Report from the Left Coast

Edith, recalling Monterey, California

IMG_3466As 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 IMG_3366Berkeley, 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.

IMG_3472Left 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 IMG_3491of 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.

IMG_3460Dinner 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 IMG_3494addition 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 IMG_3482other 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 IMG_3496Dirt IMG_3499Do Us Part to nine people who signed up because they wanted to eat with me! Catriona McPherson won the IMG_3500Best 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.

10 thoughts on “Report from the Left Coast

  1. [Writing from mid-air on Jet Blue!] Thanks, all. Louise Penny won for Best Novel set outside the US, of course. Brad Parks won the Lefty for humorous, and William Kent Kruger won for best novel set in the US.

  2. All the reports I’m reading make this sound like a very fun convention. I really wish I could have gone and gotten a chance to meet you.

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