Wicked Wednesday–Thankful for the New England Crime Bake

Biscuits and Slashed Browns

Thankful for Our Readers Giveaway:  For a chance to win an advance copy of Edith/Maddie’s Biscuits and Slashed Browns, leave a comment below.

The 2017 New England Crime Bake was last weekend. As New England based authors, all the Wickeds have written about how grateful we are to the Crime Bake for what it’s added to our careers and our lives.

Wickeds, tell us a story about something that happened at Crime Bake this year that taught you something about craft, the writing community or yourself! Photos are a bonus.

Edith: I went to a great master class on Research given by author and professor of criminal justice, Frankie Bailey. I picked up some excellent tips on new sources I hadn’t thought of.


I also held a Sisters in Crime New England board meeting over breakfast, and am so grateful for these authors from six states who make our chapter the best one around. SINC National president Kendel Lynn joined us, too, and offered perspectives on what the umbrella organization is up to.


I had so many other stellar moments, including hanging out with the Wickeds, visiting with friends like Ramona DeFelice Long, Kim Gray, and Dru Ann love, drinks with some of the Guppies, a Seascape reunion photo, and being asked to sit at the “head” table at the banquet along with Guest of Honor Lisa Gardner. Here she is holding one of the centerpiece vases of paper flowers, all made by hand by Crime Bake co-chair Sharon Daynard!


Barb: I took an excellent master class, too, A Map in the Wilderness, Unsticking Your Plot with Cinematic Structure with Ray Daniel. I did three manuscript reviews for unpublished authors–the best manuscripts I’ve ever seen while doing this. For two of them, I was worried I wouldn’t have anything to say.

From left: Kim Gray, Karen Cleveland, Edith Maxwell, Liz Mugavero, one of our revered instructors, Hallie Ephron, Sherry Harris, Dianne Herlihy, Barbara Ross, Ramona DeFelice Long

A group of us who had all attended Seascape in ’09 had a mini-reunion.

The banquet was a lot of fun. Great food!

I moderated a panel called Conflict! Conflict! Conflict! (Fortunately, nobody got hurt.) And I taught a Sunday class called, “Four Lies People Will Tell You about Marketing Your Novel.” The best part of Crime Bake is always the people. It’s like old home week.

From Left: Barbara Ross, Paula Munier, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Karen E. Olsen

Jessie: I learned the most from a stellar presentation by our own Barb Ross on Marketing. It was just like Barb to take a topic that is routinely overwhelming and typically dry and to turn it into a comprehensive, accessible and very funny seminar. I was so grateful for her expertise and her willingness to share it. Thanks, Barb!

Sherry: Ditto, what Jessie said. It was a wonderful class. I learned a lot at the master class on suspense by Lisa Gardner. I love all of those little moments of grabbing some time with an old friend and making new friends. It was also fun to discover one of my daughter’s high school friends was working at the hotel.

Liz: Triple ditto! I thought Barb’s presentation was fabulous and there were many terrific points that everyone could take away. She’s great at breaking things down into pieces that everyone can understand. And overall, it was a great conference. This is always my favorite mystery con and this year didn’t disappoint!

Julie: I moderated two panels, both with EXCELLENT panelists which made my job easier. I was on the committee, so I have a slightly different perspective, but my favorite moments were solo acts by three fabulous women. Lisa Gardner, the GoH, gave a wonderful pep talk at lunch about why it is so great being a writer. Susan Reynolds did a Friday night talk about firing up your writer’s brain (she wrote a book on the topic) that I started taking notes during (which tells me how great it is). And Barb’s talk on Sunday really was wonderful. We all know how wonderful she is, but she really blew me away.

Readers: Tell us about a particular experience at a meeting or conference, or simply say hello.Save

67 Thoughts

  1. My favorite part of Crime Bake was this reunion! What an amazing impact Seascape had on so many of us. I thought the opening day panel led by Joe Finder was a perfect welcoming touch, plus good advice about getting a story started with a question. The character panel moderated by Sharon Daynard took a fun perspective in focusing on villains, and Katherine Hall Page was a champ. She is fearless. The conflict panel that Barb moderated mixed excellent advice with entertainment. Terrific conference, and I do miss those breakfast potatoes..

  2. Good morning! While I have served on a couple of boards, I can’t come close to your tales from this wonderful event!

  3. I really enjoyed the class “The Survivors Club,” moderated by Lisa Haselton, for those of us who want to keep a career going (because there’s nothing else in the world we want to do more than write!). I hope some authors who are just starting out attended, because it’s good to know what to expect after that momentous First Book.

  4. Helloooooo! Would love to go to conference or other. Only thing I did was visit Books By the Bank in Cincinnati.

  5. For us Guppies, Crime Bake’s “Practice Your Pitch,” and agent/editor roundtables on query letters and first pages are indispensable. On Friday, Melissa Ann Singer of Tor/Forge Books told me, kindly but firmly, that my pitch was ineffective. I rewrote it over a sleepless night. Saturday, Kendal Lynn reviewed it again as the core of my query letter. I rewrote again. Saturday night, two editors and two agents asked for the manuscript or part of it. What Barb Ross said in her wonderful marketing presentation is true: the best part of SinC is the wonderful community.

  6. Good morning!

    Thanks for the chance to win an advance copy of Edith/Maddie’s Biscuits and Slashed Browns. 🙂
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  7. Hello wicked cozy authors. Looks like such a great time. I love that paper flower arrangement.
    I had to comment today because the country store mystery series is one of my absolute favorites. I love the characters. And this book has been on my radar but I’ve been so busy I keep neglecting to order it.
    Can’t think of anything that stands out from any of the meetings or conferences I’ve attended lately, but if I think of something I’ll come back and comment.

  8. I would love to win Edith’s book. I’ll go out of my way to read anything by her! And I love the education I get from reading your daily blogs.

    Many, many years ago I went to a conference at ASU. We lived in Boston at the time and our daughter was looking for a college where it was warm. ASU had laid a lot of promotional material on me and I took it home to my daughter. She loved what she saw, applied and was accepted. She still lives in AZ and loves it. You never know what you will get out of a conference if you keep an open mind!

  9. Sounds like a fabulous conference for writers. If I went, I’d probably come home ready to write a novel myself, until my natural laziness took over again. (And I don’t have a copy of this ARC.)

    1. Okay, we’ll keep you in the contest. BTW–I am rejecting your claim to be lazy. No one could read-watch-review-blog as much as you if they were lazy.

      1. Thank you, but as I think I’ve said before, I much prefer instant gratification. I don’t have the patience to spend a year writing a book and then wait a year for someone to be able to read it. I’m ready to be done after an hour or so of writing.

  10. Crime Bake is a fabulous conference. If you have never attended a mystery conference before, you should try this one. The panels are excellent and the Saturday night banquet is always fun. I love visiting with the Wickeds and seeing all my New England friends. The best part is meeting a new author and buying books. We all love books!

  11. As a reader, I am so happy to see that so many of my favorite authors are friends who help and support one another. Glad y’all had a good time too.

  12. I loved loved loved this year’s Crime Bake, which was my second! I had a great critique from an author I very much admire, beneficial Agent & Editor sessions, and a successful pitch session. I also enjoyed the Guppy get-together, spending time with other old friends, and making some new friends. What more could one ask for?

  13. I am a mother of a son who has Autism. When my husband and I attend any of the conferences, we are guaranteed to come away with some great stories. Our children may require some extra patience but I wouldn’t trade my son for anything. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  14. I love seeing all the authors together. It’s like my books are friends, because the authors are friends!!

  15. Sounds amazing. I do not go to any these days. The only story I have from a conference I have already told here, I broke my foot getting out of bed and had to stay for the whole meeting (my leg was numb and my foot bent under – the first sign of m/s diagnosed years later). I also learned how to put people first, lol

  16. I love going to author events & meeting my favorite (or soon to be favorite) authors!

  17. I wish I could write so I could join your group. The photo tells it all, you are having fun.

  18. Library conferences are lots of fun, especially when authors come to speak. I have met so many delightful authors that way. You guys really look like you are having fun learning new things and just being with one another!

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