California Crime Writers Conference wrap-up

Whew! What a whirlwind weekend. I meant to post something sooner but it took me a day or so to recover. Then I took advantage of the momentum and inspiration I felt over the weekend and have actually been plotting. Yes, you got that right – PLOTTING! This coming from a die-hard “I don’t outline” writer.  I’m resurrecting my WIP from a few years ago which is about 3/4 of the way done.  I’m now fired up to finish it. But I need a road map so am pretty much going to have to start over because already, my road map veers way off from my WIP. But I’m excited and that’s what counts.  I even signed up for Camp NaNoWriMo so I have no excuse.

Anyhoo, here are some pics from the conference. You may recognize someone who sat at my table at lunch!  Yup, that’s Walter Mosley.

And here I am moderating the writer – agent – editor panel. It was a full room and nobody seemed like they were falling asleep!

And this was the perfect way to wrap up the conference: fried chicken at Dinah’s with my closest writer friends. Gluten free diet be damned!

 

California Crime Writers Conference June 8 – 9, 2019

It’s almost here! The California Crime Writers Conference is one of my favorite conferences. And it’s in my backyard! Added bonus I don’t have to fly anywhere or stay in a hotel. It’s biennial which makes it all the more exciting when it does arrive. And even though I’m the treasurer, I loved this conference before I became a volunteer.

It’s not a fan conference. It’s mostly learning craft and meeting agents and editors. It’s a chance for me to catch up with friends I haven’t seen in a while while also meeting new ones. This year the tireless co-chairs, Laura Brennan and Jennifer Younger, have done a stellar job organizing and coming up with cool new panels like the Ask Me Anything panel as well as a Hollywood Insiders track. I always come away from the conference feeling invigorated and ready to get behind that keyboard and start typing!

This year I’ll be on two panels: The Winning Team: Writer, Agent, and Editor (which I’m moderating)…

….and The Art and Business of Short Stories.

Can’t wait!

Bouchercon Recap

The whirlwind that is Bouchercon is over. I have mixed feelings about it this year because the first half I spent sick from food poisoning in my hotel room and the second half I felt like I needed to catch up to where everyone else was.  Then I went home early to be with my dog.

So was it worthwhile? Absolutely. I met people I only knew online. I love that feeling like you’re old friends yet you’ve never officially met face to face before. I saw folks I hadn’t seen since last year’s Bouchercon. I talked to a woman who said she was a big fan of my work. That alone was awesome. I never get tired of hearing that (not that I hear it that often).  I sold some books and I signed books. That I will never get tired of either. And of course, I came home with some new books to read.

I didn’t win the Anthony but that’s OK by me. I was in great company and the memory of being an Anthony nominee will stay forever with me.

Best Novella nominees: (S.W. Lauden, John Shepphird, Angel Luis Colon, and me with moderator Baron Birtcher)

One week until Bouchercon!

The countdown is beginning. In exactly one week, I’ll be in Toronto at BOUCHERCON – the biggest mystery conference in the world. I’m extremely excited and nervous. It will be a little different too since FINN is up for an Anthony Award for Best Novella. I’m already giddy and stressed at these conferences because of the panels I have to prepare for and/or moderate but now that’s like being multiplied by 100. Or 1,000.

Don’t get me wrong. I love going to these conferences. These are my people, my tribe. I get to see people I only know online or just see a couple times a year. I get to meet authors/bloggers/readers/publishers I’ve always wanted to meet. I just have to remember to take time out for myself to just chill and re-group so I don’t go into socialization overload shock.

I’ll be participating in the Author Speed Dating on Thursday from 8:00 – 10:00AM. That’s something I’ve done before and it’s always a fun time. I’ll pitch myself and FINN for 2 minutes to 160 people. It’s exhausting, especially having to be there at 7:30AM, but it’s always worth it to meet new readers and authors.

On Friday, I moderate the “Meet the Editors of your Best Anthology Nominees” at 10:00AM.

On Saturday, I’ll be on the “Meet your Novella Nominees” panel at 8:30AM.

Why is everything so damn early in the morning??  

Anyway, I’m excited and it’ll be fantastic to explore a new city. I always come back re-energized, inspired, and seriously motivated to kick ass on my WIP. And yes, hoarse and a little disheveled, but we won’t think about that. 🙂

Anthony Nominee!

 

Left Coast Lessons Learned

I blog today about my time at Left Coast Crime – Honolulu Havoc over at Writing Wranglers and Warriors. It was a whirlwind crazy time that I will never forget.

Debut Nominees: Nadine Nettmann, Marla Cooper, and me – love these ladies!

Cleaning Up Finn is a Lefty Nominee!

I woke up to the amazing and unbelievable news that my little noir novella CLEANING UP FINN is a Lefty nominee for Best Debut Mystery. I am so honored and thrilled and don’t know what to do with myself. I’m in such great company too and am so excited for all my talented writer friends who are also nominated for Best Debut, Best Humorous, Best Historical, and Best Mystery!

A HUGE thank you to the awesome guys at All Due Respect Books, Mike Monson and Chris Rhatigan for believing in FINN.

Here’s the official Press Release: lcc-2017_lefty_award_nominations

Thank you, Left Coast Crime folks….Honolulu, here I come!

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WINDWARD LAUNCH PARTY SAT 11/12

I’ll be heading to Crime Bake this weekend in Dedham, MA for the launch of Level Best Books’ anthology WINDWARD: BEST NEW ENGLAND CRIME STORIES edited by Kimberly Gray, Harriette Sackler, Shawn Reilly Simmons, and Verena Rose. My story “Grateful Touring” features Deadheads, cigarette smuggling, and leaf-peeping.

Crime Bake is one of the first mystery conferences I ever attended, back in 2008, and I absolutely loved it for its intimacy, informative panels, and camaraderie.

I’m really looking forward to this trip. Everything that’s going on post-election is so troubling and seriously getting to me. It will be nice to get away for a bit to concentrate on what I love: books and crime fiction.  Plus I absolutely love Boston.

Hope to see many of you fellow writers and book lovers there!

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Available now on Amazon

BOUCHERCON PICS

What a whirlwind conference and trip. I’m giddy yet exhausted from all the joy and camaraderie that is Bouchercon. I have to say it was one of the best writer conferences I’ve attended in a long time and not just because the food in NOLA is ah-mazing! It was only my second Bouchercon and there will no doubt be more in my future. Crime fiction writers and readers are the best people I could ever hope to know. I feel blessed, humbled, and inspired.

Here are some pics:

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Reading from FINN at Noir at the Bar After Dark – thank you Peter Rozovsky for the photo

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Murder Under the Sun Panel with Jeffrey Hess, Michael Stanely, Annamaria Alfieri, and C. Michele Dorsey. Mysti Berry rocked it as moderator.

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Lee Child moderated a Woman Taking Shots panel that was a conference highlight

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A thrill to meet Walter Mosley for the first time.

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Special thanks to Jonathan Brown, Sonia Brown, and Michael Pool for being my peeps during this conference. You guys rock!

 

BOUCHERCON BOUND!

I’ll be heading to N’awlins tomorrow for the biggest mystery conference and hope to see many of you there. Here’s where I’ll be for sure:

Noir at the Bar After Dark Wednesday Sept. 14 at 9pm at the VooDoo Lounge 14045991_10153641158626431_3587076582977854971_n

Murder Under the Sun panel on Thursday, Sept. 15 at 4:30pm

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After that, you’ll surely find me in the hotel bar, the book room, or Acme Oyster House which is right by our hotel – woo hoo! Cheers!