A guest post by Brad Parks.
Hers’ was the very first face I saw at this, my very first Left Coast Crime.
It turns out I wasn’t wrong. And my groupie was a big part of the reason why. Over the next few days, it seemed
like we saw each other everywhere. We bumped into each other in the book room
and had a nice chat. We ended up together at the Tough Chicks panel, where
Sophie Littlefield charmed us with her moderating abilities. (I think my
groupie might also be a Sophie Littlefield groupie. But that’s okay… I
encourage my groupies to read broadly and develop their passions for other
We commingled at the bar (naturally) and
in the hospitality room and in the lobby and after the social networking panel
and, well, just about everywhere. And maybe it sounds like she was taking the
groupie thing a little too far – to the point of stalking – but, of course, I
was stalking her, too. We chatted about books we liked and books we loved. We
talked about reviewing and why certain things got stars and others didn’t. We
talked about her daughter’s wedding and my kids’ reading habits and her career
and my career and everything in between.
These chats were spread out over the
course of several days and they were always getting interrupted by something.
But that’s the beauty of a conference like Left Coast Crime. It’s big enough that
there’s always something to move onto next but small enough that you know
you’ll always have a chance to continue that conversation later. And it gives
you the chance to get to know people in more than just a passing way. If anything, my groupie and I got so
well acquainted that she’s really not a groupie anymore – I managed to knock
myself down off that pedestal in her eyes and become just another guy.
But that’s okay. Because now she’s a
friend. And isn’t that one of the main reasons we come to these things in the
Brad Parks is a winner of the Nero Award and the Shamus Award. His latest book, The Girl Next Door, was released by St.
Martin’s Press/Minotaur Books on March 13.
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