NOT YOUR USUAL SUSPECTS

A group blog featuring an international array of killer mystery, suspense, and romantic suspense writers. With premises and story lines different from your run-of-the-mill whodunits, we tend to write outside the box. We blog several times a week on all topics relating to romantic suspense and mystery, our writing, and our readers. We welcome all comments and often have guest bloggers. All our authors can be contacted separately, too, using their own social media links.

We find our genre delightfully, dangerously, and deliciously exciting - join us here, if you do too!


Julie Moffet . Clare London . Cathy Perkins . Jean Harrington . Daryl Anderson . Nico Rosso . Maureen A Miller . Sandy Parks . Lisa Q Mathews . Sharon Calvin . Lynne Connolly . Janis Patterson . Vanessa Keir . Tonya Kappes . Julie Rowe . Joni M Fisher . Leslie Langtry

Monday, April 3, 2017

Hawaiian Adventures, A blizzard & An Alias

I go to a lot of writers' events. What can I say? I'm a total book and industry junkie. I'm also a severe introvert - until I'm surrounded by my people, and then I'm just plain excited. So, when I heard this year's Left Coast Crime Conference was planned for Honolulu, I signed up and started packing!


Left Coast Crime is an annual Author-Reader convention held at a different location on the West Coast each year. I live in Ohio, so I'd never given it much thought until I saw that location. HONOLULU! Well, I'm so glad I went!

It was the experience of a lifetime. From driving to Toronto at night in an East Coast blizzard, to missing our first plane, being stranded at the Toronto airport, then again overnight at the Chicago airport, then finally arriving on our should-have-been 18-hour trip a whopping 42-hours later. It was an adventure. I called it other things along the way as well, but adventure also works.

We left in a dangerous winter blizzard, white knuckling the desolate highway through New York and Canada, but we arrived in paradise.

Totally worth it.

The view from my room was amazing. The hotel, Hilton Hawaiian Village, was amazing. Everything was jaw-dropping gorgeous.


Then, I got to the conference. Surrounded by books and readers and authors, oh my! And for the first time ever....I was Julie Chase in the flesh. I write under two pen names now, plus my actual name-name, but I'm very open about the fact that I am those other names. The names were a publisher request that I rolled along with. Regardless, I'd never gone around introducing myself as someone else before. It was....odd. But I met lots of other authors who do it too. They do it for all sorts of reasons and do it well. So, I'll figure it out eventually. Heck, I barely answer to my own name most days.... I'm a mess. Let's get back to the trip.

Thanks to the blessed blizzard, I'd missed the Author Speed Dating and a panel where I would have promoted Julie Chase's debut novel, Cat Got Your Diamonds,  BUT I was there to moderate my Saturday panel and meet my new author friends in person.


I also walked to a local hotel and had breakfast with another author, Maia Chance, and four readers who'd signed up for an Author-Reader Connection. Honestly, we all just felt like old friends. Books do that to people. You know? Then, I co-hosted a table with Marla Cooper during the Lefty Awards Banquet, which was lovely.


When the conference ended, I stayed on for another couple of days and got away from the resort a bit. I ate with locals, my husband had this bizarre surfer breakfast called a Loco Moco which consisted of a hamburger patty on brown rice, topped with 2 eggs and served in gravy. I laugh every time I remember his face when the thing arrived. I mostly stuck with pineapple and banana everything, and it was all perfect.


From there, we walked the streets. Took a dinner cruise. I ate a lobster for the first time. That was an adventure all by itself. We went whale watching, visited Pearl Harbor and toured the North Shore. I also ate a ton of shave ice.



I have to say, whether you're a reader or a writer, I hope you will one day get the chance to leave your cares behind and travel to a destination conference like this. Thanks to these kinds of events, I've been all over my home state, to Nashville, New Orleans, Chicago, Kentucky and many places I would never have made it otherwise. I've also made friends to last a lifetime. I've learned more about the books and authors I love, and explored new towns. I'm shoring up an admirable pile of life experiences to share with my children one day and my readers as soon as possible.

Oh! An added bonus with these conferences it that the hotels are always heavily discounted, saving you lots of money, and for the writers out there,,,,you can write it all off on your taxes. Huzzah! Business Trip! Ain't writing grand?


I have two more big trips this year. I will be in Orlando for the RWA conference in July, and in Toronto for Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, this October. Will I see any of you there? Where will your bookish life take you?

4 comments:

Anne Marie Becker said...

Looks like so much fun, Julie! And you deserve it after traveling through a blizzard. 42 hours?! Yikes. Was there much romantic suspense at Left Coast Crime? They were in Phoenix last year, and I almost went but decided I might not fit in. But I'm curious if RS has a contingent there... Glad you got home safely! :D

jean harrington said...

Hi Julie, Sounds like a great trip. I remember the Hilton Hawaiian Village very well. Glad the conference was a hit even if getting there wasn't! Good luck with your new release.

Marcelle Dubé said...

My goodness, Julie -- I think we'll make you an honourary Canadian for surviving that trip! I'm glad you finally made it and had a good time. I'm seriously thinking of going to Bouchercon this year, so maybe I'll see you there!

Lisa Q. Mathews said...

Loved your post, Julie!! The next best thing to being there (see my jealousy post, ha). Wish you were coming to Malice.

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