Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Killer Nashville News

By Beth Terrell

Last month, I went to a lecture at the Frist Museum of Art. It was on psychopathy and how psychopaths respond differently to photos and paintings with emotional content than "normal" people do. The lecture was given by a Vanderbilt psychology professor named Stephen Benning. It was fascinating. Of course, throughout the lecture, all I could think was, "Gosh, this guy is great! I wonder if I can get him for Killer Nashville?"

Happily, the answer was yes; Dr. Benning will be giving a presentation on the two faces of psychopathy on Friday, August 14, 2009 at this year's Killer Nashville Conference. Our tentative schedule also includes sessions on poisons, blood spatter evidence, forensic anthropology, solving cold cases, what PIs really do, the life of a bounty hunter, how the FBI and TBI catch the worst of the worst, how modern technology is used by criminals and those who catch them, and much, much more.

For published or aspiring writers, Butch Wilson will conduct two exciting sessions for those who would like to optimize their use of online resources.

Software for Starving Authors --

Come, learn about free and almost free software you can use to make your writer's life easier and more productive. This session isn’t selling anything. We'll talk about software and hardware, tips, tricks and tools for writing, for story tracking, and ways to keep your hard work safe.

All attendees will leave with a copy of most, if not all, of the software discussed. And information on how to obtain all of it.

A Writer's Life on the "The Web" --

Should I have a website? What about a blog? Wait -- I don't even know what an LOL, IMO, WYSIWYG, BLOG, TWITTER, FACEBOOK even is! How do I do it? SHOULD I do it?

You've got questions. We'll have answers. And, we'll learn how to find even more answers for yourself. If sufficient internet access is available, everyone who wishes to will leave with their own place on the web. This session isn't selling anything. There's nothing you have to buy to put yourself, or your work, out there on the web. All attendees will leave with a copy of most, if not all, of the software discussed. (Note: This session is BYOL - Bring Your Own Laptop. It isn't a requirement, but it wouldn't hurt.)

We'll also have a great lineup of sessions on the craft of writing and how to market your book once you've finished it.

To take advantage of the early bird discount, register before May 31.

So what else is new with us?

Well, if you've checked out the website lately, you know that the 2009 Guest of Honor is New York Times bestselling author J.A. Jance. Jance is the author of more than 32 books and has over a million copies of her books in print. To learn more about her and her work, check out her website at http://www, There will be a Guest of Honor dinner at Sperry's on Saturday, August 15. Seating is limited, so guests will be selected on a first-come, first-served basis.

As many of you know, we unveiled the Silver Falchion Award in 2008. If you're a registered attendee with a book published for the first time between August 2008 and August 2009, you can nominate that book for the Silver Falchion. In 2009, we unveil the Claymore Dagger award for the best first 50 pages of an unpublished manuscript that is not under contract. The prize is an engraved replica of a Claymore Dagger and consideration for publication by Avalon Books, which is partnering with us for this year's contest. The deadline for the Claymore Dagger is coming up in May. For more details about either award, check out our website at, or use the link to the right.

Finally, our fledgling blog is beginning to take flight. On the first of every month, I'll give a news update. On the 7th, graphic novelist and independent filmmaker Phillip Lacy will write a monthly column. On the 10th, we'll hear from Sheila L. Stephens, long-term law-enforcement professional and author of The Everything Private Investigation Book. Sheila was the first female Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms (ATF) agent in the state of Alabama, and one of the first in the nation. After leaving the ATF due to injury, she opened a private detective agency; she is also a criminal justice professor at Andrew Jackson University. On the 14th, Butch Wilson will offer advice, information, and reviews about computer software for writers. On the 21st, Killer Nashville producer, author, and filmmaker Clay Stafford will write a monthly column, beginning with a series of articles sharing his vision of the conference and what makes it unique. In between, we plan to have guest bloggers, book reviews, and interviews with Killer Nashville attendees, speakers, and volunteers. So check back often, feel free to comment, and if you'd like to contribute an article or volunteer for an interview, be sure to let me know ( Or, join the Killer Nashville group on Facebook. It's a whole new frontier!

See you soon.

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