The Loft Literary Center's first Mystery Festival was held on a balmy November 2009 weekend and had well over 100 attendees. Among the presenters were William Kent Krueger, Mary Logue, Carl Brookins, Rich Thompson, Julie Kramer, Lois Grieman, Ellen Hart, Erin Hart, and Jess Lourey.
After an inspiring and humorous keynote by Vince Flynn, workshops covered technique, genre history, sub-genres, and the book-publishing biz.
Some highlights include Mary's presentation of the "Mystery Wheel," a technique by which you can chart and brainstorm relationships between the plot and characters; Kent's hitchcockian-suspense-filled talk on how to create and use suspense in your novel; Erin's coaxing of imagery and metaphor from listeners, and Jess' admonitions to PLAN your series from the start including creating a character and locale bible. "Just make sure it doesn't become a scrapbooking project that keeps you from your writing," she warned.
Presenters also presided over lunchtime table discussions, which were very popular with attendees.
Kudos to the Loft staff and volunteers and everyone else who made this event happen!