Wednesday, June 26, 2013

California Crime Writers Conference

Last weekend was the California Crime Writers Conference.  It was held at the Hilton Hotel in Pasadena.  It was great fun!

First of all, I always find it enjoyable to meet up with friends who also like to write mysteries, and a lot of those who live locally, and even at some distance, were there.

The worst part about the conference was to decide which workshop to attend.  There were four tracks: Craft, Business, Matters of Crime, and Nuts & Bolts.  Some talks I had no interest in because the topic seemed too basic for where I am in my career, but the presenters’ identities often made those sound appealing anyway.  I mostly attended sessions on law enforcement, such as Undercover Techniques--since I do have a lot of undercover protagonists in my Harlequin Romantic Suspense and Harlequin Nocturne books--plus the FBI and Homicide Investigations.  I attended one session on Contracts 101.  Yes, I’m a lawyer, but not only did I appreciate the refresher--particularly since I just received the contract to review for a new mystery series!--but I also wanted the perspective of the two lawyers on the panel regarding the latest changes in the publishing industry.

As to Nuts & Bolts, I also sat in on several sessions on self-promotion.  The more ideas I have, the better, although in the interests of time I do need to pick and choose which to try.

The keynote speakers were amazing: Sue Grafton and Elizabeth George.  Both gave highly inspirational talks, one each day after lunch.  Both mentioned keeping journals as they write.  I’ve kept journals in the past but am now considering starting one specifically geared to my writing career.

I again offer my thanks and kudos to those who put the amazing event together, all officers and/or members of the Sisters in Crime Los Angeles Chapter and the Mystery Writers of America, Southern California Chapter.  I’m delighted to say that I belong to both organizations.

CCWC is presented every other year, and I look forward to the next one.  It’s a good thing there isn’t one next year, though.  Left Coast Crime will be in Monterey, CA, which isn’t too far away, and Bouchercon will be in Long Beach, which is right next door!

And in case you’re wondering, yes, I’m a conference addict.  CCWC was my third conference this year, and I’m not done yet.

How about you--do you attend many conferences?  What kinds?


Betty Hechtman said...

Sounds like a great conference. I thought about going too late.

Linda O. Johnston said...

They sold out early this year, Betty. The meeting rooms were crowded and the crowd was enjoyable!