Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Killer Nashville, shiny and bright

I always have to catch my breath after a conference, and this one is no exception. As a card-carrying introvert, being social for extended lengths of time totally zaps me. It's like I end up drawing energy from the days ahead while I'm there because I want to see and do so much.

From the moment I arrived at Killer Nashville 2015, I felt like I'd come home again. The group at registration are so sweet to let me hang out with them on Friday morning. They do all the hard work of fielding questions and being there for the entire conference. And they're all volunteers!

The hostess with the mostest: Jaden (Beth) Terrell
Conference manager Jaden  (Beth) Terrell has her fingers on the pulse of the conference at all times. Just about anytime on the conference Friday, there's a line of people waiting to talk to her about something important.

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The Killer Nashville Anthology got a lot of buzz at the conference. I am proud to have had a story in the collection. The book hit the Top 100 list on Kindle for Anthologies on the second day of it's release. Proceeds from this book benefit new and/or struggling writers. "High Noon at Dollar Central," the prelude to my ongoing Dreamwalker series, is in Killer Nashville Noir: Cold-Blooded. Check out the anthology at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

I barely had time to say hello to my pals Paula Benson and Debra Goldstein, but someone did snap a pic or two of us with the anthology. I had some face time with C Hope Clark, another SEMWA board member, which was nice.

This year I found myself on three panels, two for the conference and one for the new BookCon. We had good attendance at all the panels and lots of questions about our topics of mysteries and genres.

Booklover's Bench founder, Terry Odell, posed for a quick pic with me
Thursday evening, Terry Odell and I hit "movie night" at the conference, with a short from John Gilstrap's high school days. The clip was funny, but the best part was running into friends there, both new and old. So nice to see Clay Stafford and Jacquie, Stacy and Ron Allen, and to meet some of the Atlanta SINC crew.

From left, Rae James, Terry Odell, Maggie, and Jenna Bennett
Friday, I was in session 4, "What's Your Genre?" ably moderated by Rae James, with co-panelists Jenna Bennett and Terry Odell.

Deni Dietz of Five Star and Maggie take a selfie
After a SEMWA board meeting at lunch, I filled in the afternoon giving critiques, and then capped off the day with editor Deni Dietz. A good time was had by all!

From left, Diane Kelly, Maggie, Jenna Bennett
Saturday, my first panel was session 35, "Secrets to Successful Series," led by Diane Kelly and with co-panelist Jenna Bennett.

Right after that, I headed over to the BookCon, where Jaden Terrell posed questions to  Jenna Bennett, Phyllis Goebell, and me on the topic of "Cozy Mysteries and Writing Across Genres."

Saturday afternoon I facilitated for Clay Stafford's interview of John Gilstrap.

The Southeast Mystery Writers of America reception preceded the banquet, and we had a great turnout for the SEMWA reception. The banquet was amazing, as always, with great food and live music. Next came speakers and award announcements. This year I was honored to announce the Silver Falchion Award for Best Mystery, which I won last year. And the winner was: Hunting Shadows, Charles Todd.

The conference continued for another day, but I was homeward bound. Lots of hugs and see you next year's came as I was leaving. I totally love coming to this conference and seeing my mystery writing friends.

Oddly, people kept approaching me to meet me, as if I was a big celebrity or something. I didn't know what to make of that and felt like Candid Camera might pop out from behind a column to reveal the prank. Whatever. I can pull off being a celebrity for a few days, if that's what's needed. But man oh man, am I glad to be home and comfy cozy.

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And in a marketing aside, Kindle Press has my mystery set in the future on sale for the entire month of November. If you like my writing but weren't too sure about the whole science fiction thing, I guarantee you, all the bad guys in G-1 are people! Check it out: G-1 on Kindle

Maggie Toussaint
aka Rigel Carson

My Series
Mossy Bog Series (romantic suspense)
Cleopatra Jones series (cozy mystery)
Dreamwalker series (paranormal mystery)
Guardian of Earth series (dystopian thriller)


  1. It was wonderful to have the chance to see you, Maggie. You are a big celebrity! So delighted to share space in the anthology with you!

    1. Paula, I think everyone must be a celebrity! I am glad to have had a few moments to say hello. Next conference maybe I won't be running around like a headless chicken.

  2. I'll have to get to that conference one of these days. Glad for your recap, helped me experience it vicariously.

    1. Thanks for your comment, Nancy. The conference has grown from under a hundred people to over 400, so there were lots of people I'd hoped to connect with that I never even saw. I also was too busy to casually attend panels or even the great forensic/law enforcement track they have at KN.

  3. Sounds like a fun and productive conference, and always one of my favorites, too. You'll always be a celeb in my book, Maggie. PS: you look lovely in pink!

  4. Sounds like a fun and productive conference, and always one of my favorites, too. You'll always be a celeb in my book, Maggie. PS: you look lovely in pink!

  5. Enjoyed seeing you again, Maggie. Too little time to see too many friends, but it was a lot of fun.

  6. I do like to read about your adventures. I know you all have a great time, too! P.S. Did you tell that woman from Five Star that one thing on bucket list was to get a hardback with Five Star? Haha. Just kidding. You know how proud I am of you.

  7. Dang, I should've mentioned that. Now that they don't publish romances, you'll have to write a mystery. I'm sure a mystery set in your Texas countryside or city would fit the bill! Thanks for stopping by, Celia. Life is truly and adventure, and I'm glad to share it with you.


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