which allows me to re read out of order.
Thanks for all your efforts to keep readers supplied.

M.M. Gornell said...

Great picture, and great panel idea! I also met you, Holli, at PSWA, and you Marilyn in Hanford (not exactly a conference, but an "event"!)

Interesting post.


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

Lorna, yes, I've had some good time with you at conferences--same for Madeline.

Ha ha, Jake, your comment made me laugh--so I'm a supplier, eh? At least it's a supplier of words, not anything illegal.

Holli said...

Marilyn, I corrected the name of the spouse's panel. Great post, but I may be partial because I'm mentioned in it!

Radine Trees Nehring said...

Have any other cons had spouse panels? It was great fun for me --maybe not so much for John Nehring, though I do know he was pleased to be included. I thought the participants did a great job.

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

Radine, I don't know of any other cons that have had spouse's panels. I think it might be because not too many spouses attend the cons like they did Mayhem.