I just spent a fun and hectic three days at Bouchercon, a mystery writers and readers conference. I had the treat of meeting in person and getting to spend time with Tasha Alexander, Andrew Grant, Sandra Lee, Scott Brick, Deborah Crombie, and Marcia Talley. (See Facebook for photos). It’s so great to finally meet writers whose books you’ve enjoyed and whom you’ve got to know online. As Tasha said, it seemed like we already knew each other.

I also had the fun of catching up with Candice Proctor (aka C.S. Harris and C.S. Graham) whom I hadn’t seen in years. I met people from my publishing house, Kensington, at a lovely cocktail party Friday night. I had the fun of showing off the Vienna Waltz cover, which I just received. I went to panel discussions on all sorts of writing topics, useful reminders of things like constantly raising the stakes for one’s protagonist as the story progresses, the difference between action and suspense, making villains believable, crafting denouements.

And, of course, I stayed up into the small hours talking with writer friends. To me that’s one of the most fun parts of a conference. so much of the time as writers we work in isolation. It’s so wonderfully energizing to spend concentrated time with a group of fellow writers, to chat about plotting, research, covers, websites, and myriad other topics that only fellow writers seem to understand.

As always seems to happen after a conference, I’m invigorated and excited to get back to writing. And to keep up with all my old and new friends online until the next conference.

What’s your favorite part about conferences, whether writing conferences or in another field? Have you been to Bouchercon or other writers/readers conferences?

Amidst the whirlwind of Bouchercon, I managed to write a new Fraser Correspondence letter from Melanie to Isobel. I loved having my iPad at the conference!