Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SHOWING UP by Kay Finch

I have a friend who says "half of luck is just showing up." Looking back over my writing life, I remember several times when that saying has held true. There was the manuscript contest I almost didn't enter because the contest required a synopsis to go along with the chapters. I didn't have a synopsis, but I wrote one on the weekend before the due date and claimed first place in the contest. I entered Mystery Writers of America's 50th anniversary short story contest and placed in the top 10 of over 700 short stories. My first published novel was a contest winner, and publication was part of the prize. My first agent approached me after he heard me speak on a Bouchercon panel. And about a year ago I answered a resounding "yes" when given the opportunity to write a proposal for the Bad Luck Cat Mystery series which sold within days to Berkley Prime Crime. I am now one hundred percent convinced of the importance of showing up.

Showing up is exactly what Sandra Carey Cody, Jayne Ormerod, and I did at this year's Malice Domestic conference a couple of weeks ago in Bethesda, Maryland. The three of us are former Avalon novelists who met online but never before in person. What fun to meet at the conference and discuss our writing experiences. We didn't have nearly enough time to visit with each other, but there's always next year.

This was my third Malice, I've been to several Bouchercons, a Left Coast Crime, Cluefest, and many MWA Southwest Chapter conferences. I'd love to attend more conferences, but the full-time job gets in my way. For those of you who haven't taken advantage of attending conferences, there are huge benefits to showing up. You can meet online friends and fellow authors in person, make new friends, meet editors and agents. At the fan conferences, you can visit with readers who have enjoyed your books, or you can go as a fan and meet the authors who wrote the books you love to read.

Just SHOW UP - I did, and I've found that showing up is well worth my time and fun to boot.

Mystery author Kay Finch is currently writing her new Bad Luck Cat Mystery series set in the Texas Hill Country to be published by Berkley beginning in 2015. Her Klutter Killer mystery, Relative Chaos, features a professional organizer who finds a dead body in a hoarder's garage. Kay lives in a Houston, Texas suburb with her husband, two rescue dogs and a cat. Visit her web site at www.kayfinch.com.


  1. You afre 100 percent right and I can find 100 excuses to not show up. You have inmspired me to begin to shake that bad habit

  2. I'm glad to inspire you, Kathye. I am definitely a homebody, in spite of what I say in this blog. I like to stay home and usually prefer to stay home, but when I get to an event I'm glad to be there, too.

  3. Hi Kay--
    What an inspiring reminder to Show Up! Congratulations on all your successes that stemmed from showing up. Your book, Relative Chaos, sounds like a great story. I'll have to go buy it :-) See, a success for showing up on this blog.

  4. I was out of town when this was posted, but have to chime in anyway to say how much I enjoyed meeting Kay and Jayne in the flesh. By the way, one of the books I took with me was Kay's FINAL CUT. Loved it! The perfect vacation read.

  5. I'm glad you enjoyed Final Cut, Sandy.