What I'm reading: Caught, by Harlan Coben
My original plan to leave Divide at a mid-morning hour to arrive for the first official sessions, which began at 2 PM. Easy-peasy. However, I discovered that there was a weapons demonstration/Q&A scheduled for 10 AM, and since that's something that's helpful to me as an author, I revamped my plans.
I got up early, hit the road by 7:30 and made it down the mountain with only one stretch of construction traffic to deal with. I arrived at the hotel with enough time to check in and go to the weapons demonstration. Only trouble—it was canceled. And, of course, it was too early to check into my room.
Remember what I said about bringing your own badge holder? I'm really glad I did. The badges they handed out were very nice, large plastic ones, with a nice lanyard donated by Samhain. But there was no holder. You just wore the badge around your neck.
I "modified" mine by using the nifty holder I brought from home, which allowed me to keep just about everything I needed all together. (And let's hope next time the organizers use a larger font for the names. Sometimes one had to get a little too up close and personal to read them.
And then there was the official tote bag. It contained some nice goodies, but I swapped out their bag for the one I brought (a bright red one from SleuthFest) that zipped shut. No one would pick it up by mistake.
While waiting for the first session, I found someone (or she found me) who recognized my name as a Wild Rose Press author, and we chatted. I also hooked up with author Anna Campbell who's in the states from Australia. She'd helped me with Aussie slang for one of my manuscripts, so we chatted a bit as well. Wandering about the lobby, I found a few other folks I knew either 'for real' or by name, so there was some nice mingling to pass the time.
I did get into my room in time unpack and change for the next session I wanted to attend which was CSI – Fact vs. Fiction. Presented by a forensics science specialist with credentials up the wazoo, he emphasized the fact that what we see on television is fiction, and viewers are "expected" to suspend disbelief for the sake of the story. Given the wealth of information, I'm going to save the details for another post and just do an overview today.
Other events of the day: a fascinating session on historical attire. A number of authors showed up in period costume, and demonstrated (using manikins) all the layers of clothing worn by women over the centuries. All I can say is, I'm glad I didn't have to deal with hoop skirts and corsets.
Later, I went to an "Intimate Chat" with author Cindy Gerard. This was a very small group, and the discussion turned to how the business works, which was both enlightening and depressing.
Susan Mallery hosted a book launch reception—free hors' d'oeuvres and champagne. (Remember what I said about conferences on a budget? These are the 'must attend' sorts of events!) Lots of informal chatting (and handing out a few more bookmarks). I found the forensics guy (Tom Adair) and he was kind enough to let me pick his brain about some forensics details, and I returned the favor by telling him about what I've learned about writing, since he's writing his first novel.
Last event for me was the blogger reception. Everyone got a bag of swag. Authors and bloggers mingled, and I actually won a door prize.
Although there was a costume ball running into the wee hours, I opted out and went to bed. I'm not one for late nights and loud music. And although there were some issues with the free WiFi offered by the hotel (my room happened to be served by the one hub they couldn't get to work, they did have a nifty gizmo that kept the drapes from gapping open and letting in the sunlight at five in the morning.
Tomorrow, my guest is cozy author Elizabeth Spann Craig. She's got some good suggestions for dealing with an absent muse.