Saturday, March 5, 2011

We are Working Hard. Really.

Today Jungle Red comes to you from Deerfield Beach, Florida, where Mystery Writers of America's Florida chapter hold its annual writer's conference, Sleuthfest.

Sleuthfest is a writer's conference, rather than a fan conference, with workshops, programs, and panels designed to help aspiring writers improve their work and get it published.

This year's Guests of Honor are Denis Lehane, Meg Gardiner, and SJ Rozan--a steller line-up. Yesterday Meg Gardiner gave the keynote speech at lunch, then a poolside chat later in the afternoon. Let me repeat. POOLSIDE.

Meg is charming, gracious, articulate, and passionate about writing. In fact, I was so impressed that I bought Meg's China Lake as my first Kindle book, as in first ever.
(Marcia Talley and I pose by the pool with Meg.)

Today, Dennis Lehane will be speaking at lunch, then later giving a poolside chat about the film adaptation of his book, Gone, Baby, Gone. And tonight there's a poolside party with Heather Graham's band.

Sound fun? It is.
But it's also a great opportunity for aspiring writers to meet pros and learn what it really takes to be successful at this business, and a way for those of us in the business to stay connected, and learn about new writers. We all were, after all, fans before we were writers.

That's what it's all about.

And then there's the hot tub.

Wish you all were here.


  1. Marcia and Deb suffering for your art in a hot tub looks fab to me. Have even more fun! Cara

  2. As I look out across the 2+ feet of heavy, crusted snow surrounding my house and watch the cars slipping and sliding down the road in the icy rain, I think of you, Marcia and Deb, and all I can say is:

    You are DEAD to me! DEAD! Do YOU HEAR ME TALLEY? When I see you at Bcon I'm going to

    Note from Ross: Julia has been removed from the computer and is resting quietly now with a cup of hot cocoa. Please carry on.

  3. Oh, you guys look like you are suffering.

    I'm soooo jealous. I've long wanted to go to Sleuthfest... maybe next year!

  4. But, Julia, sweetie, it's all, like, work! Even the hot tub part. You have no idea how long I had to wait in line for that drink I'm holding which is called, correct me, Debs, if I am wrong, something colorful like, um, 'sex on the beach.'

    Heather Graham's band is called the Slushpile. LOL. Last night we shared a van back from the beach with her lead guitarist.

    Off to hear Dennis Lehane talk about character. His luncheon talk was fab.

  5. Dennis Lehane's keynote speech today was so inspiring. I'm going to think about the book in progress in a different way. (But hopefully will not spend five years writing it :~))

  6. I'm hungrily reading all the reports from the conference since I couldn't be there--thanks!