Monday, November 17, 2014

The Very Best Thing

By: Maegan Beaumont

This past weekend, I attended my very first Bouchercon... and it was wonderful. Here is a list of some of the great things that happened to me:
1) I met loads of my fellow MInkers. I liked them and I think a few might like me back.
2) I had the opportunity to develop some fledgling friendships (I'm looking at you, Shannon Baker!).
3) I sat in on a last minute and decidedly awesome panel called WOMEN KILL AT MYSTERY. An entire hour dedicated to singing the praises of unsung (and undersung) mystery writers by their contemporaries. It was hangs down, the best hour I spent at B'con.
4) I was invited to dinner by my very good friend, Les Edgerton (who is a terrific Noir writer, you should check him out). We haven't seen each other in a while and it was so nice to see him again--I really love that guy!
5) Our very own Catriona McPherson took home an Anthony for best paperback!
6) I was invited to participate in a panel called EXPERIENCING FEAR with some of my most favorite writers. 

All of these things were fantastic but there was one thing that happened that I have decided was the very best thing that has happened to me as a writer so far...

During my panel (and I'm sitting shoulder to shoulder with Alison Gaylin and Alex Sokoloff--a couple of heavy hitters, for sure), I notice a little girl in the audience. She's about 10 and she's with her mom and I think to myself, what in the world is she doing here? We're talking about some pretty gritty stuff. I hope she's not freaked out...

And then she raises her hand and announces to the room that she's currently writing a novel about a serial killer and proceeds to ask some of the most thought-provoking and intelligent questions I have ever been asked. I was floored by this young woman's confidence and curiosity. 

But that's not the very best thing...

The very best thing is that after the panel, as everyone is filing out, this young writer approaches the panel... and asks me (ME!) writing advice.

I came down off the platform and sat with her for a few minutes. We talked about writing and I gave her my email address and invited her to write to me. I didn't ask for her name or for a picture--because, hello! Minor!--but I really hope she writes to me. At her age I was a writer but I didn't have the self-confidence to proclaim it to the world and I certainly didn't have the self-confidence to ask another (grown-up) writer for advice. 

Young writer, whoever you are, you are awesome! Thank you for being my very best thing--I hope I helped you as much as you helped me.

Maegan Beaumont is the author of CARVED IN DARKNESS, the first book in the Sabrina Vaughn thriller series (Available through Midnight Ink, spring 2013). A native Phoenician, Maegan’s stories are meant to make you wonder what the guy standing in front of you in the Starbucks line has locked in his basement, and feel a strong desire to sleep with the light on. When she isn’t busy fulfilling her duties as Domestic Goddess for her high school sweetheart turned husband, Joe, and their four children, she is locked in her office with her computer, her coffee pot and her Rhodesian Ridgeback, and one true love, Jade.


Shannon Baker said...

Hanging out with you was one of my very best things, too!

Jack Getze said...

It was fun to meet you. Good luck!