Monday, February 4, 2013

Love Is Murder 2013

This past weekend I attended Love Is Murder, Chicago's premier mystery readers' and writers' conference, at the InterContinental Chicago O'Hare Hotel. This was the 14th year for the 3-day event, and, as in years past, I had an enjoyable time talking with old and new friends alike and attending panel discussions, writing classes, and special presentations. It would be impossible to cover here everything that happened this weekend at LIM, but here are some highlights.

Friday started off with a bang with a presentation by Lee Williams, former Special Agent with the Criminal Investigation Division of the IRS. Lee told of his years investigating money launderers, narcotics traffickers, and corrupt police and public officials. Following the money trail led to the successful prosecution of numerous individuals, including former Illinois governor George Ryan.

Dr. Dave Ciambrone taught us about poisons and what works or doesn't work in mystery novels. Dave's class was followed by a primer on guns by weapons experts William Zeller and TD Roe, and a presentation by Col. (ret.) Jill Morgenthaler on what it takes to be a spy and how spies recruit and manipulate potential informers.

While Lee Goldberg conducted a class on writing for television, Libby Fischer Hellmann and Rebecca Crowley presented a how-to workshop on promoting and marketing books. The Mystery Writers of America track of classes concentrated on plot, dialogue, and character development and the submission process, including how to write a hood query letter and synopsis. 

Fun events on Friday included a champagne tour of the InterContinental's amazing art collection, a discussion of Charles Dicken's unfinished novel The Mystery of Edwin Drood, drinks and dinner with LIM's featured authors, and a presentation by Confidential Paranormal Investigator Kathy Santini-Richardson on the ghostly aspects of Willow Creek Farm, which has been listed as one of the most actively haunted sites in Illinois. 

Saturday's schedule featured many fun panels for both readers and writers, and included a LIM scavenger hunt. Police officer Michael Black demonstrated what really happens at a crime scene -- unlike CSI! Authors discussed their books and the many sub-genres of the mystery genre in which they write -- amateur sleuth, thriller, paranormal, etc. Discussions on short stories, mystery series, and humorous novels were held, and two fun craft workshops filled the afternoon schedule before a mass author signing and Saturday evening's banquet and Lovey Award presentation.  After the banquet, the Those Were the Days Radio Players entertained attendees with live renditions of classic radio programs.

Sunday's wrap-up started with a hot breakfast and attendee questions aimed at a stellar group of women writers. Other events included a round table discussion on e-publishing, advice by librarians on getting novels into libraries, a presentation on self-editing, and a talk by ex-CIA agent James Strauss that included real life spy stories from his past.

I'm already looking forward to 2014's Love is Murder. The featured writers for that event include Heather Graham, the best selling author of mystery, thriller, and romance novels; Jamie Freveletti, thriller writer who was recently tapped by the Robert Ludlum estate to continue Ludlum's Covert One series; Marcus Sakey, multi-published author and host to the Travel Channel's Hidden City; Peter Kornbluh, director of the National Security Archive's Chile and Cuba Documentation Projects and author of several non-fiction  books on politics; and Shane Gericke, local multi-published author of suspense novels.

If you enjoy reading mysteries -- or writing them! -- consider coming to Chicago next year for Love Is Murder. I'd love to meet you there! :)

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18 comments:

  1. sounds terrific. I have got to get there. Next year!

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    1. Definitely come, Duffy! I'm sure you'd enjoy it.

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  2. Wish I could have been there. Maybe next year!

    Morgan Mandel
    http://www.morganmandel.com

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    1. Missed you at LIM. Hope to see you next year.

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  3. Mary, it sounds like a great con. Too bad it's so far from me, but maybe one day. :-)

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    1. Wish you could have made it to LIM, Ellis. It was fun. I'll be down in your neck of the woods soon. Driving down to see my brother who's currently in a rehab hospital in Columbia after suffering a stroke. He's making good progress and I can't wait to see him.

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  4. It sounds wonderful. I live in Chattanooga and thought this cost-prohibitive for me. I may have to save my nickels and dimes and try to attend next year. Thanks for the post.

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  5. Mary: It was a great conference. The CSI track of speakers was really helpful in getting the details right! Your recap made me remember because there is so much in three days!
    Wendy
    W.S. Gager on Writing

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    1. Yes, the writers' track had many good speakers. Wish I could have attended all the presentations, but had to miss a couple.

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  6. Sounds like it was wonderful. I know I had a great time the year I went.

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    1. Hope you're feeling better by now, Marilyn. I'm still praying for better health for your son.

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  7. Mary
    I almost went this year, and you make me wish I had. I will, however, be coming next year . . . as a presenter. Hope to meet you!

    Ellis
    It's not far by plane! I know you're coming from SC like I am. Would love to see you again.

    C. Hope Clark
    www.fundsforwriters.com
    www.chopeclark.com

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    1. I look forward to seeing you at LIM next year, Hope. I'm sure you'll enjoy the conference.

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  8. I enjoyed meeting you at Love is Murder, and had a wonderful time. What a great group of people, so easy to find new friends and fit in. I traveled from Chicago to Yarnell, Arisona, for a month's getaway and just started reading A Merry Little Murder -- thank you for the copy of the book!

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  9. I sooooo miss Love is Murder. Maybe they can hop around the country like Bouchercon so they can make a trip to the East Coast!

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  10. Thanks for the great recap. I've always wanted to make it to this conference! I'm still hoping to sometime soon :)

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