Thursday, April 5, 2012

Fun at Left Coast Crime

A week ago, I was in the middle of hundreds of mystery writers, readers, and fans at Mining For Murder, the 2012 Left Coast Crime mystery convention in Sacramento, CA. I was there as a nominee for the Eureka!, the award for best first mystery. I didn't ultimately win (that delight went to Darrell James, on the right in the photo of nominees below), but I couldn't have enjoyed myself more at the event if I had.
(from left: Rochelle Staab, Sally Carpenter, me, Darrell James)

First thing Friday morning was the New Author breakfast, where 24 of us got a minute to pitch ourselves and our books to a room full of attendees eating a free breakfast. After that, I was on a panel Friday morning with my fellow nominees, titled "I Wish I Knew..." (moderated by friend and fellow Poisoned Pen Press author Tina Whittle), and then took part in another panel for Men of Mystery, where 19 male mystery authors cracked jokes and much hilarity ensued.
(only part of the Men of Mystery panel, note Kenneth Wishnia photo-bombing us in the background)

After my duties were done there, I was free to enjoy the rest of the weekend without stress! I spent as much time in panels as I did in the atrium seating/bar area, chatting with people I'd met before and making new friends. 

This convention was so spectacular because it was the first time I'd attended as a published author with a book on sale in the bookstore. So for the first time, a stranger approached me and said, "I read your book and I really liked it!" And for the first time I really felt part of the author community, not just the writer community and fan community (I'm still a fan though, don't doubt that!).

Saturday night was the banquet, and though I was a little nervous, I hooted and hollered for Darrell when he won, and cheered again when Poisoned Pen author Ann Parker beat out a bunch of heavyweights for the Best Historical award. Even better, I got to sit at a table with my mom, two good friends, and my publisher and (an) editor from Poisoned Pen Press. A great time was had by all, and we looked fabulous!
(from left: Jessica Tribble, me, Annette Rogers)

Why can't we do this every couple months?! Thanks to everyone involved in Left Coast Crime 2012. It was magnificent. See you all at Bouchercon or Left Coast Crime 2013!

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