For mystery fans in the tri-state area (and beyond), you might want to check out the Deadly Ink conference, which will be held this year in New Brunswick, NJ, on August 1-3. For those who aren’t too familiar with the environs, New Brunswick is centrally located on the Amtrak line, which makes it accessible from not only New York but also points south, like Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC.
When my first book, Who Gets the Apartment?, was published in 2006, everyone at Deadly Ink could not have been nicer or more welcoming. Deadly Ink was my first mystery convention, and it introduced me to the mystery-convention ethos of voracious readers, daring writers, and audacious panels and panelists. This is a smaller convention (not on the scale of, say, Bouchercon or Malice Domestic), but that’s what makes it fun. You get to meet and talk to a lot of different people.
Great writers (and people) I’ve met through the conference include (but are not limited to — I’m terrified I’m going to leave someone out) these fabulous folks (in alphabetical order):
- Annamaria Alfieri, who writes historical mysteries (like City of Silver) whose research requirements would send me to an early grave
- Sandra Carey Cody, author of the very pleasant Jennie Connors/Riverview Manor series
- Jeff Cohen (a.k.a E.J. Copperman), author of the Haunted Guesthouse series
- Jeff Markowitz, author of the Cassie O’Malley series
- Roberta Rogow, author of multiple historical series
- Ilene Schneider, author of the Rabbi Aviva Cohen series (and, I just learned, quite a devoted birdwatcher)
- Cheryl Solimini, author of Across the River and frequent columnist for Mystery Scene magazine
- Dennis Tafoya, who writes great edgy, noir, including Dope Thief and The Wolves of Fairmount Park (and I see he has a new book coming soon, too)
- E.F. Watkins, who writes cross-genre thrillers that I could never pull off
In fact, I pay tribute to many of these writers on page 64 of The Outsmarting of Criminals, when Miss Prim reflects on some of her favorite books and writers.
Writers: Come for the camaraderie. Readers: Come to make your voice heard about what you like to read. Hope to see you there!