Yes we certainly are home and one of us had to get back to work today.... Back to reality and cooking and cleaning instead of a 4 **** hotel where the breakfasts were do die for. It was at least 40 years or more since I was in Ottawa and I remember we stayed in a small rooming house with friends. Changed days.
We did the tourist thing and walked to the Rideau River. Took pictures of the beautiful buildings and the famous ByWard market. I never saw so much jewelery in my life. It must be an Ottawa pastime in the cold winter months. We did enter a Spark Street Mall jewellery store. Not a market type store, but one with loads of beautiful semi-precious pendants and rings and also the real thing. We were most attracted to the Amber and Jade and Black onyx. It gave us, or I should say Liz an idea for the books but I am not at liberty to say what it is as it is still in the planning stage. The manager at the store was delightful and we had a lovely conversation about jewelery and then about books. www.alyeasjewellers.com .
But of course we were there for the convention and the books and it lived up to it's reputation. As Liz mentioned the mystery and crime writers were out in force and we were like kids in a candy store soaking up as much information as we could.
Friday night was a meet and greet over a glass of wine and buying books in the bookstore so that we could get them signed if we just happened to bump into our favourites. No stalking allowed. I am quite shameless when it comes to talking to complete strangers so I scored in that direction.
I found that my new microphone was invaluable to me and just before the panel discussions started I would go to the head table and as if I could leave my personal mic there. It was a wonderful icebreaker and usually it started lots of conversations. I told you I was shameless.
Linwood Barkley whom I have mentioned in a previous blog is a neighbor of mine as he lives in the next town. Thursday night he won the "Arthur Ellis" award and I managed to waylay him to sign his latest hardcover. Lovely man and thoroughly enjoyed his panel discussions.
Liz and I are in agreement about who we enjoyed the most and she gave you links so that you can peruse them at your leisure.
Saturday from 9am-6pm, with an hour for lunch, saw us in classes one after the other. Never a dull moment. The subjects were varied and very interesting. Some were interviews with the guest speakers. The lovely Louise Penny gave a wonderful interview and she made a speech on the Saturday night at the banquet. Denise Mina from Glasgow,the International guest of honour, another excellent interview. Looking forward to her books as they are supposed to be quite dark and very different from Louise. I met and talked to quite a few authors that I have not read so you can imagine how many books I brought home. I think it was ten!!
Vicki Delany, Anthony Bidulka, Rhys Bowen, Rick Moffini, RJ Harlick, Dr Brad Kelln to name but a few and of course the irrepressible Mary Jane Maffini.
Saturday evening we had enough time to Gussi ourselves up and joined the crowd for drinks and then we went in for the speeches and a lovely dinner. Seats were not assigned so we just joined a table that had empty seats and were very lucky to be sitting with a new mystery writer called John Moss. Add Master scuba diver trainer to his accomplishments. He was with his lovely wife Bev who is also a writer. Very interesting couple and good company. The other person at our table was Mario Bolduc. Mario is a screenwriter and author and writes in French. He has about 20 years experience in the business and teaches writing workshops.
Very good dinner partners.
Sunday morning we had the buffet breakfast. Wonderful.Then we were off to a class with a thriller writer named Dr Brad Kelln. The subject was... How to write about emotionally disturbed persons. EDP's. His qualifications go on for ever and is a Canadian expert in negotiations and dealing with violence and phycopaths. Just what everyone needs on a Sunday morning.
I am glad Liz takes good notes as I can't read my own hand writing .
Then we met with Kay Stewart for our critique. Some very good points she made and we have started revising the suggestions she made for our manuscript.
I look forward to my next conference and maybe next year we will be published authors. Wouldn't that be nice. I still haven't figured out how to get the pictures on but soon.