Okay, Killer Nashville is over. I’m back home safe and sound. Here’s my take on it.
As I mentioned in the last post, the Hutton Hotel was very nice. The rooms were well-designed and every effort had been made to make them appear high-end. I had a sensational view of downtown Nashville, and I even got my choice of what newspaper I wanted outside my door every morning. Not bad for $119 a night.
One MAJOR problem: the air conditioning was set on about 30ã€«. No amount of badgering could get the temperature raised. I actually went outside into the 90+ heat on several occasions to warm up. Conference-goers were dressed in sweaters, jackets, and even towels around their necks to stay warm. It was ridiculous.
I used to see this all the time when I lived in Las Vegas. Even in the dead of winter, with the temperature in the 30s amid biting wind, the casinos can not bring themselves to turn the AC down. They’re all terrified of some fat lady at the slot machines saying, “I’m too hot” and leaving the premises.
Beyond that, though, the hotel was a definite winner. Free wi-fi and everything.
The conference was well-organized and all the events started on time, which is saying something. The panels were well-run, but many of them had no microphones for the panelists. The moderators, when faced with authors who tended to mumble, made them speak up. You don’t see that too often in writers conference panels. As long as the moderator can hear (and they’re only, like, three feet away from the mumbling author),Â usuallyÂ no effort is made to force the author to play to the back of the room. Future moderators, take note: MAKE THEM EITHER SPEAK UP OR SPEAK DIRECTLY INTO THE MICROPHONE.
One thing surprised me. None of the panels veered off into a head-in-the-sand discourse on the digital revolution. I attended Sleuthfest back in March and every single panel I went to, regardless of topic, wound up talking about ebooks and how it’s all nothing to worry about. At Killer Nashville, the panels stayed on topic, and the digital revolution was only discussed at a panel at which that was the assigned subject. That panel, however, had ten members, most of whom were traditionalists whose livelihoods are threatened by the ebook cataclysm. One even said, “Writers should just stick to writing and not worry about marketing or any of that other stuff. Leave that to the professionals.” I had to slap myself to make sure I hadn’t drifted off to sleep and started dreaming.
I served on two panels myself and had a good time doing it. They were both very well run, one by Lynette Ingram and the other by Nancy Sartor. In addition, I put five books in the bookstore and sold them all. I probably could’ve sold more if I’d brought them, but who knew?
Next up, Bouchercon. See you in St Louis.