Sunday, November 20, 2016

Crime Bake 2016- A Trip to Brigadoon

Writers or fans of mystery fiction should definitely go to the annual Crime Bake mystery conference, hosted in part by the New England chapter of the Sisters in Crime, of which I am a proud member.

Every year is the best yet, and I've been to many. I realized it's a lot like Brigadoon- a transcendent, magical kingdom that suddenly springs up to change lives, and then disappears into the mists of time, leaving only the memories.
Luckily, we only have to wait another year (not 100) for the reappearance, and we have your intrepid reporter to chronicle the latest manifestation.
This is a long post, with many names and links, so if you have a correction, let me know, and I'll make it right. 

Thanks to the New England Mobile Bookfair, the store that handles all sales of panelist author books at the event, Tom Lyons and the gang sold 7 books of mine- even though most authors were restricted to only two titles. 

Plus the new gang of Level Best Books editors were there to sell copies of the latest anthology Windward: Best New England Crime Stories (a steal right now on Kindle, and also out in print).
It has my story Dead Weight in it, and we had a big signing line of authors featured in the collection, and an even longer line of buyers of the collection getting their copies signed.

Here are Sarah Chen and Janet Halpin doing their part

Shawn Reilly Simmons, who had a story in the collection- also one of the editors!

And the always hard-working Kate Flora
To see an interview with Kate, click here

Your conference co-chairs, Sharon Daynard and Ray Daniel
To see an interview with Ray, click here

And with the Guest of Honor, William Kent Krueger
(the moose and flannel theme is in honor of his beloved Minnesota)

Here's Ray in more dapper mode, with Len Rosen and Joseph Finder

And Connie Johnson Hambley, showing Ray the error of his ways...
To see an interview with Connie, click here

 Presenting one of my favorite Maine writers, Bruce Robert Coffin, charming his new fan base. His debut novel, Among the Shadows, is selling like hotcakes, as well it should be.
And to see an interview with Bruce, click here

And the ever-gracious and wonderful Hank Phillippi Ryan, with Vincent O'Neil.

The gang- L to R: Mo Walsh, Eleanor Cawood Jones, Verena Rose, Shawn Reilly Simmons, PeggyMcFarland, Ray, and Bruce.

Barbara Ross with Hank and Len

Allison Keeton made it back this year

Mo and Bruce

Jason Walcutt stares us down

Saturday brought my panel, with Kate Flora as Moderator, and we were talking about Navigating the New Waters of Publishing. The audience seemed to like it, had great questions, and came up afterward to continue the conversation. 

Then I took part in an Agents and Editors Roundtable, where publishing professionals helped folks with their manuscript first page and pitch. I was paired with Alec Shane of Writers House, who was professional, polite, and pretty awesome in his tips and feedback. 

 Then we relaxed a bit, and I saw some lovely folks, The Wicked Cozys (with a few friends).
L to R around the table: Liz Mugavero, Jessie Crockett, Kimberly Gray (another Level Best Editor), Sherry Harris, Barbara Ross, Bill Carito, Kate Cone, Edith Maxwell, Julie Hennrikus, and Sheila Connolly

A T-Rex wandering through...

 Soon it was time for fun, with a party and a banquet, and costumes. 
Here are Rocky and Bullwinkle with Hallie Ephron

To see an interview with Leigh, click here

Our intrepid organizer co-chair

Dancing broke out, instigated (as usual) by Edith. Here she is with Connie and Hallie

We had a selfie station with props, so of course silliness broke out

 It's Robin Stuart, Connie, and Lisa Matthews

And of course we had refreshments afterward, for some time.

It was a wonderful weekend, and we got a parting shot with the moose and some Wicked Cozys on the way out on Sunday

Had so many great chats with people, old friends and new: Steve Ulfelder, Lee McIntyre, Cynthia Hall Koure, Stephen Doyle, Alexa Gordon, Tonya Price, Louisa Clerici, Peggy Gaffney, Emily Ross, Tina deBellegarde, Nancy Marshall, Ken Keoughan, Jill Fletcher, Penny Goetjen, Johnnie Dun, Cheryl Lawton Malone, Mary Feliz, and Vicki Lindem (who had the best line of the weekend!)