Like a bad penny, I am back.
First, let me tell you, Mayhem in the Midlands was AWESOME! I learned so much from the panels I attended. Some were funny (sorry, but with titles like "Vampires have feelings too: making fantasy characters work in a realistic world" how could they not be?) and some were just plain informative (like "Central Casting: Where do characters come from?"). I took probably fifteen or twenty pages of notes in the two days.
I met some *real* authors, too. Karen Hall and Lori G. Armstrong don't count since they're both in my writers group here. William Kent Krueger I met a few weeks ago. (Side note: He won major points with B for the simple fact that this famous author remembered him. B thinks -- as do I -- that Mr. Krueger is a great guy, so you should all buy his books just because of his niceness!) I did meet Margaret Maron, Nancy Pickard, Betty Webb, Lee Killough, Craig Johnson and a host of others. I also had a fascinating conversation with Libby Fischer Hellmann Sunday morning.
One of the highlights, though, has to be meeting Honora Finkelstein and Susan Smily. Never heard of them? That's OK. This writing team has four books out: The Chef Who Died Sauteing, The Lawyer Who Died Trying, and a cookbook to go with each. They write the same type of stuff I do. AND (now, this is the important part of my story!) said they would like to read my manuscript and forward it to their agent and publisher when it's ready! *Doing the happy dance here!*
Now I must go finish the manuscript!!