Killer Nashville Recap

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.

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Killer Nashville was AWESOME!

Okay, so I went to KN with the express purpose of networking, of meeting new people, of re-connecting with friends and contacts, and getting the much-needed kick in the seat of my pants with regard to writing.

I got all that and more.

My friend, Lee Lofland, gave me an autographed copy of his book, POLICE PROCEDURE & INVESTIGATION: A GUIDE FOR WRITERS. I’ve brought it into the office and have been showing it to everybody. Very cool.

I had a great time, found some more beta readers, and spent a lot of time talking about books and publishing and writing and good white wine and pets. Yeah, there’s always a little bit of that at a conference. 😉

I’ll put up a more detailed post later….I’m still dealing with the work crazy and personal crazy of putting your life on hold for four days.

Killer Nashville

So I’ve been reluctant to post my comings and goings…for safety reasons. I don’t like posting that I’ll be away from home.

Now that I’ve made the arrangements for house- and cat-sitting, I can post it online.

I’ll be at Killer Nashville, taking place in Nashville Tennessee August 20-22, 2010.

Last year I got the opportunity to appear on a panel on Lawyers and the Law. This year, I’ll be on a panel with regard to Women in Law Enforcement and Investigation.

I really can’t wait to get there. KN is a great opportunity to network, to learn, to be a reader, a writer, and to meet up with other writer friends of mine.

Mystery readers, fans, and writers should all consider attending. Obviously I’m posting a little too late for some people to go this year, but if so, you really should consider it for next year! Great information, great people, and a well-run conference that’s well worth the time, travel, and money.

Hope to see you there!

The Champaign County Fair

Well, it’s here again, the Champaign County Ohio Fair!

Walking around the fairgrounds is like old home week for me. I used to see everyone I knew when I went to the fair. It was the social event of the summer; fall sports hadn’t quite heated up yet, school hasn’t started, and all the kids from all over the county are all in one place, hanging out in the barns, having a good time.

Well, I don’t know quite as many people as I did fifteen years or more ago. I still know quite a few people when I go out there, but the crew I used to run with aren’t there around the clock, or aren’t there at all any more. We’ve all moved on and are doing other things in our lives…except for those who are back at the fair to watch kids, or kids of friends or relatives, show their animals or show off their projects.

It’s been interesting to go out there and remember all the memories. I showed market hogs in 4-H, participated in the 4-H Garment Revue, and submitted cooking projects for 4-H as well. I was in the pig scramble when I was in high school, and I remember walking around the fairgrounds covered in mud after it was over, grinning like a loon with friends who were equally covered in mud. I remember being miserable in the rain and mud and worrying about keeping water available for animals when the heat reached nearly 100 degrees. I remember playing cards on a showbox while we waited our turn to head to the show arena to show our animals or watch our friends.

It’s not the same now that I’m not in high school. It’s not as exciting as it was at the time, when I was involved in everything and running from event to event, going in at 6 am and going home at midnight. It is, however, still pretty cool to go out there, and see that other kids are forming some of the same memories that I have. It’s a part of growing up in Champaign County, Ohio, almost like a rite of passage.

It’s one of those events that makes me happy to see that it’s continuing, and growing, and changing, and yet not changing at all.

Good luck to all 4-H, FFA, and Junior Fair participants this year.

The Zoo

So yesterday we went to the Columbus Zoo. I haven’t been to the zoo since I was a kid, and I was really excited to go. Needless to say, it didn’t disappoint. We were at the zoo for four and a half hours, and still didn’t see it all. We’re already planning a return trip and I can’t wait. Living less than an hour’s drive from Columbus means it would be a shame if we didn’t go back when we had that much fun.

We had a great time. I spent the week prior to the trip wondering if it would be absurdly hot, like we’ve seen for the last couple of weeks, or if it would rain and be miserable. Midway through the week, the forecast was promising clear skies, so we were ready to go. Except that it was raining when we left for Columbus. It was still raining when we parked the car. We waited for about a half an hour in the car, hoping that it would clear up enough to go in.

We got lucky. When the rain settled down into a very light drizzle, we went on inside, and within an hour, the skies were clear and the sun was out. It was a beautiful day, not insanely hot, and not too humid. There was plenty of shade on the paths to escape the sun when it was getting hot, and there was at least one misting fan and one rain forest-type humidity mister that helped keep it from getting to be too much.

We’re definitely going back, likely when it gets a little cooler.

I will say this, however, to all my friends who don’t live locally, but might travel to Columbus for one reason or another (hint hint….the COFW conference or World Fantasy in October), the Zoo is a nice break from all that networking, writing, and otherwise conference craziness that we all get into. And if you live within a decent driving distance, don’t postpone going just ’cause you don’t have kids. Be a kid for a day and go check it out.