LCC 2014

Left Coast Crime 2014: Photos from Monterey

I'm back from Left Coast Crime, feeling incredibly inspired by all the mystery readers and writers I talked with and heard speak over the long weekend. Here are some highlights:

Sophie Littlefield was a saint and got up before dawn to drive to Monterey with me in time for my Thursday morning panel, Leap of Faith: Writers Who Took Alternative Paths to Publication.

Here I am with fellow panelists Cindy Sample, Claire Johnson, Barbara M. Hodges, and Chuck Rosenberg (a fantastic moderator). We each had a completely different story about our path to publication, so it was a lot of fun to discuss our varied experiences.

Juliet Blackwell and Sophie Littlefield at dinner. 

 New pal Tracy Weber talking about her debut novel at the New Author Breakfast.

Coffee with the Dana Kaye crew: Sophie Littlefield, Ray Daniel, and Lynne Raimondo.

Mysti Berry at the San Francisco mysteries panel, with moderator Randal Brandt, a librarian at the UC Berkeley Bancroft Library who keeps a bibliography of mysteries set in the San Francisco Bary Area.

An impromptu "Noir at the Bar."

 Hanging out with the MacRae siblings, Andy and Molly, both of whom write mysteries!

 Catching up with short story writer Pat Morin between her volunteer duties.

 Henery Press authors at LCC: me, Susan Boyer, Diane Vallere, and Kendel Lynn.

Wonderful to meet my new Midnight Ink editor, Terri Bischoff, in person. I'm incredibly blessed to be working with such awesome editors.

 Running into one of my literary idols, Aaron Elkins.
I still have to pinch myself that this is my life. Two years ago, Aaron graciously read my first novel, before we'd ever met and before I was published. He ended up loving it and giving it an amazing blurb, which made me feel like I'd made it as an author before I even had a book out. We met for the first time when he was being honored at Malice Domestic last year, and now that I know him it's even more fun to see him.

With fellow panelists of Mystery Far Afield: Anne Cleeland, Lisa Alber, Aileen Baron, and moderator Jeffrey Siger (who I want to pack in my suitcase to be my moderator at all conventions). Very cool to be on a panel with pal Lisa, whose first book Kilmoon came out just this week!

With Lisa Alber at our signing.

 Hanging out with fellow Guppies Donnell Bell, Susan Boyer, and Leslie Karst.

Portland pals Holly Franko, Cindy Brown, and Lisa Alber.

 At the banquet dinner with Fan Guest of Honor Sue Trowbridge.

 I was having such a good time that it was difficult to take a break and head out of the hotel, but I'm glad I did. On a waterfront walk, I got to stretch my legs and see dozens of sea lions like these two.

In spite of several days of not enough sleep, the convention left me energized. I've got one week until a draft of Jaya Book 3 is due to my editor, so it's time to get back to work!