Sunday, April 8, 2012

Left Coast Crime

Here's the Deal.

I read Terry's blog on LCC and she did such a good job I hesitated in writing one of my own.  I mean how can one compete with perfection,  Then I thought, Wait a minute (It's true; I think in Italics) every  panel, every class that Terry took, I took something else. You might say that in a Set Theory context we were Complementary Sets (I know the math stuff excites me too!)

Soooooooo, if you didn't get to go to Left Coast Crime last week in Sacramento, here is another perspective.

I didn't stay at the conference hotel, so Wednesday night I walked about a mile through downtown Sacramento - what a cool town - to early register for the next day.  It had rained so the air was moist and cool, the night sky perfect.  The folks who put on the conference were welcoming and so friendly I knew I was in for a great weekend.  Plus I got to work at the registration table handing out canvas bags full of goodies.  what is better than handing out canvas bags full of goodies? 

The conference itself started off with a bang for me because I was a member of the very first panel on Thursday afternoon: IN THE NICK OF TIME: HOW DO YOU GET YOUR PROTAGONIST IN AND OUT OF DANGER?  I shared this panel with four other terrific writers. Camille Minichino (who has several series in play including one where her sleuth is a mathematics professor), Keith Raffel (who writes action thrillers), Audrey Braun (who writes a series with a woman who's husband abandoned her in the jungle) and Robert O'Hanneson (who wrote the coolest mystery set in a carnival).  My fellow panelists were witty, charming, gracious and the time sped by like a dream. Afterwards, our moderator, Mars Preston ushered us down to the bookstore for a signing where I got to meet a legion of mystery readers.  Let me say this right up front, I love, love, love mystery readers.  They know so much and ask so many questions.  Truth was I didn't know all of the headline authors, and they schooled me so I wouldn't look like an ignoramus.  The signing was a kick in the butt, and I made some friends for life, including a wonderful couple from Highlands Ranch, Colorado with whom I plan to have lunch with in the near future.

I've never been into crafting mysteries, so I attended a panel titled Killer Crafts.  Out very own Maggie Sefton was on this panel, and I was enchanted by sleuths who built dollhouses, knitted, and quilted.

I'm going to mention the silent auction because I spent a lot of time there and the folks who were running this show gave me a lot of pointers for next year.  That's right, next year yours truly is running both the silent and the not-so-silent auction.  I also learned how to spell tchotches.

I won't go into all the panels I attended but I will give a list of them:

Tea and a Cozy - delightful panel and I met some wonderful female writers.

The Killer Thriller panel - this had one of the big guns of the weekend, James Rollins

All in the Name of Research - Twiss Phelan moderated this panel which was a hoot.

Laugh Yourself to Death - need I say more?

Pre-twentieth Century History - one of my favorite authors, Ann Parker was on this one and it was great.

20th Century History Mysteries - Another great one.

Sex in Mysteries - Again, need I say more?

One of the coolest things I got to do was take a walking tour of Old Sacramento along the Sacramento River.  All along the tour, ghosts would appear and tell us tales of how they died.  In fact, our guide for the tour was a ghost.  One confused specter, who died when the floor of an opera house collapsed, kept asking us if we'd seen her equally dead husband.  I had to tell the poor woman I hadn't and she wandered off down the street. We learned that the city had been totally destroyed twice - once with fire and once with flood.  Very cool stuff.

One mistake I did make was to drive to the conference.  Does the wind blow constantly in Wyoming?

Anyway, one last bit of info.  Left Coast Crime 2013 will be in Colorado Springs next year.  Is that cool or what?!!

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