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

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Left Coast Crime

I've just returned from four wonderful days in Monterey, CA at Left CoastCrime

As my career settles firmly into the mystery “camp” I find I enjoy these mystery conferences, which are reader focused rather than craft focus as romance conferences tend to be.

Each day was full of opportunities to spot my favorite “big name” authors such as William Kent Kruger, Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, Donna Andrews, Catherine Coulter, and many others, as well as spend time with emerging, up and coming authors who are friends: Donnell Bell, Susan Boyer, Alexandra Sokoloff, Allison Brennan, Nancy Parra/Nancy Coco and the wonderful “Sparkle Abbey” team (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter). I could go on for pages (and I'd still miss mentioning someone!), but then I couldn't mention all the new authors I met, putting faces with people I met through my work with the International Thriller Writers Debut Author program, and the fabulous readers. Oh, the readers! These are readers who devour mysteries, parsing the spectrum of cozy to amateur sleuth, understanding the nuances all the way over to hard boiled, noir and horror.


The conference officially consists of a series of panels. While a few are geared toward industry news (emerging trends, self-publishing, social media), most are meant to explore an aspect of the mystery genre: Cozy Noir, Manors and Manners, Why Authors Write Humor into Mysteries, and the well attended Sex, Death and Taxes (how can I not mention Harley Jane Kozak).

I sat on a panel titled The Voices in our Head, along with William Easley, Donnell Bell, and Terry Shames. The moderator, Peg Brantley, and audience asked questions which sparked great discussions about characterization, inspiration as well as process. It's always fun to hear how others go about this (slightly crazy) business of writing a novel. Of course, there were also the New Authors author breakfast, dinners with fellow Sisters In Crime members, and (I'm sure you're stunned) the bar, where lots of networking—and a little drinking—occurred.

And Donnell, Susan and I found the perfect spot to unwind Sunday afternoon, post-conference, at a tapas and wine bar overlooking the harbor... 

Yes, it's a tough gig...  

What about you? Have you attended a conference recently? Have a favorite?



And don't forget our multi-author giveaway! Check out the rafflecopter for ways to enter. 


18 comments:

Kathy Bennett said...

Hi Cathy,

It was so nice to finally put a face to the name I see on Facebook!

I know I had a blast at LCC and everyone I've talk to did too. It was a fabulous event.

I agree with you about the interaction with the readers. I love it! I'm sure our paths will cross again and I hope we can get a longer time to chat!

Shirley Wells said...

I love conferences, Cathy. I haven't been to one for ages, and I'm sure ours in the UK are much, much smaller affairs, but I love talking crime and mystery with readers and fellow authors. The bar, of course, is perfect place for this. :)

Glad you had such an exciting time!

Anne Marie Becker said...

Thanks for the update - sounds like a fabulous time! For some reason, I rarely hear about the mystery conferences (other than Thrillerfest) until it's too late - will have to work on that in 2014/15!

Marcelle Dubé said...

Sounds like a wonderful conference, Cathy -- I'm quite envious!

Rebecca Grace said...

Cathy
I'm so sorry I didn't get a chance to see you or Kathy Bennett and say hello. Yes, that was a great conference. I always enjoy Left Coast Crime and come home exhausted. I was on a wonderful panel with Susan Boyer on Saturday. Hope to see you next time!

Rita said...

I enjoy the small reader writer conferences also. I tend more toward the thriller and those are few and far between. I'm thinking these smaller cons will become the'thing' in the future. Thanks for sharing this info

kathryn jane said...

thanks for sharing Cathy! I'm going to RWA National for the first time this year, but next year, due to what I've learned from you and several other posting about LCC, I think I'll be heading to Portland in March :)

Cathy Perkins said...

It was wonderful finally meeting you Kathy! Am I hearing B'con this year?

Cathy Perkins said...

Shirley - London Book Fair! A group of my friends are going this year but I couldn't swing it. As much as y'all love mysteries (our Mystery, Thriller, Horror box set sells well in the UK!) surely there are more events?

Cathy Perkins said...

Anne Marie - we must talk! Bang Bang was this month in the midwest, Chicago I think; Sleuthfest, last month in Florida; Killer Nashville (that one I must go to one year); Crime Bake is sometime; and B'con in November. Then there's Thrillerfest in NY in July...

Cathy Perkins said...

Marcelle - we must tempt you south into the States for at least one of these!

Cathy Perkins said...

Rebecca, I must have just missed you! I sat in on one of Susan's panels. There were so many wonderful options, too bad I couldn't clone myself and see them all.

Cathy Perkins said...

We'll have to have a NYUS meet-up in Portland next year Kathryn Jane!

Cathy Perkins said...

Did you go to Sleuthfest, Rita? It's in Florida and I hear it's a lot of fun!

Kathy Bennett said...

Yes, Cathy…I'll be at Bouchercon this year. It will be my second one. Can't wait!

Cathy Perkins said...

We'll have to get together at B'con, Kathy!

Susan M. Boyer said...

It was a wonderful conference, wasn't it? Great mix of panels and don't get me started on Monterrey! Great post--it put me right back there. It was so great spending time with you! Can't wait to see you again at Bouchercon!

Nancy G. West said...

Cathy,
You brought back the beautiful setting of Monterey and wonderful fun of Left Coast Crime - one of my favorite conferences. I'm sorry we didn't meet, especially when you enjoyed libations with friends at the seaside.
Nancy G. West
Aggie Mundeen Mysteries
www.nancygwest.com

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