Okay, so I promised y’all a more detailed post on Killer Nashville. Here it is.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 19
The conference actually starts on Friday, but when you’ve got a six hour drive to get there, it definitely pays to drive it the day before. I took the day off, slept in a bit, ran to the office for some last minute phone calls, and headed south.
It’s a really pretty drive, but it’s a long one. I got there at about 3:30 pm, Tennessee time, and met up with a friend, Butch Wilson (you can find him here writing under the name Eldon Hughes, or here, passing along great tech tips). We ran some quick errands, and grabbed dinner. When we came back, we met up with others, including Laura Hayden, Heather Leonard (sorry, Heather, the only link I can find is your day job…email me if you have a writer link and I’ll change it), Jamie Mason, Trish Stewart, and Mike Breedlove from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation. There were others…sorry if I missed you…please comment with a link if I did!
There was lots of catching up going on…lots of work stories (Mike, Heather, and I), kid stories (Jamie, you better be writing these down!), and writing stories (everybody). It was great seeing everyone again!
FRIDAY, AUGUST 20
Ah, the conference starts! The first speaker was Lee Lofland, talking about how movies and television shows get it right and get it wrong with regard to law enforcement, forensics, and police procedure. I totally agree with him….but now I gotta start watching Southland since he gave it such a big thumbs up!
The rest of the day was panels and friends and networking and talking and writing and all kinds of other things. I got to run into my friend, Bente Gallagher again, and was thrilled to see her. We got to catch up, and she got to give me a hard time about my projects…and talk industry and writing and publishing and networking. I got to have lunch with her, and with her publicist, Tom Robinson; definitely an informative day!
Clay Stafford, the founder of Killer Nashville, hosted a reception for special guests and speakers that night at his home. Since this was the second year I got to be on a panel, I got an invite, and had a great time.
SATURDAY, AUGUST 21
Bright and early Saturday morning was my panel, Women in Law Enforcement and Investigation. For those not in the know, I’m an assistant prosecutor during the day. I was joined by Sheila Stephens, a former ATF agent; Amy Drescher, private investigator; and Cynthia Drew, writer and private investigator. Our moderator was the wonderful Deborah Sharp. We got some great questions, had a great time, and I hope people enjoyed watching as much as we all enjoyed being there!
The rest of the day was more panels and networking and fun and information and meeting people. I met K.D. Easley and met up again with Paige Crutcher, who I’d met last year.
The day was larger panels about publishing and talks by the Guest of Honor, Jeffrey Deaver. I thoroughly enjoyed the afternoon.
That night was the Guest of Honor dinner. I ended up sitting with Lee Lofland and Beth Terrell-Hicks (currently writing as E. Michael Terrell), one of Killer Nashville’s organizers and all-around Superwoman, and her husband, Michael Hicks. Jeffrey Deaver gave another talk about writing and his career, and received the Killer Nashville Guitar.
What’s a conference in Nashville without music? The night ended with an informal jam session, with singing and guitars and good friends and good music.
SUNDAY, AUGUST 22
Whew! The last day of the conference dawned, and weary conference goers staggered out for the last day of panels and discussions. I ended up spending a good amount of time brainstorming a new plot with Bente Gallagher and Butch Wilson. You guys are dead set on getting my brain to melt by Christmas, aren’t you? Just kidding!
As I did last year, I ducked out a little early to meet up with a cousin and friend who live in the Nashville area. I swear that next year, if the schedule works, we’ve got to schedule that a little better, but it was GREAT to see you guys!
I pulled into my own driveway at 930 pm that night, exhausted and exhilarated, motived and ready to write.
Killer Nashville is a well-run conference, with oodles and oodles of information and opportunity for all of its attendees. If you write mystery, thriller, suspense, or novels with elements of any of those genres, it is well worth your time to check it out.