05 April 2012
Left Coast Crime Report (sort of)
I've been completely negligent in reporting on Left Coast Crime. Yes, I deserve several dozen lashes with a wet noodle, but to be honest, I spent more time putting out fires than anything else.
Apart from my own panel, "Start 'Em Young" (photos here), I only attended a few sessions.
The first one was "Cultures and Communities" on Friday morning. Moderated by Deborah Ledford, with panelists Wayne Arthurson, Cara Black, Naomi Hirahara, and Heidi Noroozy , it was a spirited discussion about whether the cultural background of the protagonist affects his/her approach to investigating.
Following that was Tough Chicks, moderated by Sophie Littlefield, with panelists Lisa Brackmann, Denise Hamilton, Julie Kramer, and Helene Tursten. Unsurprisingly, the protagonists of all their novels tend to be strong, independent women. Perhaps surprisingly, some time was spent on exactly what was meant by the term "tough chick".
Next was a panel called "Your Hero does What?" with moderator Juliet Blackwell and panelists Clem Chambers, Bill Fitzhugh, G.M. Malliet, and Tina Whittle, whose protagonists all have somewhat unorthodox professions.
I was really tired after that, and after lunch spent the better part of the afternoon napping.
Saturday, I was too nervous to do much before my 11:30 a.m. panel, but after lunch went to "Been There, Wrote That: A Game Show" hosted by Gar Anthony Haywood, who said he came up with the idea after a fan asked him about a detail in one of his books, which he just couldn't remember. Lisa Brackman, Bruce DeSilva, Catriona McPherson, and Brad Parks were the contestants. Bruce's memory of tiny details in books he wrote years ago was absolutely uncanny. And Brad has a lovely singing voice, though I may never get the tune of "Edelweiss" out of my head.
That was the last complete panel I was able to get to, though I did drop in on the Liar's Panel on Sunday morning. One of the most popular panels at almost every Left Coast Crime, it was moderated by Rhys Bowen, with panelists John Billheimer, Bill Fitzhugh, Rita Lakin and Alex Sokoloff.
Saturday night was the banquet and the awards were handed out. Rather than list them yet again, I'll send you to Mystery Fanfare, the blog of Janet Rudolph, a member of the Left Coast Crime standing committee.
Next year's convention will be held at the Cheyenne Mountain Resort in Colorado Springs from March 21st to 24th.
Oh, by the way, recordings of the sessions at Mining for Murder are available from VW Tapes.