Tuesday, February 10, 2009

So Long, LIM, until we meet again

THE BOMBSHELL that was dropped at Saturday’s Love Is Murder Banquet by the LIM board was that there will be no conference in 2010, but it will return in 2011.

Love Is Murder is unique among mystery conferences: readers could meet their favorite authors, authors could meet new readers, and writers could meet and pitch publishers and agents. I have been a regular attendee for many years and became one of LIM’s biggest fans when I sold my first mystery, Murder Most Holy, to Five Star through the 2005 conference. Last week’s conference had over 300 attendees.

But the success of LIM was apparently a bit too much for an overworked, understaffed volunteer board. Members wanted to take a year breather to re-tool and come back better than ever. How they can make this outstanding conference better than it currently is, is, to quote our new president, “above my pay grade.” Suffice it to say, LIM was a top-notch product and Luisa Buehler, Hanley Kanar and the rest of the board deserve kudos for all they have done.

This year’s LIM was held at a new location, the Westin Chicago Northshore in Wheeling. A wonderful facility that gave us an added treat: a re-enactor’s convention was being held at the same time. We were able to mingle with Generals Grant, Washington, Custer along with Field Marshall Rommel and scores of soldiers representing armies from ancient Rome to World War II and beyond. Renaissance minstrels, jesters, Red Coats and warriors from Napoleon’s army all mingled with us over drinks Saturday evening. It felt like we were on the back lot of a Hollywood studio where there were several historical epics being filmed!

Anyway, the weekend was great, but we all left with a little sadness knowing that we’ll miss our old friend next year.

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