I must have serious pre-conference anxiety. Last night I dreamed that Best Beloved Friend, who will be coming to Bouchercon in Alaska to hold my hand, collapsed in the bar there and died! Then, people kept pitching themselves out of 15-story windows to plunge to their deaths in a giant, shallow fountain. (Though the outside of the hotel looked more like Miami than Anchorage.) I haven't had similar dreams about Thrillerfest, but there are a few months to go.

Experienced Ones, aside from these two behemoth events, can you tell me whither a newly-published thriller writer should go? I've been reminded--twice, now--by my editor that they will not pay for professional conferences, but I know that communing with readers and other writers at conferences is a good thing. (Plus, I had a great time in Madison, even though I didn't know a soul!)

I'm pleased that Daniel had the terrific idea for the Crimespace Events section and am keeping a close eye on it. I'm just wondering--What are your favorite conferences to attend, and why? Are there smallish ones that are not-to-be-missed? Events that should be avoided?

I hope this whole dream thing doesn't mean you won't have a drink with me!

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Thanks, Jim. But, somehow, your photo just doesn't say "blase" to me. Is that your full conference make-up?
How cool are you, Ms. "New Michael Crichton?!" Your book sounds amazing. We'll have to toast! Will you be in Alaska as well?
Laura,
I love your dream! I have lots of strange ominous hotel and conference dreams too. Maybe yours has more to do with melting ice caps and global warming than it does with Bouchercon. But then I'm probably jealous, because there's no way I can afford Alaska - I'll be blowing enough money in the Northeast US this spring.

I've heard excellent things about Malice Domestic, in Virginia outside Washington, which I posted about below. The New England Sisters in Crime Crimebake (held in the fall near Boston) is good too - I've attended twice.

I only attended Bouchercon once, in 2001, and didn't enjoy it as much as the smaller ones, where there seems to be more opportunity to network in a less overwhelming setting.
I've been dithering about Alaska because of the price--but my editor finally convinced me, even though it means I'll be on airplanes all during my first pub day.

I'll stop by your post about Malice Domestic, Julie. Thanks so much! This is just the kind of information I was hoping for!
It's true, the smaller ones give you more of a chance to hang out, make new friends, etc. I really enjoyed Mayhem in the Midlands in Omaha and Boise's Murder in the Grove last year.
Right now, I'm also looking into bookseller conventions, like the SIBA conference in September, with an eye towards getting more contact with the nice folks that are the main point of contact with the audience.
I'm really interested in the bookseller angle, J.D. It's smart of you to go that route. I just did a video "message" for the RH Australia sales folks, so they, in turn could energize the booksellers. So many people in the chain!
Booksellers are usually pretty cool people. They obviously love books, 'cause God knows they ain't in it for the money.
I've done B'Con Madison and LCC Seattle, and both were very enjoyable. I can't assess their value from a career-building standpoint, but from a hang out and get to know people standpoint, they were both great.

I'm going to do ThrillerFest and B'Con this year, then figure out what to do next year when it gets a little closer. Obvious LCC when it's in Hawaii is a must, of course. heh
Oooo--I'll start saving my pennies for that! Sorry we didn't meet in Madison. It was rather a crush!
B'con is like trying to drink from a firehose.
Hey, Bill,
Give LCC in Denver a chance; it'll be great.
I did LLC in Seattle, and I'm going to Malice Domestic in May, Sleuthfest in Miami in April, Backspace Writers Conference, Murder in the Grove (Boise), and Hard Boiled Heroes etc. in Dallas, and Deadly Ink in Jersey--all in June. Then I'm going to lie on the beach for a month and recuperate.

I started planning early for all of these and managed to get myself on an author's panel in each. The plan is not only networking, but also to speak a little bit in front of potential fans, maybe actually sell and sign a few books.

Thrillerfest is out for me. The powers there do not like Hilliard & Harris, so I can't be an active member. It's hard not to take this personally, but I'm trying very hard.

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