Monday, April 16, 2012

The Most Wonderful Time of the Year

MaliceIt’s that time of year again. Spring, yes, but also the beginning of book convention/conference/festival/loll-apalooza season. (For me, anyway.)

I love book events. Each one seems to have its own, unique vibe. Some are huge, others intimate. Some are craft-oriented, others are geared more to fans. Still others are free-for-alls where just about anything goes.

This year, my book event season began a little early. I had the opportunity to attend the Sleuthfest conference in Orlando at the beginning of March. This one is aimed more toward mystery writers and attendance is limited so it’s a nice, cozy group. I was on a couple panels, met a lot of writers, and re-connected with some writer pals. I also learned a great deal about both craft and business. Plus, early March in Florida beats early March in D.C.

Next Sunday, I’ll be at the Kensington Book Festival, staffing the MWA booth. This is a free-for-all festival. Writers of every ilk will be there: self-pubbed, small-pubbed, trad-pubbed, e-pubbed. All genres. Fiction and non-fiction. Writers and fans. Purveyors of food, makers of music. The whole shebang. It’s a lot of fun and you never know what, or whom, you’ll see there. Last year, there was a guy wearing a bright yellow suit, a Miss Maryland (I think it was Maryland, I didn’t get a close look at her sash), and somebody in a cartoon character outfit high-fiving little kids.

In two weeks, there’s the Malice Domestic convention. This one is fan-based, and I’m looking forward to seeing a lot of my fellow MInkers there. Attendance is capped at about 500, and there are five tracks of panels over the two-and-a-half days. (I’ll be on a panel Saturday morning at 9:40 (with our Maggie Sefton) and I’m moderating refereeing a panel on Saturday afternoon at 1:30 (with our Beth Groundwater).)

Next month, I’ll be appearing at the Gaithersburg Book Festival. This one is modeled after the National Book Festival, held on the National Mall, and it’s all about the readers. There are six or seven large pavilions, and author presentations run all day long. It’s a great atmosphere and I’m proud to say I’ve participated all three years of its existence.

If you’re a reader or a writer, I encourage you to attend a book event. Writers are a friendly bunch (mostly), and they love to interact with other writers and readers (usually). So check out your local listings today to find an event near you!

Did I mention I love book events?

What’s the craziest thing you’ve seen at a book event?

(This entry is “simul-posted” on InkSpot.)


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