Malice Domestic 23 is this coming weekend…

…and as a first-timer (to any writers’ convention), I’m a bit nervous.  Out come the lists and the advance preparations: what to wear, what to buy to wear, what to read ahead of time so I can talk intelligently with authors.  Laptop?  Business cards?  (Do I put “writer” on them even though I’m not published yet?)

But the advance planning doesn’t bother me.  The problem is that I’m *gulp* an introvert.  Yeah, I’ll bet you already guessed that one.  But I’ve heard about how terrific and community-building these conventions can be for aspiring authors, and I’ve always wanted to meet writers from my favorite genre, mystery.

I’ve also heard the stories about attendees making sparkling conversation with their favorite captive author in an elevator.  Would that work for me?  I don’t know…

Oh, Lord, Sue Grafton just stepped into the elevator.  Say something!  “Um, hi.  Kind of chilly outside today, isn’t it?”

What a dufus. 





Kristen Lamb. Read her blog.


In the spirit of “know thyself,” I’ve taken a bit of Kristen Lamb’s advice (if you don’t know Kristen Lamb, the awesome social media guru whose blog and book are indispensable to writers, click here – after you finish reading my post, of course).  So I took the Myers-Briggs personality test.

My results: I (Introverted – no surprise there), S (Sensing), F (Feeling), J (Judging).

Wondering how could I apply this knowledge so that I’m not silently stalking pubbed authors in elevators or washing down cheese doodles with chardonnay in my hotel room all by my lonesome, I clicked on a few details of my “ISFJ” type.

Uh oh.

Under the “Professions” category:  clergy, interior decorator, social worker, nurse.  “Writer” is nowhere in evidence, but I decided not to let that bother me, since half the people who know me don’t consider what I do to be a real job, anyway.

But aside from giving last rites, or striking up a conversation about how tacky-looking the lobby is, I didn’t think looking at the professions list was much help.

How about “Famous People who are ISFJs”?  That looked like it had potential, so I checked it out:

William Shatner.  Jimmy Stewart.  Robert E. Lee. Mother Theresa.


Only on the internet could these four people possibly have anything to do with one another, or with me, or with a murder mystery writers’ convention.  And that’s assuming that Mother Theresa and Robert E. Lee were filling out Myers-Briggs surveys in their spare time.

But here’s a cheery thought:  personality is not a mindless entity.  Rather, it is a set of tendencies, like comfortable shoes, that we reach for when we don’t think about it.  We are more than the sum of our parts, and even though I doubt I’d be a social magnet in a large group, like, ever, I can hold my own when I kick off those comfy slippers and strap on my party heels.

Any advice?  Convention veterans, let’s hear from you!

Thanks for reading,

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