Five Great Reasons to Attend Killer Nashville / Author Maggie Toussaint

Maggie Toussaint

Maggie Toussaint

There’s nothing like a writing-based conference to fire up a writer. The undeniable buzz of energy, excitement, and glittery dreams is like channeling sheer inspiration. When I attend writing conferences, I come home revitalized and ready to write like a whirlwind.

So what’s the big deal?  How does it work?

Conferences highlight people, information, connections, books, and fun. For a writer, that’s a sure-fire winning combination.

I’ve had the pleasure of meeting Charlaine Harris at a writer’s conference. I was so tongue-tied I could barely speak. She was gracious and didn’t notice I had two left feet, one of which was inserted in my mouth.

At a previous Killer Nashville, I had a “Where’s Waldo” moment, when I sat down beside the charming Dr. Bill Bass, the guy who invented The Body Farm. When I realized my presumption to take the seat next to the Guest of Honor, I could have crawled under the table and died. But once again, I was blessed to have found a kind soul who welcomed me and all my questions.

Conferences are chock-full of information. Experts are there to lend newbies a helping hand. They offer how-to tips from the most basic craft advice, to how to interact with publishing professionals, to the latest in crime-fighting techniques. Killer Nashville has five different tracks for writers and mystery fans.

Imagine a vast network of connected wires. Now plug yourself into that matrix. That’s essentially what you do at a conference. You meet other writers in similar phases of their careers. You meet published writers. And you meet publishing professionals.

Each group of connections is invaluable.

Those writers at your skill level? They’ll be your best buddies as you traverse the publication highway.

Those writers with book contracts? They’ll befriend you and oftentimes blurb your book when it comes out.

The publishing professionals? They’ll evaluate your book pitch and help you better understand what they are looking for.

"Death, Island Style" by Maggie Toussaint

“Death, Island Style” by Maggie Toussaint

You can’t have a writer’s conference without books. They are the heart of the matter. Sure, they’re products for sale, but they offer a wealth of insight. You’ll want to load up on craft books. You’ll need to get the books by the technical experts at the conference so that you can review their information again at your leisure at home. You’ll want to own the books of successful writers in your genre so you can dissect how they put their stories together. Killer Nashville is loaded with mysteries and thrillers, my favorite kind of entertainment.

If you don’t have fun, there’s no one to blame but you. Alongside the professional aspect of the conference, folks come to conferences to relax and enjoy an interlude with kindred spirits. Where else can you wax elegantly about different methods to kill a villain? Where else can you discuss point of view with people whose eyes won’t glaze over?

Conferences are havens for writers and readers. A conference is a place where people who love books get together to have a great time. I’ve been to Sleuthfest, Bouchercon, Writer’s Police Academy, and Killer Nashville. All of these mystery/police procedural conferences are fun, but Killer Nashville is my personal favorite.

See you there!

Maggie Toussaint is the award-winning southern author of the Cleopatra Jones cozy mystery series and the stand-alone mystery, Death, Island Style. Born in coastal Georgia, residing in mid-Maryland for nearly three decades, and then moving back home with her husband, Maggie has come full circle in life. She also writes romantic suspense, with eight published books in total. Find out more about her at

(The Killer Nashville Guest Blog series is coordinated by KN Executive Director Beth Terrell (  To be a part of this series, contact Beth at

About Clay Stafford

Clay Stafford is an author / filmmaker ( and founder of Killer Nashville ( As a writer himself, he has over 1.5 million copies of his own books in print in over 14 languages. Stafford’s latest projects are the feature documentary “One of the Miracles” ( and the music CD “XO” ( A champion of writers, Publishers Weekly has identified Stafford as playing “an essential role in defining which books become bestsellers” throughout “the nation’s book culture.” (PW 6/10/13)
This entry was posted in Guest Blogger Series and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Five Great Reasons to Attend Killer Nashville / Author Maggie Toussaint

  1. Maggie, I’m a fellow conference lover. I always learn something new. Hearing Daniel Keyes at Sleuthfest changed my life. Of, course, Killer Nashville will always be my favorite.

  2. maggietoussaint says:

    Hi Jaden, I’ve had great fun at Sleuthfest as well, but Killer Nashville holds a special place in my heart. The forensic track, which is one of my all-time favorites, is so strong. I always learn new things. See you there! Maggie

  3. Maggie – Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

  4. John Gordon says:

    Maggie and Clay — I got so much from KN last year (including a reality check with a well-known agent) that I registered a year ahead for KN 2012. Hoping that this year’s will give me a mid-story kick for my second traditional mystery, “The Body in the Biltmore Glen,” as last year’s did for my first, now in the Poisoned Pen Press “New Mystery” competition. And Maggie, looking forward to seeing you again at the Upstate SC SinC meeting in June!

    • John, I look forward to seeing you at the confrence again. Best of luck with Poisoned Pen competition!

    • maggietoussaint says:

      John, I’m looking forward to seeing you at KN and at the SinC meeting. I’m excited about visiting Spartanburg, meeting up with old friends, and making new ones. See you soon! Maggie

  5. I totally agree and I hope to be there again this year. Good Lord willing, etc….

  6. LD Masterson says:

    I loved Killer Nashville last year. Really hoping to be there again this year.

  7. I hope to see you there, LD!

  8. Karen – it will be good to meet up with you at Killer Nashville. I’d love to sit and chat with you again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s