Thursday, October 30, 2008

Kiss of Death Conference

by Raelene Gorlinsky

Several weeks ago I had the honor and pleasure of attending "Things That Go Bump In the Night", the annual Kiss of Death retreat, held in Portland, Maine. KOD is the RWA special interest online chapter devoted to mystery and romantic suspense writers.

There were fabulous speakers and workshops. Danny Agan, a retired police detective from Atlanta, Georgia, and now a private investigator was a very popular speaker. His presentations are lively and interactive - he had the group act out the discovery of a murder victim, which resulted in quite true-to-life chaos and confusion. He focused on the reality of police work - as in, CSI shows it all wrong. And like all cops, he loves to tell stories about funny or bizarre cases.

By seeming serendipity, agent Meg Ruley and I gave presentations that dovetailed nicely. I talked about the editor-author relationship. Meg, who has been with the Jane Rotrosen Agency for well over twenty years, talked about how she became a literary agent and what that job entails. Meg is a delightful person with impressive knowledge of the publishing industry; she and I discovered a lot of similarities in our work and lives.

As always, I thoroughly enjoy these smaller events. Oh, maybe forty people at this one? It was wonderful to have the opportunity to talk one-on-one to so many of the attendees. Especially in the bar in the evening! Now, mind you, I don't drink and I'm an early-to-bed person, but a hotel bar that serves lobster bisque definitely will draw me in! Seems like I get to hear a lot more pitches in that casual environment than in the official - scary to some authors - pitch appointments.

And Portland was a lovely, historic little city, definitely a place I would like to visit again. Incredible food (all that lobster!) and scads of interesting little shops.

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