This is going to be a very quick post today. I’m co-Chair of the very best writing conference – The Book Passage Mystery Writers’ Conference – which started yesterday, so I’ll soon be whizzing off to the store to kick off the day with a panel on, essentially, what it takes to be a professional writer.
Yesterday was great, seeing fellow Nakeds, Cornelia Read (who may well begin posting again a bit later in the year, after the summer) and Our Patty, who is really one of the most charming women I have ever met. It was like being with family. Louise Ure, was there, together with a raft of others who have either guest-blogged for us, or who regularly add their comments to the mix.
What is great about this mystery writing conference is that it really is a conference about writing. It’s not a fan conference – and those are always great, and of course there are fans among the mix – and our participants really do work hard. Our faculty bring the very best writing practices to the table, but they’re down to earth and keen to pass on what they’ve learned – and we mix it up, knowing that cross-training is something that applies to writing as much as it does to athletics. That’s why we bring in people like Tobias Wolff, who last year ran a session on the short story. This year Adair Lara, much-loved columnist and author, will be presenting a session on what we can learn from memoir when we’re writing fiction. I just love this conference – I learn one heck of a lot!
Here's a photo from last year's conference - Elaine Petrocelli, the founder of Book Passage, together with author David Hewson, publisher David Poindexter of MacAdam-Cage, and someone who looks a bit like me.
On Tuesday I leave for Blighty, and because I will be at the Harrogate Crimewriting Festival (in beautiful north Yorkshire), I will not be posting next week. And on July 31st, I will be with my parents celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary, so the one and only James Grippando is guest-blogging for me. I’ll be back on August 7th – so if you want to know what a day-trip on the Orient Express is like (steam-hauled), then check out my post. I’m taking my parents up to London for a couple of days, including one day spent on the Orient Express for The Golden Age of Travel experience – a five-course lunch aboard the train while it tools around the English countryside. My brother, who also lives in California, will be coming back to London for the first time in 14 years (what can I say – I go back three or four times a year, and he hates setting foot in the place. Each to their own).
Have a really wonderful weekend!