Last weekend I was fortunate to attend the Canadian Mystery Writing Conference, Bloody Words. It’s the baby of Caro Soles, who started the merry mystery get together in 1999. Together with her Bloody Gang, she’s been putting together a prime conference ever since.

This year’s was no exception, despite heavy construction in the hotel and a shooting two blocks over that many of us didn’t know about until later, distracted as we were by the events of the conference itself. We had the chance to listen to Gayle Lynds, whose talk about the components of thrillers was worth the price of the conference, and Linwood Barclay, one of our Canadian shining and murderous stars. Other authors, agents, experts all took the mike so we could learn about all aspects of mystery writing from the cheeriest cozy to the most murderous terrorist acts.

Strangely, everyone was very nice. It’s a wonderfully supportive group of authors, encouraging and cheery, while behind the scenes they are seeing vampires and little old ladies, gritty detectives and sweet ingénues, all seeking clues to gruesome murders. It certainly is a place where everyone’s minds seem to operate on two levels…

Wildly fun, though, meeting up with old friends, meeting new authors I have yet to read. Our goodie bags were filled to the brim with books and treats, our conversations were filled with tips and support and suggestions.

I went to the conference feeling like a fraud. I left freshly motivated and

raring to go. And really, isn’t that what a good conference is all about?

I’d better figure it out. I’m the gal-on-the-ground for Bloody Words 2015 in Halifax. But I’m lucky – I have the Bloody Gang along with me.

I can’t wait! Sailing on….