My third visit to Left Coast Crime was both fun and interesting. This was the first time I attended as a published author.
The meeting this year in Santa Fe, New Mexico was at the La Fonda hotel, an historic hotel that you needed a GPS system to navigate. It reminded me of the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose. The Mystery House has stairways leading nowhere. The stairways in the hotel lead you somewhere but it took a while to figure out where you were going along the crooked corridors and different levels.
I appeared at the new author’s breakfast on Friday. Moderator Mike Befeler of Geezer Lit fame, did a superb job of giving everyone an opportunity to describe their new publications. I did note that as someone with a 30-year career in politics I wasn’t too surprised that I was added to a panel entitled, “Stretching the Truth.”
Following the breakfast, I participated in a mini-Men of Mystery panel. The Men of Mystery conducted by Joan Hansen, delivers a great show in the Fall when 50 male mystery writers appear before an audience of 400 to advocate for their books, and do so with a sense of humor. I hope to be back there again this year.
I also appeared on the last panel of the last day of the conference, the aforementioned “Stretching the Truth,” that had to do with researching our books.
Our panel was moderated by Rob Kresge, author of an Old West mystery, Murder for Greenhorns. Rob also was the program chair for the entire event, which was no small task. He was even shuffling speakers and making program changes right to the end of the conference.
Another first time novelist and a veteran writer were also on the panel. Curt Wendelboe writes a modern day mystery in the West, entitled Death Along the Spirit Road. Jerry Weinberg has a number of books, in which he uses his vast scientific knowledge to solve mysteries. You can find Jerry’s books here.
All the writing was great and I encourage you to pick up the books from these authors.
The panel was lively and revealed some tricks of the trade we employed to do our research and get the information out without lecturing. In my book, a Smithsonian researcher who has a crush on FBI agent, Zane Rigby, reveals to Rigby and the reader what they have to know about the history I rely on to create my mystery story.
Next year, Left Coast Crime takes place in Sacramento, California. I’m already signed up.