Monday, January 19, 2009


Sleuthfest: what’s not to like? For a girl from Michigan, just the possibility of warmth and sunshine is enticement enough. By the time February arrives, I wouldn’t care if attending Sleuthfest meant eating corn dogs, making conversation with Butthead, and listening to non-stop accordion music. That’s not the case, however. The con is a well-run, friendly get-together where an author like me can recharge, improve, network, and promote, so it’s well worth the (very long) trip.

Last year I was a first-timer, but I found the company friendly and the program worthwhile. Although the hotel is a great venue with excellent meals, I rented a condo on the beach and enjoyed a full week on the ocean. Even without being at the con 24/7, I met lots of people: authors, fans, even an agent and an editor. The sessions I attended were of interest, and everyone on the panels seemed willing to share the spotlight. Pitch sessions moved along efficiently, yet I felt I got a fair hearing. The contact I made is still good a year later. The cocktail party was lovely, drinks by the pool on a perfect evening. I was thrilled to get a few words with Lee Child, one of my favorites, and to win some Linda Fairstein books as well.

This year I’ll know my way around. I made some contacts last year at libraries in the area, so I’ll be speaking several times during the week at nearby towns. I’m also on a Sleuthfest panel, “Historical Mysteries” on Friday afternoon. That’s what I’m most looking forward to, even though my historical mystery, HER HIGHNESS’ FIRST MURDER, won’t be out until 2010. I’m also looking forward to meeting some of the authors involved in an anthology I contributed to for Wolfmont Press. DYING IN A WINTER WONDERLAND is a Toys for Tots™ fundraiser, and I’m hoping some of the other authors will attend so we can meet in person.

So I’m counting the days. There are lots of good conferences around, and I usually have fun whenever I get to hang with others in the book business. Sleuthfest has the added appeal of beautiful weather, palm trees, and the mighty Atlantic, so I hope if you see me there with my Michigan winter-white skin, you’ll step up and say hello.

Peg Herring is a former educator whose first book, MACBETH’S NIECE, was released by Five Star in January of 2008. Her website is, and she regularly blogs on

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Like you, the first time I went to Sleuthfest was to escape the winter weather of Wyoming and to attend a writers conference geared toward mystery. It's great fun to hang out with people who also think that making people up and then
killing them off is a fine way to spend quality time. That year and others, I was unpublished. Last year, published, I was on a panel with people whose names were on books I own and love. Wowsers! Who would have guessed?

I am counting the days now, as I watch the snow falling again and the thermometer says -3 degrees. Barbara Graham

MURDER BY SERPENTS: The Mystery Quilt from Five Star/Gale

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