Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Left Coast Crime: Report 1

Last weekend, I attended the Left Coast Crime conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Below are the first set of photos from the event. I'll post another report tomorrow with more photos.

Wednesday, I drove down from Colorado Springs, checked into the hotel, then went to the Otowi Station Bookstore in Los Alamos, NM, for a signing. If you're ever in Los Alamos, you've got to stop in there! What a fun collection of children's science toys and all kinds of books (they're next to the science museum in town), and the two owners, Peggy and Michele, are very nice & friendly. The next photo is of me with two store customers who bought copies of Deadly Currents at that signing.

Thursday, I spent the morning checking in, schmoozing, and figuring out where all the conference rooms were. The first panel I attended was after lunch: "Santa Fe, the City of Different", with Susan Paturzo, Joe Badal, Margaret Coel, and Susan Shea, as shown in the photo below. After volunteering in the Hospitality Suite, I went to the "Short But Not Sweet: Short Stories" panel with Jane Burfield, Stephen D. Rogers, Lance Zarimba, Patricia Morin, and Michael Bracken, shown in the second photo below.

After that was a dinner at Milagro 139 with 20 members of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America that I had arranged. The meals were delicious, the margaritas were flowing, and Denise Dietz, editor for Five Star, gave a brief talk and answered a few questions. The next three photos are from that dinner.

Friday morning I went to the New Authors Breakfast where 16 first-time authors took turns pitching their mystery books. After that, I attended the "Crafts, Hobbies & Murders" panel with good friends and cozy mystery authors Christine Goff (birdwatcher series), Maggie Sefton (knitting series), Avery Aames (cheese shop series), and Camille Minichino (miniature series). Next, I sat in on the "Industry Professionals on Publishing" panel manned by agents and editors with their thoughts on the state of the mystery business, and the publishing business in general.

Then came my own "Murder in the Great Outdoors" with Sandi Ault, Michael Norman, and Twist Phelan. We each brought a few items we took with us into the great outdoors while researching our books. Mine were a PFD (personal floatation device), whistle, and pocketknife. Also, Sandi and her husband crafted a wonderful slide show of photos of us doing outdoor activities & research and of some joke images of celebrities holding our photo-shopped-in books. People kept coming up to me later to tell me how much they enjoyed the panel, so I'm very pleased with its reception! The next photo is from that panel.

Next was a late lunch at Cafe Pasquel's with historical mystery author and long-time friend Ann Parker (photo below).

We got back to La Fonda in time for Toastmaster Steve Brewer's interview of New Mexico author Steven Havill, which was very interesting and entertaining. We reconvened in the ballroom a half hour later for a blessing ceremony performed by the Ice Mountain Dance Group from the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo. The rest of the photos are from that ceremony.

Stay tuned for tomorrow's report, with photos of my most embarrassing moment at the conference!


Mario Acevedo said...

Great pics. Our chapter paid for that ceremony. Looks awesome.

G.M. Malliet said...

The dancers were wonderful. Thanks for posting these, Beth. Terrific conference!

G.M. Malliet said...

P.S. I just read the comment from Mario. I want to send a huge thanks to your chapter! The ceremony really was a highlight for me. The youngest dancer, the very little one who was barely old enough to walk, was a complete delight.

Beth Groundwater said...

It was an awesome ceremony, Mario! The floor was shaking with the stomping feet, and the little kids were especially cute. The crowd gave the group a standing ovation after they finished.