I’m still pretty tired after my trip home from the Love is Murder conference (complicated by a cancelled flight and an unexpected extra night in Chicago) but I wanted to share a few photos and some fine memories of what was a terrifically fun event.Â With snowstorms and a brief shut-down of O’Hare Airport, I was lucky to get there at all — and I’m so glad I did!
About 300 writers and fans attended, and it was a lovely crowd.Â At any time, up to eight classes or panels were going on simultaneously, covering a whole host of topics –Â everything from a karate demonstration by Barry Eisler to a crime scene reenactment by real cops.Â And once the sun set, the action didn’t stop.Â The first night, we had readings of Edgar Allan Poe along with a chocolate feast.Â The second night, after the banquet, we were treated to a bagpiper and a whisky tasting, which I got so wrapped up in that poorÂ beleagueredÂ J.A. Konrath had to come and pull me out of the room for my next event.Â (Sorry Joe!)Â Â
The next morning, Joe interviewed me during breakfast.Â If you don’t know about J.A. Konrath, hurry on over to his blogsite, one of the best writer’s blogs out there.Â Not only does he write aÂ marvelous mystery series, he’s also one of the funniest and most savvy guysÂ I’ve ever met.Â Â Â Â Â
My only regret about the conference?Â There was so much going on,Â I couldn’t attend every single session — and there were many good ones.Â Â I thought it was nice thatÂ so many romantic suspense authors were in attendance.Â Â Most mystery conferences tend to treat romance authors asÂ third-class citizens.Â Â At Love is Murder, everyone was welcome, and many panels were devoted to romantic suspense.Â
I was the moderator for one such panel.Â Here I am with my fellow panelists (clockwise):Â Ann Voss Peterson,Â Julia Buckley, Patricia Rosemoor, and Sherrill Bodine.
The conference also allowed me to meet some new faces, and I got the chance to talk withÂ Barbara Vey, who blogs for Publishers Weekly:
Finally, I got to catch up with some old friends, including this hilarious gathering of “Friends of Dave”Â (Dave being book reviewer Dave Montgomery.)Â Here I am, lucky girl, with four gorgeous men (L-R): Lee Child, Paul Guyot, Dave, and Barry Eisler.