Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Road Diary

by Maggie Sefton


Off the road after 11 days travel which took me to New York City first for the ThrillerFest conference and then to Atlanta, GA, for several days for the very large RWA conference (Romance Writers of America).  Nearly 3000 attend that conference.   (Photos taken at the Awards Dessert)    
At ThrillerFest I was on a panel with seven other novelists discussing how to Keep the Suspense Going Until the End.  I spoke about DEADLY POLITICS.  With a panel that large, the sizable audience had a chance to hear several different opinions and author strategies.  Of course, I had the chance to re-connect with other mystery and suspense writers, which is always fun.  But what I enjoyed the most during my stay in New York City (thankfully before the horrid heat wave) was getting to spend two great evenings with daughter Melissa.  Good food, good wine, and great sharing conversations.  Moms always treasure times like that with our kids.

I arrived in Atlanta two days before the RWA conference began, so I stayed at a really nice Best Western Plus near the airport which had lots of amenities and restaurants attached, but it also offered peace and quiet.  That was perfect because I was working on a manuscript at the time.  Once Tuesday July 16th arrived, I switched over to the Downtown Atlanta Marriott Marquis (VERY nice indeed) and dove into the High Energy river that is RWA.  (Sail at the Marriott Marquis Pulse Bar which changes colors throughout the evening) 

Hundreds and hundreds (nearly 3000) Readers and writers from all over the country and the world.  RWA writers write ALL---and I do mean ALL---types of fiction:  romance in all forms (contemporary, historical, fantasy, paranormal, futuristic, romantic suspense, and erotica)  as well as mystery, suspense, steampunk, epic fantasy, vampires, werewolf's (or weres), shapeshifters of every description, Elvin fantasy for adults AND almost as many for Young Adults and New Adults.  With all these writers and readers RWA literally starts as early as 7:30 for breakfast then bam!  You're into the workshop sessions.  And there are seven to ten sessions offered each hour!  All day each day.  Whew!  (View into the upper atrium and floors above).

But the chance for brainstorming and exchanging ideas and learning new things and hearing first word on new trends bubbles everywhere.  It's exciting, actually.  Of course, evenings are best spent meeting totally new people and finding out what they're doing and discovering ALL kinds of connections!  That happens all the time at RWA.  It truly is a remarkable conference.  No other conference is like that.  Everytime I would sit down next to a stranger, I made a totally new acquaintance and connection.

There was a HUGE (over 450 authors) Literacy Booksigning on Wednesday evening before sessions began which was open to the public.  All proceeds go to local literacy organizations.  This last photo is of a devoted reader of the Kelly Flynn Mysteries who drove in from Tennessee with her two kids Gabrielle and Ben.   It was such fun to see them there!    Have any of you ever attended a writers or readers conference or convention?

11 comments:

Aurian said...

I have twice attended at small authors/readers convention in Berlin, Germany, now, and I love it there. To talk with some famous authors, and get signatures. The atmosphere is just so great. Only booklovers inside.

I am glad you had a great time Maggie :) I am looking forward to your new book, which has been pre-ordered a while ago.

Elaine Klingbeil said...

I have never been to one but maybe someday I will be in the right place at the right time. That would be so awesome!

Dru said...

I love going to reader conference where I can talk with my authors.

Anonymous said...

Years ago, I attended a Left Coast mystery conference in Pasadena, CA, as it was in easy driving distance. The best time ever. I enjoyed the panels, saw and/or met many of my favorite cozy authors, saw Parnell Hall in action, was up close and cosy next to Robert Crais, passed Michael Connelly several times in the hallways, but was too timid to greet him, kinda had dinner with J A Jance (sat at next table and visited back and forth). Since I had my car there, I was able to transport my overflowing conference book bag without any problems.

Maggie Sefton said...

I'm glad you have a readers/authors convention in Berlin to attend. It's always enjoyable to network with writers and readers. And----please let me know how you like POISONED POLITICS, the 2nd in the Molly Malone suspense novels.

Maggie Sefton said...

Elaine---I bet there are some conferences in your state, perhaps closer than you think. Where do you live?

Maggie Sefton said...

It's always good to see you, Dru. :)

Maggie Sefton said...

Anonymous---How many years ago was that? I started attending Left Coast Crime in 2005 when it was in El Paso. The only one I missed was in Alaska. I had to miss this year's in Denver because I'd already been placed on a Suspense panel at the Virginia Festival of the Book during the exact same days in March. That festival is held in Charlottesville, VA and is very highly regarded and brings in attendees from Washington, DC area as well. Left Coast Crime is always a good conference. It's one of my favorites.

Wendy Beck said...

It was fun, wasn't it! I enjoyed our dinner Saturday night. Thanks for such a diverse discussion. Wendy

Anonymous said...

It was probably close to 8 or 9 years ago.

Melinda Norstad said...

Have not been to a writer's convention. Might be interested in going. I write weekly on Sundays to share the Gospel from my website....5 years archived. Maybe I should write that book I keep saying I WILL do. Would like to see more real estate books....been 'awhile' since your last one. Love Kelly Flynn. Thanks for bringing joy into my life. Be blessed!