I just returned from attending the first annual Key West Mystery Writers fest. My friend and critique partner Mary Marvella and I drove down to Key West, it was a long trip and we stopped overnight both coming and going. Since we were traveling in my van, I did all the driving and MM rode shotgun. She manned the map and GPS, as a result, we arrived on time without too many setbacks.

We stopped often along the way to stretch our legs.

The weather was good until we hit the Florida Turnpike, that's when the monsoon started. For the next one hundred and fifty miles there was a steady downpour, but we keep going and finally drove out of it. We planned to spend the night in Ft. Lauderdale, but somehow we missed that exit and were in Miami before we realized it. So we stopped for the night on the southern side of the city.

We got a good night's sleep, after spending an hour or so working on our current projects and reading emails. We were up and on the move early.

Out goal was to arrive at the hotel by 3 pm and we pulled into the resort at five minutes til. Not bad, not bad at all.

We registered for our room and then registered for the Fest. The first thing on the agenda was a bar crawl starting on Duval Street, downtown Key West. The hotel provided a shuttle and we were off! The first stop was the Smoking Tuna Saloon. The opening ceremonies welcomed all the mystery writers to Key West and then Heather Graham joined the musician onstage and sang several songs. We met and mingled and had a great time. (Don't tell anyone, but MM and I left early, we only made it to two bars-we took the shuttle back to the hotel so we would be rested for the workshops early Saturday morning)
I enjoyed the panels and the best thing about it was they ran consecutively. You didn't have to choose which to attend. Don't you just hate it when you choose the wrong one and everyone tells you how great the one you didn't go to was? I know I do.

We met lots of new friends and sold some of our books. Key West was a blast, the food was amazing and the views were inspiring. I want to return to Key West and I definitely want to use it as a setting for one of my books. What about you, have you been to Key West? What did you like the best?


  1. Mary Marvella // June 20, 2014 at 1:10 AM  

    We had a fabulous time! I'd do it again with my traveling partner!

  2. Mary Ricksen // June 20, 2014 at 1:19 PM  

    Wish I'd known you guys were going, you drove right by me!! Heather has a great conference she does in New Orleans every year. Plus she is the mother of our chapter which she and two others started. She knows how to party!! I can't keep up with her. Bet you saw a few of the others in my FRW chapter? Did you meet Nancy Cohen? She is the queen of promo. Glad you had a blast, I almost went, but my dog is sick and DH is no good at patient care.

  3. Mary Marvella // June 20, 2014 at 11:17 PM  

    Yes, we met Nancy! We didn't know we went near you!

  4. Barbara Monajem // June 22, 2014 at 3:41 PM  

    Glad you had such a great time, ladies. :)

  5. Mary Marvella // June 23, 2014 at 12:12 AM  

    We really did, Barbara!

  6. debjulienne // June 25, 2014 at 11:57 AM  

    Aw, man, you two had way too much fun without me...wish I had gone...sounds like a fun trip and I would have loved to be in the car with you...I can just imagine the conversations!!!

  7. Josie // June 25, 2014 at 11:50 PM  

    Key West is a gorgeous, fun place. Sounds like you two had a blast (and sold some books along the way).