My name is Marcus Sakey, and I'm an addict.
I love writing conferences. Can't get enough of them.
If you've never been to one, I urge you to go, whether you're a writer or a fan. The beautiful thing about conferences is that it doesn't matter. Everybody is welcome, everybody is friendly, and perhaps most importantly, everybody is drinking.
Last weekend was Love is Murder, a great con in Chicago. It's not the biggest, but it'll always hold a special place in my heart. A lot of good memories of the Wyndham O'Hare.
Just this year, for example, there was the opportunity to not only meet, but sit down and share numerous pints with Ken Bruen (shown here with my second wife, Judy Bobalik). And if you stay up late enough, you might get to watch Ken barter his watch for James Lavish's cowboy boots.
Or hang with Jon & Ruth & Jennifer Jordan of Crimespree, the three sweetest people alive, and hear great stories about, well, everyone in the business. Jon is easiest to find -- just follow the trail of abandoned Red Bull cans.
Alison Janssen is not only an editor at Bleak House Books, but also a Roller Derby Girl. That's her in full battle gear. Where else but a conference would you meet someone like that? And if you really want to press your luck, ask her to demonstrate a hit. The girl is all gorgeous five-foot-nothing, and she knocked me on my ass.
Need another reason? Look at these two hotties:
Breaks your heart, doesn't it? Believe me, it's even worse if you've met Tasha Alexander and Laura Caldwell and know how talented and witty they are.
There's a lot of talk about how conferences are good for your career, how you go to pitch an agent or editor, or to spread word of mouth. And that's fine. But for me, it's more than that. This is a chance to hang out with some of the most interesting people in the world. And everyone, everyone is welcome. Is there a better way to spend a weekend than with engaging folks who want to talk about books, writing, and whose turn it is to pick up the next round?
If you love books but have never been to a conference, give one a try. You'll thank me.
And for all you folks who have been to conferences, which are your favorite? Any local faves or forgotten gems? Help me out. I gotta feed my addiction somehow...