Yesterday, I was in Portland (Maine) attending the Maine Crime Wave writing conference. This was my first time attending a conference devoted to writing. I've started dipping my toe into the world of crime fiction with Safe Word. I've only read a handful of crime novels (Janet Evanovich, Greg Iles and Paul Doiron), but I have been following the Maine Crime Writers' blog. So it was quite fun to recognize some people by name and even get to talk to them.
The panels ranged from what falls under the umbrella of crime writing to the business of writing. There were several concurrent workshops. I attended on about building tension (with Julia Spencer-Fleming) and another about setting (with Kate Flora and Paul Doiron). The day was capped off with a panel about investigative details with Detective Sergeant Bruce Coffin and former Maine Warden Roger Guay.
My favorite part of the conference other than listening to career authors speak was having a chance to meet them and talk with other fiction writers working toward publication. I've never been very good at mingling at the scientific conferences I've attended. However, I was more than happy to chat people up about their writing and tell them about my own. I sat down next to Lea Wait at one of the workshop and had a fun discussion with her about romance and erotica authors.
The keynote speaker was Tess Gerritsen. She spoke about what compels authors to write about crime and why readers love it.
The conference was a decent size for its first year with about 70 attendees. I hope it will be offered again next year. High recommend to anyone writing crime or fiction with crime elements.