… oh wait. I didn’t fly. I drove. But as my insufficiently padded little car has about a four hour butt-limit, there’s a pair of tired spots (could actually be closer to pulverized) right in the vicinity of where I’ve been attacked by the driver’s seat.
I attended the Killer Nashville Literary Conference this past weekend and, as usual, it ended too soon. Wonderful production, Killer Nashville. Geared towards writers of mystery, crime, and thriller fiction, this annual event features scores of lectures and panel discussions on writing craft, the publishing business, and a string of presentations for source material presented by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and other experts. This year there were classes on the art and science of surveillance, reconstructing shootings, poisons, real case studies, and an excellent primer on psychopathy, just to name a few.
The TBI also stages a crime scene contest each year, in a light version of the course they use to quiz professional law enforcement. Yours truly got to help set up this time and it’s probably not hard to imagine how much fun it is playing go-fer for two career sleuths oooh-ing and ahhh-ing over the realistic consistency of their secret-recipe fake blood. See for yourself the fruits of our labor -
(photos courtesy of C.H. Valentino, because I’m simply too dumb to remember my camera)
I can’t decide if I should say what they used for brains. You’ll never look at a child’s kitchen playset the same way if I do.
I gained new appreciation for my friend, Butch Wilson, over at www.tech4writers.com. He’s an angel anyway, but his knowledge of how to get the best freeware/shareware/open source tools for writers easily filled the two presentations he gave during the weekend. Need nifty technology? Click above and you will not be sorry.
And finally there was me. On Sunday morning, I gave a talk, Write What You Know – Learn What You Don’t, and if I was a little long-winded on the philosophical side of telling the truth in fiction, I did at least leave the attendees with a list of internet resources that is by no means complete. It’s reprinted here, at Tech4Writers, and I hope more than anything, it sparks a notion of all the things we could get right, if only we’d ask. My little group of Sunday morning diehards battled their (and my) party fatigue and made something quite fine of the whole affair.
Special thanks to a few people, out of a terrific group as a whole, who made the bruising to my tailbone more than worth it: Beth Terrell; Clay Stafford; Philip Lacy; Butch Wilson; Special Agent Mike Breedlove, TBI; Special Agent Dan Royse, TBI; Addie King; C.H. Valentino; and Dr. Stephen Benning, Vanderbilt University.
Only three hundred and fifty-some days until next year’s Killer Nashville. See you there!