Written by
Sunny Frazier
September 2010
Written by
Sunny Frazier
September 2010
Despite its title, Killer Nashville was one of the most benign conferences I've ever attended. There were only about 300 attendees, all Southerners except for a San Francisco agent and me. At dinner, the two of us wondered when mac 'n cheese and Jello had become “vegetable side dishes.” Welcome to Tennessee! I went to see Jeffrey Deaver. It amazed me that such a small conference managed to get him as keynote. I told him that he was much more fun in person than his books led me to believe. He says he likes to write in complete darkness—perhaps that explains his dark plots. Surprisingly, most of the participants were unpublished authors looking for agents and publishers. I turned out to be one of the “big” names on the program. Pitch sessions were constantly going on but my publisher and I had side-stepped that obligation. I'm an acquisitions editor and we did pitch sessions on the fly. I picked up three promising authors and several others emailed me query letters. My panels were short story writing and “Lightening in a Bottle,” which was marketing. I talked about the “posse” idea of promotion, which is simply leading a pack of beginners to sites and teaching them to blog and set up personal pages (I'm on 35 such sites). That became a buzz word used throughout the conference. There was little humidity for August and I never got to actually see Nashville. The city is still recovering from the floods and the Grand Ol' Opry isn't open. The hotel was “a good piece aways” as they would say in the South. I may never get out that way again, but it was a terrific, homespun conference to experience.

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  • Julie Jeffs


    As I am also from California that was one of my first impressions as well, the people here are almost always pleasant and ultra polite. The first few weeks here I didn't know i could be called M'am or Miss Julie so many times. Next time you get a chance to come to Nashville (don't forget the Southern Festival of Books in October) let me know, I'll try and show you some of Nashville. Franklin is nice (kind of like Orange County or the SF Bay Area, lots of malls, upscale shopping) but step just outside of Franklin itself and you will find beautiful places... it is where many of the famous folks I think have large estates. Funny though, you would never know famous people live around here, they just are part of a community.

  • Sunny Frazier

    Oh Julie, I LOVED the area and I'm disappointed I didn't get to see Nashville. We were around Franklin, but I didn't get to see much of that either. When I'm in conference I'm kept so busy and so tired at the end of the day that I seldom get out of the hotel. Mystery conferences are VERY intense.

    The people were what made this conference a delight. Southern hospitality really exists and was a great change from California.

  • Julie Jeffs

    It is too bad you didn't have someone who could have pointed out all the other great things Nashville has to offer other than just the Grand Ole' Opry. Yes, the city is still recovering from the floods as are many of its residents but there is amazing live music (yes country but lots of other genres as well), some fun places to visit and some regular touristy things to do. You were lucky, you missed weeks and weeks of 90+ temps and high humidity, right now Nashville is absolutely beautiful, temps in low 80's with almost no humidity. Obviously you also didn't get to visit some of the fabulous restaurants in Nashville that serve beautiful cuisine that is healthy but still has a southern "taste" to it. I hope other readers don't think Nashville and the south is as you describe it. I have only been here 2 years but I find myself disappointed in your take on a great and fun city.