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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You're a serious inspiration, Jack!
And I plan to sit in the front row at Murder in the Grove and make faces at you, maybe occasionally hold up little cards with numbers on them to rank your performance.

:) See you there Jack.
Fine, Sandra. But remember, payback is a bitch. And I bet I can make funnier faces than you. :-D
Ack! I hadn't even thought about international conferences. I'll have to look into Crime Fest, since the novel will publish there in January. Thanks! Hope to see you at Thrillerfest!
I hear that whole "dizzy" thing happens to people in bars! (My, that bar was tiny.) Congrats on the books!
Laura I've been going to LCC since my first one in Portland about 6 or 7 years ago. I really like it because it's a little smaller than Bouchercon (I love those too and have now been to 4, but they ARE rather huge. What I like about LCC is that if you see someone you know in the hallway you know you don't have to pounce on them there and then because you are going to see them again. With Bouchercon, it's so big that if you spot someone you have to grab them there and then, just in case your paths don't cross at any other time.
Thanks, Donna! LCC sounds unmissable. When I go there, I'll shadow you since you really know your way around. As one of my myspace friends said, "Stalking is such an ugly word." ; )

Did I hear Hawaii?

And Jim, I was in exactly the same situation as you WRT Chicago--always passing through. Then I took the kids there for spring break--no work at all! It's a very cool town.
Laura - feel free to shadow! And you did indeed hear Hawaii - it's in 2009. LCC 2008 is in Denver
http://www.lcc2008.com/
http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2009/

Since I'm from the UK I like to stay at least an extra couple of days and do a wee bit of sightseeing (and shoe shopping!) Alaska and Hawaii are going to be 2 week affairs for me, but with most I stay about a week. It's a great way to see places in the US that I would never otherwise see...like El Paso... :o)
Thanks for the links, Donna. You are so nice!

And thanks, guys, for all the great ideas. Today has been a real education!
LCC anywhere is great. The feel of the con is informal and fun -- with an emphasis on the funny/fun. Malice is appropriate and wonderful if you write traditional mysteries/suspense.

I went to many small cons last year -- Murder in the Grove, Mayhem in the Midlands, Con Misterio (RIP), Murder in the Magic City and Magna Cum Murder. I enjoyed them all.

My favorites were Murder in the Magic City and Magna Cum Murder because both offered a very different feel of what a con can be. At Murder in the Magic City -- none of the panels run concurrently, so, you have the full audience the entire time. Only about 135 people attend, but it was a great, great con. The organizers treat you wonderfully, too. Magna takes place in Muncie -- not a real hotspot. But the convention is so well organized, the panels so interesting, and the mix of participants so diverse and fascinating that it's going to be one of my regular conventions when I'm not in major writing mode.

Hope that helps a bit.
This helps a great deal, Pari! Thanks so much for taking the time. I confess I'm really looking forward to meeting readers--Magna Cum Murder sounds like fun, and not too awfully far from home.

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