by Jamie Freveletti
I just returned from Bouchercon 2010 the annual mystery convention. My first writers conference was Bouchercon when it was here in Chicago. I remember finding the web page online, seeing the list of authors--many that I admired and read voraciously, and scanning the panels page.
That conference sticks in my memory, mostly because it was my first, the weather in Chicago was beautiful (I rode my bike down the lake to get there) and many friends that I made there have stayed friends. Some were other, aspiring writers at the time that are now published and working on their second or third novels, and others were readers that loved the same authors that I did.
What is fun about these conferences now is the fact that they take me away from my computer and writer mode and back into fan mode. I learn about new authors, new stories, and get to be a fan again. For the first couple of days I'm thrilled to be out and about.
What's tough about the conferences is the flip side: that I usually don't have time to write. By the last day I'm usually holed up in my room pounding out a few pages. Writing keeps me balanced, happy, and gives me a chance to go wherever my imagination takes me. I love it. Can't wait to do more of it, and am thankful to be able to do it as a living. For that last bit I thank the readers.