Killer Nashville Act 2


Saturday morning I attended the “V is for Villain” workshop presented by Rae Ann Parker and Cate Hart. So many great takeways but I’ll just highlight a few here:

  • Villain should have the same chance of winning and their goal should be for the greater good.
  • The adversary must be one individual. It can be one person who embodies all that is wrong in society, but must be one individual.
  • Need to know villain’s motivation to write a compelling villain.
  • Just as heroes have archetypes so too do villains.
  • Recommended reading: 45 Master Characters


One of the highlights of Killer Nashville is their mock crime scene. This one was set up in the parking garage. They put an amazing amount of energy into constructing a crime scene and allowing people to figure out what happened. It’s a mini-murder mystery game within the conference.


I attended Rick Helms workshop on Exploring the Criminal Mind. He gave a detailed overview of forensic psychology. Some of his most interesting points included:

  • More women attempt suicide but more men die when they do it. Women tend toward methods that have time to reverse it (cut wrists or taking pills) while men tend to take faster route of hanging or shooting self.
  • The LCP–life course persistent offender has antisocial behavior across  his lifespan and situations.
  • The AL is the adolescent limited offender with temporary beahior during teen years that stops in early adulthood. The AL tends to commit crimes until he knows he’s criminally culpable then he stops.


LynDee, Gretchen and I took a long lunch and headed out to Jack’s BBQ on Broadway. I had the brisket with green beans and coleslaw. Yum.


We went over to Ryman Auditorium for a quick tour.


Enjoyed the Minnie Pearl display.

IMG_3203Loved the June and Johnny Cash display.


So many greats have played at the Ryman. Next time I have to catch a performance there. IMG_3268

LynDee and me on the main staircase.

Afterwards, we cabbed back to the hotel making a few pitstops. One included Starbucks. I told the barista my name was “Kour, well Kourtney with a K like the Kardashian, except I’m older. So bitch stole my name.”

The barista erupted into laughter and gave me a free coffee.

Back at the hotel, I headed to Anne Perry‘s talk with Clay Stafford on how she writes 3 books in a year.



Some of the best takeaways from Anne’s talk were:

  • The key to making it happen are: time management, organizational skills, and discipline. And figure out what theme you care about and want to make the story about.
  • You need to determine what story fits your theme–time, place and setting.
  • Conflict is key. All sorts of conflict. Battle with self must be in the story.
  • Need character to want something for a reason. And you have to know and understand them.
  • Write a detailed outline before drafting. You can work out plot points and build story skeleton here.



That evening I went to the guest of honor dinner and award banquet with Gretchen. We ended the night with drinks in the lobby.



The next morning I was up early for my 8:30 panel on cross genre fiction. I got to sit beside the brilliant Chris Holm who did his best to put me at ease on my first panel ever.  Karen McCollough was our panel leader and Alex Hughes  sat beside her.  Alex and Chris were both finalists for the Silver Falchion Award and lent so much insight to the discussion.

IMG_3298I got to be on a second panel with these amazing YA and MG authors! Rae Ann Parker organized our panel on Writing for the Tween, Teen, and YA Market perfectly and gave each author their moment to shine. I’m definitely going to check out Julie Ann Lindsey, Helen Chapman and Rae Ann Parker’s books. Fabulous authors!

I had a signing afterwards and signed several books. It was awesome to chat with fellow authors. I also found a book trailer designer who I am now working with. It’s amazing the connections you make when you are open to them.


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24 Responses to Killer Nashville Act 2

  1. Wow, looked to be an exciting day all around 🙂

  2. This conference sounds like an exciting success from start to finish. Can’t believe you listened to Anne Perry herself!

  3. Maxine Kleinsteiber says:

    Interesting stuff for a non-writer, such as myself! Found the comment about suicide numbers interesting. There is a high incidence of young male suicides in this area.

    • Killer Nashville has 4 tracks of workshops and panels. I love the forensic track because it helps me write better mysteries. I learned about search and rescue dogs there 3 years ago. It was interesting. Men seem to be more committed and pursue methods that do not allow for a change of heart. That’s too bad. There are so many other ways to deal with things. And suicide is so permanent. You can’t take it back. It’s better to run away and risk life on the streets than to end life.

  4. Being a psychology major, I would have enjoyed Rick Helms workshop. Nice job scoring the free coffee! Thanks for sharing your pictures, Kourtney. I loved visiting the Ryman Auditorium while in Nashville.

    • You definitely would have. He had lots of statistics to back up what he was saying. 🙂 Yeah, it was a nice treat. I got up on stage and got a photo too. I mean who wouldn’t want to get on stage where so many legends had performed. 😉

  5. Sandra Tansley says:

    Awesome. Great Way To Network. Good Luck With The Book. I Read It. Fabulous!!! Must Read.

  6. Cat Forsley says:

    So much Fun K heart xx what a great Journey You’re on 🙂
    Enjoy ever nanosecond of it xo C

  7. I love hearing about this event through your eyes…and to see the connections you’re making with other writers. Sooo cool!

    • Thanks Kitt! I really love this conference. People are so down to earth and approachable. Partly I think it’s because it’s a regional conference and partly it’s the magic that Clay and Beth bring to it. 🙂

  8. Carrie Rubin says:

    It’s great that you had a chance to speak on a panel. What a great experience, and probably a good means of solidifying one’s self as a writer, too.

    • It was awesome! It really made me feel like a genuine author. 😉 And to think 3 years ago I was at Killer Nashville as a total newbie getting manuscript critiques and query critiques. And daydreaming of one day being on a panel as a published author. Squeee!

  9. jmmcdowell says:

    Thanks so much for the inside scoop on events like these—I really enjoy the chance to learn about conferences and what to expect from them. Maybe it’s time to start looking for good ones around here…. 😉

  10. EllaDee says:

    I can see you got great info from the workshops but the star for me was the Ryman Auditorium 🙂 So good that as well as getting info, you got to give back via the panels… which you looked impressive.

    • Aw it was really cool. I had my picture taken on stage too! It’s a nice 8×10. I really enjoyed being able to share what I’ve learned. The panels were great experience and I met so many talented authors. 🙂 Aw thank you. I saved my favorite outfit for Sunday. It’s a neat little kimono style wrap top.

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  13. Pete Denton says:

    More exciting times! Sounds like you’ve certainly thrown yourself into this and you’re getting good things out of it. Long may that continue. 🙂

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