On the Road Again

Next week, I leave to spend four days in Franklin, Tennessee at Killer Nashville, which ranks as one of my all-time favorite writers’ conferences. It’s small enough to be intimate, and its founder and director, Clay Stafford, is committed to making it an encouraging, supportive experience for writers at every level.

Last year, I had to cancel out at the last minute when my husband’s herniated disk meant he needed me to be around, so I suppose I’m extra excited to be able to attend this year’s conference. Between Covid and family health challenges, it’s been well over two years since I’ve traveled out of state to a conference.

And Killer Nashville is special. I even love the panels I’ve been assigned to. One’s on writing middle grade/YA fiction, another is on POV and how it influences your story, and a third is titled “Conflict and How to Include It on Multiple Levels.”

I’m also thrilled to have one of my books named as a Silver Falchion finalist for the second time. There are eight finalists in the YA category, so I’m not holding my breath about winning—but I sure do like having my books, in this case, LEISHA’S SONG, be nominated!

One of the best things, though, about attending this conference is that I get to meet writers I’ve admired in person, many of whom are from Sisters in Crime, especially members of our lively Guppies chapter. This year’s guest of honor is Hank Phillippi Ryan. I’m a huge fan of hers, and I’m hardly alone!

I always come home from these conferences exhausted but also energized. There’s something quite wonderful about spending hours with folks who share a love of writing mystery and suspense. And I invariably pick up new ideas and approaches for my own work.

I guess you can tell I’m excited to be on the road again, even though I always miss my husband. A lot.

How about you? What are some of your favorite conference experiences?




  1. Millicent Eidson on August 17, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    I just registered for Left Coast Crime in Tucson in March, 2023. It will be my first mystery authors’ conference, and extra special because it’s in my old home town. I can’t wait to see family again and members of the local Sisters in Crime groups. Looking forward to experiencing all the excitement that everyone talks about with these meetings!

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