I am a resident of Virginia and am always up for events that are going around locally. I haven’t been able to go to many this year, but when I found out about the Suffolk Mystery Authors Festival, I couldn’t say no. I’m a writer, I’m a reader, and I love a good mystery.
I found out about this festival sometime early this month, or was it last month, on Facebook. I told my best friend about it and we decided that we were going. This meant I was going to be Bug (3 year old) free and possibly be broke by the end. I mean, really, books cost money. I love me some books.
The first thing I noticed was the age grouping dynamics. Most of the people attending were older ladies. Now, this isn’t a problem, but being in my twenties, I felt that I may have been out of place. Luckily, that wasn’t the case. Everyone seemed excited about their books, the authors, and the workshops that were presented. The energy was thrilling.
When we first entered the building, we were met with two people who had our entrance gifts: a program and a pen. They then directed us to where to go. Also, told us to open our programs to see who won a door prize. Guess who?
I did! I love that the star sticker tells you if you won a door prize. It helps randomizing it and it’s a great way to keep everything organized. I love organization!
Now, what did I win?
Yep, two books. I won two books right off the bat! And, they are signed! Pretty cool.
Now, the first thing we did while everyone was in the introductory panel was peruse the books. We wanted to get a clear idea of what we wanted before the rush of people. This is a great idea. I will be doing that again next year’s event.
Talking to the authors was fun. I got to see what inspired some authors (Mary Miley, author of The Impersonator, had a flapper dress on display from her grandmother. That dress is featured in her book.). Each author made it a point to connect with their readers. They even fed us (with candy)! These are the little things that hold us close to authors and I love that!
What I wasn’t expecting at the time was connecting with my fifth grade teacher. She was in line with an author in front of me (Grace Greene) and was about to leave when I asked if she wanted to have the author’s autograph. I overheard her name (I’m an eavesdropper) and realized why her face looked familiar. This woman was a great teacher. I loved being in her class. There aren’t many teacher’s I can remember from my younger days (Elementary/Middle). One, I didn’t care for. Two, I found amazing. Mrs. Anderson was one of the amazing ones.
Needless to say, I got a little emotional after she left.
Crys (like Chris),my best friend, and I attended two workshops. The first one explained what a Cozy Mystery is (which happens to be what I’ve always referred to as a Parlour Mystery) through the eyes of a literary agent. I learned more about the process an agent has to go through. It was interesting.
The second workshop was fun! The presenters started off by handing out a cup of goodies and a raffle ticket for everyone.
No, I didn’t win the raffle, but the prize looked pretty awesome. The workshop was about the bare bones of a cozy mystery. The presenters disected a cozy mystery to illustrate their diagram.
They took breaks from the dissection by allowing more chances at the raffle and other neat prizes. I had three tickets total and I won a little pencil cover that was a skeleton, but decided I knew someone better who would love it.
After this workshop, we decided to go. Next year, I plan on getting the VIP package. It wasn’t that expensive, but being an event I never been to, I didn’t want to invest in it. Knowing what to expect for next year, the VIP package could only make this event more enjoyable.
For a one day event, this was something I will always remember. I found an old teacher, met great people, and no one seemed to be stressed or upset. I even met the husband of one of the authors and had a serious blonde moment (I can’t read watches unless they are digital. It’s true. I understand the concept, but I just can’t translate it well. Numbers do that to me).
I will go again in a heartbeat.