Edith, recalling Monterey, California
As you read this I’ll be winging home from my whirlwind tour of northern California, culminating in three and a half days at Calamari Crime: Left Coast Crime in gorgeous Monterey. Since I landed on March 13, it’s been sunny and mild, with fragrant flowers blooming and my native California seeming even more friendly than usual.
I had three great author events in Oakland, San Francisco, and Berkeley, and also caught up with relatives and friends from nearly every era of my life, from childhood and high school right through tech writing in Boston.
Left Coast Crime is a big, well-run conference (except for the conference bookstore somehow not stocking my book!). Wicked Sherry Harris was on a fun panel of “Deadly New Voices” with other debut authors. I heard some of my favorite giants – Deborah Crombie and Louise Penny, moderated by Jacqueline Winspear – talk about “The Heart and Soul of Murder: Mysteries with a Meaning.” I laughed for forty-five minutes listening to Jess Lourey moderate a panel on writing sex scenes with Catriona McPherson, Deborah Coonts, Linda Joffe Hull, and Johnny Shaw.
Dinner the first night was with a bunch of Guppies, and I finally met a number of online friends in person. The second night Sisters in Crime Northern California sponsored a group dinner out, also a delight. In addition to meeting fellow writers, I chatted with readers wherever I went, since LCC is a fan conference. I had donated a basket to the charity auction and was pleased to see that it had a bunch of bids signed up.
My own panel, “A Taste for Murder” was a lot of fun, too, with four other foodie cozy authors. Kensington had sent a box of my books for the attendee bags, so recipients brought those books for me to sign afterwards.
And I hosted a full table at the banquet, giving away ARCs of ‘Til Dirt Do Us Part to nine people who signed up because they wanted to eat with me! Catriona McPherson won the Best Historical award, well deserved.
As usual when I attend a conference, whether aimed at readers or at writers, I came away with new ideas for my own writing. I resolved to go deeper into my characters. I feel energized going forward in my books.