This past weekend was as it should be – learning about serial killers vs mass murderers (there is a difference), an award winning writer’s trick to better scenes, and a tour around a CSI truck.

I went to my first fiction writers conference and it was….AWESOME! Seriously, I wish I could have gone that second day because I was taking it all in.

The Scene of the Crime conference (in Wichita, of course) is organized nearly yearly by the Kansas Writers Association. It’s a genre specific conference all about writing mystery and crime. Speakers are long time police officers, detectives, fire department captains, CSI, and forensic psychologists (that one was my favorite). There are also authors there talking about the craft – Nancy Pickard (I loved her since middle school) among others.

I have never been to a conference, and I’ve been to more than my share, where I have felt so invited and in the right place. It’s hard to explain but I felt a kinship to all the participants, like they understood me in a way that few people, even my friends, understand me. They get the late night marathon writing fests or the characters that wake you up in the middle of the night or that overwhelming urge to write and write and write and read and write some more. They get it and I’ve never felt so understood.

Yeah, I’m already saving for the next mystery conference, the Southwest chapter of Mystery Writers of America in Dallas in June. From the program flyer it looks like it could be a BLAST!