Monday, October 20, 2008

Bouchercon 2008 in Review

I've known Mary Beth for awhile now and she is definitely one of my favorite people. Over the years I've had the opportunity to read and enjoy her novels. Hopefully, one day soon you'll have a chance to read this talented author's work yourself. Until then, look for another short story (or two) in the upcoming anthology being published by the Harford County Writers Group. For those of you who don't know her, let me introduce her...

Mary Beth Creighton, the Director of Outpatient Rehabilitation for Upper Health Center has written a number of novels. "The Elimination of Annie" won 2nd place in the 2005 Maryland Writers Association contest. Her short stories have appeared in "Voices From the Susquehanna (2005). Although her first love is fiction her article on the benefits of hospital massage therapy was published by "Massage Magazine."

Mary Beth recently attended Bouchercon 2008. She's home now and working on a brand new murder mystery. I can't wait to read it.

Writing Conferences
Have you ever wondered if it is worth it to attend a writing conference? Some are more directed at aspiring writers while others are more directed at fans, but all are an opportunity to meet authors, network, and get inspired!
Recently, I attended Bouchercon 2008 "Charmed to Death" which was held October 9th -12th in Baltimore City. Headlined by Laura Lippman, dozens of mystery writers were present for panel discussions from plotting to character development to how to research the best way to murder your victim. Many authors have stand alone and/or series novels. From amateur sleuths to hard boiled detectives, it was informative to hear how the authors conceived of their main characters, their settings, and of course, their intriguing plots. I found it interesting that many of the authors had former careers and/or ties in military, law, or intelligence organizations.
The conference attendees were made up of both fan and aspiring writers. Questions and answer sessions at the end of each panel were encouraged and informative. This particular conference did not afford the opportunity to meet with an agent or editor like the Maryland Writer’s Association annual conference does. There was however plenty of opportunities for book signings. I met Craig Johnson and bought the first book in his mystery series, The Cold Dish. I’m hooked and highly recommend it. I’m putting his other books on my Christmas List.
Hearing how the authors think was also very satisfying, because it validated to me that I am a writer. I was inspired to write after the conference. In fact, I have been reworking a story since then and have written fifteen pages!

Mary Beth Creighton

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