Tag Archive for: writing conferences

Do Contests Matter?

Should the winner medal from the Killer Nashville Claymore
Award contest go on the cover of The Body in the Beaver Pond? That was one of the many
questions my cover artist and I discussed as I prepared for the release of the

Cathy Perkins wins Killer Nashville award

As Dar and I chatted, I wondered, do writing contest even

Authors know how competitive the contests are, but do
readers care? Let me know what you think in the comments.

Of course, there are the other reasons authors (or their
publicists) enter. Little secret – we’re incredibly insecure! Think about it.
We’re putting ourselves “out there” for the world to critique. We’re sharing pieces
of the deepest parts of us. And we worry all the time that maybe our books are
actually terrible and any previous “success” was a fluke. Maybe a contest offers
a tiny bit of affirmation, that says, Yeah. This is good.

Then again, that may be more than most readers need or want
to know.

While I’ve had a great time writing this novel and look
forward to the release, I decided to add a layer to my usual low key launch
plans. I decided to make the release about all of you.

Nearly everyone knows
friends or family who’ve lost loved ones, jobs, nearly lost their home, and faced
a host of other challenges this year.

The Body in the Beaver Pond touches on many of these
challenges, offering a tangible (if somewhat snarky) perspective from Keri, as
she struggles to adjust after loosing her marriage, home and job. (And for an extra writing challenge – the book is funny!)

Now that I have a funny main character I hope people
relate to, I need a place to make all this happen. (Imaginary) Liberty Falls
is drawn from a number of small towns in Washington state’s Cascade Mountains.
Lingering economic inequities, the pandemic, life throwing curve balls – all this hurt many
people, especially in these smaller, rural areas where social services are few
and far between. As a result, I’m donating the royalties from presales (and the
first few months of sales) from The Body in the Beaver Pond to HopeSource, a
multi-purpose agency, which serves Kittitas County (the first county you
discover when you venture over Snoqualmie Pass from Seattle.)

I’d appreciate your help in getting the word out about both
the book and the donation. 

Get your presale copy and help me help our friends and neighbors – https://books2read.com/BodyintheBeaverPond


An award-winning author of financial mysteries, Cathy Perkins writes twisting dark suspense and light amateur sleuth stories.  When not writing, she battles with the beavers over the pond height or heads out on another travel adventure. She lives in Washington with her husband, children, several dogs and the resident deer herd.  Visit her at http://cperkinswrites.com or on Facebook 

Sign up for her new release announcement newsletter in either place.

She’s hard at work on Peril in the Pony Ring, the sequel to The Body in the Beaver Pond, releasing May 2021!) which was recently presented with the Killer Nashville’s Claymore Award. 

Clicking Our Heels – Conferences We’ll Be Attending

Clicking Our Heels – Conferences We’ll Be Attending 

The Stiletto Gang is on the move! Here are some of the conferences we plan to attend.

Mary Lee Ashford (1/2 of Sparkle Abbey) – I attended Left Coast Crime in Vancouver and Malice Domestic in Bethesda this spring. And I’m planning to attend Novelists, Inc. in Florida and Bouchercon in Dallas this fall.

A.B. Plum – Going to Denmark for the summer this year.

Debra H. Goldstein – I was at Killer Nashville in August and I plan to be at Bouchercon, Sleuthfest, and Malice Domestic. Sadly, I have a conflict and won’t be able to make it to Left Coast Crime in San Diego, but I will be at the Southern Book Festival in October.

Lynn McPherson – I’m going to Thrillerfest in New York in July. I’m am extremely excited and can’t wait!

Bethany Maines – Yes, but I don’t think the National Public Works conference is quite what you had in mind.

Kay Kendall – In March I attended Left Coast Crime in Vancouver, Canada, and come October I will

be at Bouchercon50 in Dallas, Texas.

Shari Randall – I’ll see everyone at Bouchercon in Dallas! I’m packing my red boots!

Dru Ann Love – Yes, I’ll be at Malice, Bouchercon and New England Crime Bake.

T.K. Thorne – I went to Left Coast Crime this year for the first time and had a ball. Possibly Bouchercon this year, but not sure.

Judy Penz Sheluk – Signed up for Left Coast Crime San Diego.

Linda Rodriguez, Julie Mulhern, J.M. Phillipe, and Cathy Perkins are on conference hiatus in 2019.

Business AND Pleasure

by Sparkle Abbey

We look forward to attending mystery conferences every year.
Congregating in the bar with book lovers and fellow writers, sipping margaritas
while chatting about what books we’ve recently read and which mystery authors
we’d invite to our fictional dinner party. In fact, next weekend we fly to
Suffolk, Virginia for one of our favorite mystery author festivals. http://www.suffolkmysteryauthorsfestival.com/
2010 RWA Conference

The festival is a partnership between the Suffolk Tourism, Suffolk
Public Library, and the Suffolk Center of Cultural Arts. They pick us up at the
airport, throw a welcome reception for all the authors, and provide our meals…basically
they treat authors like rock stars. We love them.

But as much as we enjoy attending these types of events, we’ve
really missed the “writer’s conference.” Writing conferences hold workshops where
we get to hone our craft, become a little more business savvy, and learn new
ways to reach readers who haven’t read our books.  This is where we refill our writer’s-well.

How much luggage can four writers stuff in a minivan?

For years we’ve talked about attending the annual NINC (Novelists,
Inc.) conference. Each time we talk to a fellow writer who has attended, they
gush about what a wonderful time they had and how we really have to go the
following year. Well, guess what? Next month, we’re going! We’re so excited.
And not just because the conference is at the Tradewinds
Island Grand Resort
in St. Pete, Florida. Okay, maybe we’re excited about
that too. It does look pretty amazing, and the resort is ON the beach (everyone
knows we love the beach!) Plus we heard we can get the best grouper sandwich just
a mile from the hotel. We’re looking forward to brushing up on our writing
skills, learning from colleagues with all kinds of publishing experience, and picking
the brains of industry experts. A group of peers where we can discuss
challenges and opportunities unique to the writing industry.

If you’ve attended or plan to attend a writer’s conference
this year, tell us which one and why you’ve chosen that one. Maybe we’ll put it
on our list for next year.

Sparkle Abbey is the pseudonym of two mystery authors (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). They are friends and neighbors as well as co-writers of the Pampered Pets Mystery Series. The pen name was created by combining the names of their rescue pets–Sparkle (Mary Lee’s cat) and Abbey (Anita’s dog). If you want to make sure you’re up on all the Sparkle Abbey news, stop by their website and sign up for updates at sparkleabbey.com.

Moonlight and Magnolias

Tomorrow I’m headed to Atlanta to attend the Georgia Romance Writers of America Moonlight and Magnolias Conference. I’ll be signing copies of my latest novel, The Boyfriend of the Month Club at the Literacy signing on Saturday from 4-5:30 pm, so if you live in the Atlanta area, please stop by! There’s a whole slew of us who will be signing books, and profits go to Georgia literacy, so you’ll be helping out a great cause.

Things I am most looking forward to:
Having breakfast with my editor and agent.
Workshops by fabulous authors, like Wendy Wax, Haywood Smith, Eloisa James, and Karen White, to name a few
Reconnecting with people I only see once a year or so
Quiet time in my own hotel room (where maybe I can actually finish the edits on my current manuscript–hey, a girl can dream, right?)

Things I am not looking forward to:
Driving in the Atlanta traffic
Washing clothes and trying to figure out what to pack
Kicking myself in the buttkiss because I wanted to lose 10 lbs before tomorrow and have failed miserably. Ah well. I must console myself with the fact that if I looked too fabulous, then no one would recognize me.

What about you? What do you enjoy/dislike most about writing conferences?

Maria Geraci writes contemporary romance and women’s fiction. You can connect with her on website here.
The Boyfriend of the Month Club is immensely sexy, immensely satisfying and humorous.”

Portland Book Review