The skies were overcast, the hotel was set in a foreboding lava landscape, and there was a small earthquake accompanied by a tsunami warning. Perfect conditions for a mystery convention!
Left Coast Crime, Big Island, was one of the longest cons and least attended. 350 people participated and only three tracks were offered. The result was packed rooms, high interest in every panel, and many books sold. Even when the sun finally came out, people chose to stay inside to hear every last panel up until the end of the convention.
Headliners were Barry Eisler, who was teased by everyone for his incredible good looks. Lee Goldberg, the writer of the TV series “Monk,” was a terrific emcee and it was decided he should be the Award Presenter For Life. Rhys Bowen sang how she “Wants to be Rich” like authors bringing in the big bucks.
I, along with several other authors, were introduced at a breakfast and got to tell a bit about ourselves. After I spoke, several authors ran up for hugs: Lou Allin, a Canadian crime writer and Sue Ann Jaffarian, author of the Odelia Grey series. I'd featured them both in the Murder Circle and it was great to meet them in person. Lou invited me to Bloody Words 2011, which will be in Victoria, BC.
I met Cindy Sample, a Sacramento SinC, and we palled around the rest of the conference. She invited me to speak to her chapter in the fall. She also brought me into the LCC planning committee and I got an inside look at how these conventions are planned.
For me, Hawaii offered an opportunity to see a live volcano, walk through a lava tube, drink lots of Mai Tais and reconnect with friends, make new friendships and stand between hunks Barry Eisler and Jason Starr. I can't wait for us all to get together at LCC 2010 in Pasadena.