Meet Coastal Crime Fest 3 Speaker Lyn Brittan

Lyn Brittan will share insights from her career as a writer during the writer’s conversation panel at Coastal Crime Fest 3 on March 19.

Lyn grew up wanting to live like her heroes, James Bond and Indiana Jones. She wasn’t totally successful and never had to shoot her way out of a hotel bedroom. She’s still coming to terms with it. Awards and woot-woots include: USA Today Bestseller and Galaxy Award Winner in 2013 and 2014.

To learn more about Lyn and her work, visit her online at


Meet Coastal Crime Fest 3 Organizer C.B. Lane

CBLaneOne of the original members of Mystery by the Sea, C.B. Lane (Cindy) is also the lead organizer for the group’s annual conference, Coastal Crime Fest.

She grew up in Virginia Beach and graduated from First Colonial High School. After college in Blacksburg, Peace Corps in Senegal, and work in Northern California, she settled in Suffolk, where she lives on a farm near the Great Dismal with her husband and two wiener dogs who love to bark at everything that moves. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University in 2013, for which she traveled to London, Barcelona, Italy, and Ireland. She’s a member of Sisters in Crime and Hampton Roads Writers and also takes classes regularly at The Muse Writers Center in Norfolk. She has some short stories in the world and is working on a novel set in Southeastern Virginia just after the Civil War. She blogs now and then at

Meet Coastal Crime Fest 3 Speaker Adele Gardner

Adele Gardner will share insights from her career as a writer and poet during the writer’s conversation panel at Coastal Crime Fest 3 on March 19.

Adele Gardner goes by her middle name to honor her father and mentor, Delbert R. Gardner—poet, scholar, and WWII veteran—for whom she’s literary executor. Her short story The Witches’ Bridge appears in Virginia Is for Mysteries Volume II and is her second published mystery story. The Adventure of the Hidden Lane appears in A Study in Lavender.

All told, Adele has had more than 325 short stories, poems, artwork/photographs, and nonfiction published in Daily Science Fiction, Legends of the Pendragon, The Doom of Camelot, American Arts Quarterly, The Cape Rock, and Magill’s Choice: 100 Masters of Mystery and Detective Fiction, among others. Her poetry collection, Dreaming of Days in Astophel, appears under her previous byline, Lyn C.A. Gardner. For more information about Adele and her work, visit her online at

Meet Coastal Crime Fest 3 Speaker Maria Hudgins


Maria Hudgins will share insights from her career as a mystery writer during the writer’s conversation panel at Coastal Crime Fest 3 on March 19.

Maria grew up in the hills of eastern Tennessee in the little village of Mosheim and now lives in Hampton, Virginia, with Holly and Hamilton, her two Bichon Frise rescues. She taught high school science for 30 years and retired with a head full of information that often creeps into her novels. Maria is the author of five Dotsy Lamb Travel Mysteries, set in five different countries. She has also written two Lacy Glass Archaeology Mysteries, available on Kindle. Maria researches her the settings for her novels thoroughly—she is an inveterate traveler.

To learn more about Maria and her books, visit her online at You can also follow her on Twitter.


Using Social Media to Connect Writers with Readers

social media treeSocial media for writers was the topic at Mystery by the Sea’s July meeting. Group president Teresa Inge led a discussion about what writers should – and should not – do on their social media accounts. Here are some of her suggestions:

  1. Use social media to get your name out there and to get people buzzing about your work. Social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are all great online platforms for writers to use.
  2. Connect with your readers one-on-one through the social media sites of your choice. Don’t be shy! In addition to liking and commenting on what others post, create original content of your own to keep your followers interested and engaged in a conversation. Be sure to write about upcoming book signings, book launches, and other events, but also provide your followers with content that isn’t centered on you or your work.
  3. Strike a friendly tone. When promoting your work, don’t express extreme opinions that may upset or alienate readers. Everyone has a bad day from time to time, but constantly griping on social media may not entice readers to pick up your books. Strive for posts with a fun, professional tone.
  4. Find other writers. Use social media to follow and engage with your fellow writers to keep up with industry trends and publishing opportunities. Be courteous and don’t post announcements about your work on other writers’ social media sites. Use the golden rule for the 21st century: If you wouldn’t want someone adding certain content to your site, don’t add it to theirs.
  5. Keep it up! Neglected social media accounts make you and your brand look bad. Before taking the plunge, make sure you have the time and content to contribute to your social media sites on a regular basis. Posting interesting, relevant content often will keep your followers coming back for more.

July Meeting Will Focus on Social Media Tips for Writers

mouseclickBugged by your blog? Tormented by Twitter? Join Mystery by the Sea on Monday, July 13th, as we discuss how writers can use social media to promote their work, connect with readers, and interact with other writers.

The meeting will be held at the Greenbrier Library in Chesapeake from 6 to 8 p.m. in the upstairs meeting room. Writers of all levels are welcome to attend to ask questions and share their knowledge.