Sunday, January 25, 2009

Hawaii in March Anyone?

Conventions and conferences for mystery writers are popular in the U.S. In fact, there’s one almost every month of the year. All of them have panel discussions on a large variety of topics, but it seems there are always more authors vying for panel spots than there are spots available. So I guess it’s no surprise that a couple of years ago, some conference organizers decided that rules needed to be set up regarding who’s actually qualified to sit on a panel. And thus the trouble started.

You see, some organizers decided to only accept authors whose books were published by recognized publishers on the Mystery Writers of America’s “approved” list. The thing is, most of the publishers on that list are well established. Needless to say, this decision’s infuriated a number of authors and smaller, newer publishers whose books are selling, generating fans, and even winning awards.

I make no secret of the fact that I’m a self-published author with my own company. After all, this is how Intrigue Press and several other established houses started. Someone has to start somewhere, right? So when I sign up to attend conferences, I’m completely honest about my publishing status on the forms and, to my delight, I’m frequently invited on panels. Clearly, there are conference organizers who are open to new voices with humble beginnings.

And on that happy note, I’d like to announce that I’ll be appearing on two panels at this year’s LEFT COAST CRIME Conference on the big Island of Hawaii from March 6 to 12th: The panels are:

Mon., March 9 – Cool Canadian Settings
Thurs., March 12 – Going It Alone: Small or Independent presses Instead of Traditional

They should be fun, and my hat’s off to anyone interested in writers who work as hard at their craft as the big names do. We might be small and unknown and on some levels stigmatized, but we are only too happy to meet people and discuss books and writing. We sell one book at a time and are grateful for every opportunity and every reader who takes a chance on us. Bravo to those of you who do!!

To read excerpts from TAXED TO DEATH or FATAL ENCRYPTION, visit

No comments: