Pocket After Dark.
One thing specific to RT Con is that most of the authors manage themselves by genre. There's a captain for each genre who assigns authors to panels. Most of the genre groups host some kind of party for participants, and for the mystery writers it's a breakfast mixer. They are goodie bags for each attendee, food, and a chance to win a special goodie from each of the participating authors. The mystery group included quite a diverse group of authors, though all write suspense in one form or another: Carole Snyder Douglas, the captain; Rick Mofina, Julie Kramer, Andrew Peterson (also the thriller captain), Lori Armstrong, Laura Caldwell, F. Paul Wilson (pictured with Liz Berry, Executive Director of ITW and myself, above), Bob Mayer, Rosemary Harris and Sarah Zettel. We estimated there were about 350 people at the mixer and it was nice to get to chat a while with Kim Adams (SOS Aloha) and some members from Washington Romance Writers in the audience.
Today started off with a panel on writing dark stories, with Rick Mofina and Lori Armstrong. Both Rick and Lori had fascinating takes on where they find inspiration for writing dark stories, how they craft their protagonists, and how to determine how much dark is too dark. I sat in on the thriller panel in the afternoon, where some of the abovementioned authors were joined by Heather Graham for a rollicking talk about how they come up with fresh ways to scare readers.
The day closed with the RT awards ceremony and Heather Graham's big party is going on downstairs as I type. Tomorrow is the giant book signing event, where 400 authors are available in one spot to sign their books. Big name authors like Ann Rice, Charlaine Harris and others will around--I will try to get pictures.