lindajsingleton (lindajsingleton) wrote,

Sharing about Left Coast Crime Conference

Left Coast Crime, a mystery conference for fans and writes, was held in Sacramento this year.

Even though it's close to my home, conferencing is best when you stay at the hotel, too, so I shared a room with my mom, who knows the mystery genre better than I do. I read so many YA, I've been neglecting my mystery reading. So this was a good chance to discover new mystery authors and some old favorites, too.

The first talk was on Thursday. Carol Price went through police citizen academy and has been handcuffs, kidnapped, shot at with paint pellets for researching her mysteries. 

Another workshop had a panel with: Lee Goldberg, Rebecca Cantrell, DP Lyle, Gary Phillips and moderator Kirk Russell. They were amusing talking about writing characters who do a twist on normal, like Monk that Goldberg writes.. Ebooks came up and Goldberg had a good ebook promotion giving away a book, increasing his sales, but admits that has slowed now.

Then a reception for the over 600 attendees. The reception was nice and we were up front in line, so got a bite of cheese, fruit and bite-size dessert. Sat with a nice woman, Mary Putnam and her husband David. He's the writer and has been working for 20 years on mystery novels while also being a police officer, doing undercover and writing while on stake-outs. Cool. He was interested when he heard what I wrote because he had started a YA and wanted to know more about my YA experiences.

Later read a J.A. Jance mystery before falling asleep.

9AM panel about locations
*. First speaker Michael Siveling: Sterling Inheritance, St. Martin. He based it on Sacramento but made up a name since he had a horrible thing happened in a theater.
* Norma Lehr - told of going to a resort whereher book is set and put toothpaste over something that looked like a camera in the wall. She has tunnels in story based on tunnels performers used to avoid crowds; creepy, dark. She was given a tour.
* Susan C. Shea - based on a real museum in SF. Includes fundraiser plot.
* Maggie Sefton - quilting & knitting series; Berkley. 2 chapters read. politic books, too.

Then Mom went to an entertaining talk abut Men of Mystery with nearly 20 men authors; she went for Lee Goldberg who is always funny.  I wanted to hear about mystery publishing so went to agent and editor talk. Not much different than children publishing, with agents wooing editors. One former editor was an editor-4-hire now.  Nothing really new except agents are now submitting to epublishers, and one admitting they're even making money there.

Eager for 1:30 talk with Twist Phelan moderating, speakers Rhys Bowen, Jan Burke (love her!), James Rollin, and Jacqueline Winspear. They were entertaining and interesting. Told of research mishaps like Jan driving around a police station and getting asked to come inside and having to explain herself. Or Rhys acting out a scene by wrestling an imagined weapon on the floor with her husband. They got on the topic of how in historicals some of the words really used aren't believable (like Far out, smog and Rocket ship in 1900) but the words were real then. And how Jac had a reader argue that smog was a word from 1950's but actually around 1900 combining smoke and fog in England. 

Next talks was one of the strangest thanks to Parnell Hall giving his panelists assignments and opening by going on about how he didn't want to be a moderator and tried to refuse and no one would step up, so he gave out assignments, starting with having the panel introduce each other, making up crazy stories like Donna Andrews being raised by prairie dogs and wanting to burrow. Donna made doggie hand gestures and went on to say she didn't have any of her assignments for this talk because her luggage was going around in circles, turned away from the hotel after being lost at airport. She joked about killing a baggage handler in next book. The insanity increased from there, each panelist having to write something out of their genre, and Donna making something up that was weird and funny, ending with the death of baggage handler. Lots of laughter and we learned absolutely nothing--except these authors write funny books.

March 31, 2012 SATURDAY Left Coast Crime
Up early so could get into the breakfast room. Nice fruit, scone & juice. Sat at a table with Twist Phelan, Teresa Burrell, David and his wife. Twist told a fascinating story of how she was given Match membership and accepted a challenge to date 100 guys in 3 months, and she did it,

I went to the green room until only one other person from my panel there so we went to the room where others were. This was a Magical Mystery Tour with moderator Kris Neri, speakers me, Juliet Blackwell (Hailey Lind) and Margaret Lucke. I spoke of how important it was to get kids reading and got to talk a bit about my books. Went fast. Then down for signing in the bookroom.

Next went to the lawyers in mysteries with Jonnie Jacobs, Teresa Burrell, Susan Goldstein, Twist Phelan and Shelden Siegel. Didn't stay long though because wanted to stop at Hospitality Room (lots of chocolate, etc. there) and then not long after went to the green room for my Start'Em Young workshop with Marilyn Beebe moderating, speakers me, Bonnie Hill, Sophie Littlefield, me and Penny Warner. This went quickly with fast answers and lots of interest from the audience. Marilyn asked me about childhood influences and gave me the chance to tell my story of writing a fan letter at age 14 to Margaret Sutton, which seemed to touch the audience. Later I had people come up to me to say how much they liked the talk. I gave away 3 books at the end, wanting to spread my books out and lighten my suitcase. When I went down to sign, I did at least one more book. Felt good about the talk and comments from people. 

1:30 went to an ACTION workshop with Robin Burcell and other "dramatic" writers who acted out scenes while one of them read a scene that seemed to wild to be real but I was told later all the scenes were from real books.

Banquet at night. Good food and a fun table of mostly Sacramento area writers. Awards were announced with Harley Kozsak as MC .

Sunday, April Fools Day -- 2 workshops then we go home. The last workshop was hilarious, called LIAR'S, where the panel is asked a question and the audience has to guess it they were lying (creating fiction) or telling the truth. A great ending to a wonderful conference.  Next year it's in Colorado.
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