I’m at my first New England Crime Bake, the annual mystery conference hosted by New England chapters of Sisters in Crime and Mystery Writers of America. The conference offered panels on everything from author branding to writing historical mysteries. Plus pizza and dessert parties, a cocktail party, and dinner. Booksellers’ alley proved irresistible and my TBR pile grew by half a dozen books.Writers’ conferences are new to me. Somehow, I remained unaware of them until I started trying to get my book published. I missed out on so much fun. Meeting readers and writers and agents and editors–one big, supportive community coming together around a shared love of mystery and books.My problem now is deciding which conferences to go to. There are so many and they all look like a blast–Bouchercon, Thrillerfest, Malice Domestic, Left Coast Crime, DFWCon to name a few. And they’re held in so many fabulous places–Toronto, Hawaii, New Orleans, Dallas, New York City. Plus Europe and probably other continents, too. As much as I’d like to hit them all, time and budget restrain my conference wanderlust. I’d be broken and on the road all the time if attended every one that caught my eye. I’m checking out as many as I can. I hope to become a repeat attendee at some. In all cases, I’m meeting new friends and allies and scoring some great new reads.