Monday, April 2, 2012

Highlights from Left Coast Crime

by L.J. Sellers, author of provocative mysteries & thrillers
This blog was founded after a group of us met at Left Coast Crime last year in Santa Fe, and three of us made it to LCC again this year in Sacramento.

It was a terrific conference with guests of honor such as John Lescroart, whom I was lucky enough to meet when I moderated a panel about Writing the Criminal Mind. (William Kent Krueger, Rick Reed, and Denise Hamilton were also panelists.) Rick Reed told harrowing stories about encounters with criminals, including a serial killer, and John Lescroart expanded on his belief that the best way to reveal the criminal mind is through dialogue.

I also participated as a panelist for the subject: Writing Is a Real Job. Simon Wood, a top-ranked Amazon author, moderated. The panel included a ghost writer, an author who also runs a small publishing company, and a screenwriter/novelist—giving the audience a wide view of how various writers make a living.

One of the most interesting panels I attended discussed the new age of movie-making, and how inexpensive and easy it is now to create a high-production-value film, then expose it to potentially millions of viewers through You Tube.

Then there was the Men of Mystery panel, in which we heard from more than a dozen authors, many of them quite humorous. The moderators also entertained us with video clips—writers heads digitally imposed on dancers of all types, including Chippendales. Hysterical! Wish I had a good photo of it.

And I had a blast hanging out with other CFC bloggers, Gayle Carline and Marlyn Beebe (who read and reviewed many of the award-nominated books). As well as good friends Teresa Burrell, Terry Shames, Susan Shea, Terry Odell, Simon Wood—and I could go on and on. The best thing about these conferences is the opportunity to talk shop with others who love this business as much as I do.


  1. I enjoyed your panels, L.J. Another highlight was the Sex in Mystery Panel. I was there with Allison Brennan, Deborah Coonts, and Denise Hamilton. We had a blast (and the champagne didn't hurt, either ... tongues were loosened).

    Another topic of discussion (regardless of the panel, it seemed) ended up being a discussion of e-publishing. I know there are a bunch of Amazon Select advocates in this group, but I shared some news about the Nook First program (which isn't the equivalent, rather a different approach). I've shared those findings at my blog today.

    It was wonderful seeing so many friends and meeting the real life versions of cyberfriends

    Terry's Place
    Romance with a Twist--of Mystery

  2. It sounds like a wonderful conference. Congratulations to Maryln who had a hand in making it happen.

    Were there a lot of readers there?

  3. I missed it, so I enjoyed your comments. Maybe next year I can attend.

  4. Sounds like you had a blast, LJ! Wish I'd been able to make it again this year. I'll certainly try for next year! I love writers' conferences. Am off to Tallahassee in May to attend some workshops by Jessica Page Morrell and others.

  5. Wow! It will take me a few days to recover from it, but it was so much fun and so educating.

    I enjoyed all the panels I made it to between solving problems, and it was great to see some old friends and meet new ones (like Gayle -- still can't believe we'd never met before!).

    Thank you all so much for your wonderful feedback!

  6. BTW, I hope to post some thoughts and photos tomorrow on Stuff and Nonsense.
    Thanks for covering for me today, LJ!

  7. So where's next year's LCC conference going to be held? I want to make sure I make it!

  8. Jodie, the conference next year is in Colorado Springs! I just registered!

  9. I really wish I could have gone this time, but unfortunately, life got in the way. Last year in Santa Fe was one of my most memorable because I made so many great new friends, including my buddies here on CFC. Hopefully next year I won't miss out again.

    So glad you were able to take it all in and report back to those of us who missed out.


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