Left Coast Crime: Sunshine and Snowflurries

It’s hard to believe that this time last week was the final day for that most winsome and winning of conferences, Left Coast Crime. What a whirlwind!

Luckily, Writing in the Dark (this blog, doncha know) had special guest and fabulous historical noir writer, Becky Cantrell, to keep the fires burning. We could’ve used a hearth or two in Denver, where the snow flurries drifted and spun down the eerily quiet 16th Street pedestrian mall, settling into small snow drifts, as powdery as your grandmother’s compact.

I had a lot of fun at LCC, and over the next few days, I’m going to post some pictures to prove it. There were too many highlights to unwrap them all in one blog, even though I tried to hit a few high notes when I guested over at the ever cool Crime Always Pays blog of friend and top writer Declan Burke (also known as the Irish Elmore Leonard–his books are amazing!).

I met a lot of new friends, people I’d only met virtually … like Robert Gregory Browne, an amazing writer from the Killer Year class who is an utterly wonderful guy to hang around with. J.T. Ellison, another KY alum, whom I felt like I’d known forever. Jeri Westerson (the creator of Medieval Noir with her Crispin Guest series, coming this fall) and I met in the signing room and talked about hard-boiled history and teaming up for a panel.

I met the wonderful Jeanne Stein over dinner, Margie Lawson, the amazing editor and writing coach. The delightful Toni McGee Causey. Tireless volunteer and the Birdwatcher’s Mystery Series creator Christine Goff. And the list goes on, because the writing community really is a special one, filled with generous, fascinating and talented people, and even though I tried, I didn’t get to share a drink with them all.

I hung around with panel mates and author friends from Northern California, like Cornelia Read (don’t miss out on Crazy School!). I got to see out of state friends like Lost Dog author, Rocky nominee and KY member Bill Cameron (he who christened The Big Noo The Big Noo) … Laura Benedict, the author of the fantastic Isabella Moon, and ITW Debut Program leader CJ Lyons, who launched her first novel Lifelines at LCC, a gripping medical thriller that is just one hell of a good book.

In other words, I was surrounded by amazing talent. And friends. And wonderful, wonderful readers, librarians, booksellers, publishers. In short, it was nirvana. In short, a hell of a conference.

Sunshine in the day; snow flurries at night; and a whirlwind of excitement, conversation, clinking glasses, scintillating panels, costume contests, and nonstop, crazy fun. Left Coast Crime. I can’t wait til I can do it all over again in 2009 (albeit with no snow flurries).

Next up: more photos from LCC and news about a newly discovered Noel Coward play and Czar of Noir Eddie Muller! And hey–if you were there, or have ever been to a conference or ever thought about going to a conference–leave a comment! 🙂