“‘I won’t know anybody …. I hate driving … I can’t leave my dog …’ These may seem like good excuses to stay home, but mystery conferences like Killer Nashville are full of introverts just like you. They recognize the intrinsic value of these events in terms of personal and professional development. It is rare these days to write a book, send it off, and never venture out in the world. Invest in yourself—and your future as a mystery author.
Bring the Right Attire
Stressed over what to wear to Killer Nashville? First off, wear comfortable shoes. Guys tend to wear jeans or khakis, and black is often their shirt color choice. Guys often add a blazer for panel appearances. Ladies tend to wear daytime casual attire, whether slacks or dresses. If you sign up for the Saturday night banquet, dress is slightly more upscale. Though some will wear cocktail attire, most dress as they would for a work presentation or in wedding attire. For cold-natured people, pack a light sweater or wrap because the air conditioning cools the rooms nicely.
Speaking as someone who spends most days sitting at a computer, I find it is important to pace myself at conferences. If I feel information overload coming on, I take breaks. If my energy starts to lag, I refuel. If I feel the need to write, I find a quiet place to jot down my thoughts. The Killer Nashville format lends itself to easy in-and-outs of sessions and to meet-ups with others. My conference goal is to listen to biofeedback so that I can maximize educational input and professional networking.
Introvert’s Survival Guide
Mystery writers come in all shapes and sizes. We might be doctors, lawyers, judges, cops, scientists, teachers, professors, homemakers, pool guys, and more. Some of us are a little extroverted, but there are a large chunk who are introverts, like me, and maybe like you. When I first started coming to Killer Nashville, I tried to meet a few people each day and I volunteered to help at registration and tent card delivery. Step outside your comfort zone for a few days at a writing conference – you’ll be glad you did!