ThrillerFest 14 Part Two– A Neophyte’s Do’s and Don’ts

I went to ThrillerFest this past July and posted about my experience last month. As I said then, it was the first conference I’ve attended and, predictably, I racked up plenty of boo-boos. There were some good things as well so I’ve distilled both ends of the experience into a short list of takeaways that, hopefully, will help other neophyte conference attendees.

#1       Know your purpose and goal in attending the event. I knew that my purpose was to assess whether I wanted to engage an agent for my second book, having self-published the first. I wanted to see… Continue reading

Thrillerfest 2014 – My Experience

official photoLast January, I decided to attend Thrillerfest, of all the mystery conferences, this being the one that intrigued me most.

Steve Berry spoke to a packed house.

Steve Berry spoke to a packed house.

There was a great CraftFest segment with top authors.  A big luncheon and cocktail party where I could mingle with interesting folks in the mystery community. And there was the jewel, PitchFest, a singular opportunity to meet agents and put my second book —… Continue reading

Some Difficult Truths about Becoming a Published Author (Part 3)

[From my first two posts on this topic: Even in this age of self-publishing, many writers still look for an agent or publisher. If you are one of those people, read on to hear some truths about the hunt. The first difficult truth is that you must spend a great deal of time doing research. The second truth is that you have to follow their directions for submitting your work. Neglecting either of these truths generally results in a rejection email or no email at all.]

Rule three is to be resolute and take rejection in stride… Continue reading

Some Difficult Truths about Becoming a Published Author (Part 2)

[From my first post on this topic: I often speak with people who tell me they have written a novel which is quietly gathering dust in their attics. For various reasons, they were not able to find a publisher. In this publishing age, people can self-publish quite easily and relatively cheaply. Still, some would-be novelists would like to find “a real publisher.” If you are one of those people, gentle reader, I have some difficult truths about how that happens. Read on at your own risk.

As someone who will have her first published mystery out in November from… Continue reading

Some Difficult Truths about Finding a Publisher: Part One

Rules of publishingI often speak with people who tell me they have written a novel which is quietly gathering dust in their attics. For various reasons, they were not able to find a publisher. In this publishing age, people can self-publish quite easily and relatively cheaply. Still, some would-be novelists would like to find “a real publisher.” If you are one of those people, gentle reader, I have four difficult truths about how that happens. Read on at your own risk.

As someone who will have her first published mystery… Continue reading

The Dreaded Query Letter

What is it about query letters that causes heart rates to soar, pupils to widen, and usually articulate people to stutter? It isn’t as though a query letter is very long, certainly nothing like a synopsis, so it shouldn’t take much time to create. It isn’t as though the information requested is difficult to find; it’s all about your work and your life. In fact, query letters from authors are actively sought by agents and editors. What’s the big deal about writing query letters?… Continue reading

Crime Bake – Writing Conference Revitalization

Crime Bake Luau

Crime Bake Luau

Last weekend I attended my fourth Crime Bake, New England’s mystery-writing conference. Each year I wonder if the fare will be a repeat of the previous year, and each year I am pleasantly surprised. The selection of workshops at Crime Bake usually reflects the rapid changes in the writing industry, and the list of successful authors sharing their knowledge varies with each conference.

The guest of honor this year was Meg Gardiner, whose thrillers, beginning with her Edgar-winning novel, China Lake, have… Continue reading