Interrogation—Ingrid Willis

ingrid cu blackWho: Ingrid Willis

What: Chair of Left Coast Crime 2016 in Phoenix, AZ. She has been a devoted mystery conference attendee since she discovered the Bouchercon convention in 2002. She has attended almost every Left Coast Crime, Bouchercon, and Malice Domestic since then, and was Chair of Bouchercon 2014 in Long Beach, CA. Ingrid has worked for more than twenty-five years in the entertainment industry. She left her position as Executive Director of Marketing for Columbia Pictures in 1997 to start her own company specializing in digital post-production. She is also a mystery writer and insatiable mystery reader.

Where: Los Angeles

Interview conducted by email. Some questions and answers have been edited.

You’ve been “a devoted mystery conference attendee” since you discovered Bouchercon in 2002. What was so magical about that first convention?

I had just left my studio job to start my own post production company.  I was thinking about writing a novel, and having worked in the music and entertainment field I wanted to check out the publishing “industry” before I did so.  I mean, what if I hated the business? What if it was as cut-throat as the entertainment & music? I went to Bouchercon in Austin, Texas without having been registered. (There wasn’t online registration in those days.) While in line to register I met Elaine Viets who was so gracious and encouraged me to write. Everyone was so welcoming.  It was great.  I realized I’d found my long-lost family I hadn’t even known I’d misplaced. I made acquaintances that have since become some of my best friends. Bouchercon literally changed my life and took me in a direction I could never have imagined.

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