by Maggie Sefton
I'm back from the Left Coast Crime mystery conference in Sacramento, CA I attended Thursday through Sunday last week---and I'm REALLY glad I went. This particular conference which is always held in the Western part of the U.S. (hence, the name Left Coast Crime) is always well attended by readers and fans of the mystery novel in all its forms. And there are many, many of your favorite writers in attendance as well. Everything from Thrillers to Cozy and everything in between is represented. And---this year, there was plenty of attention paid to the blossoming New World of E-books.
I was participating on two panels this year---one, which emphasized Cozy mysteries, so I spoke about the Kelly Flynn Knitting Mysteries at that one. The second panel dealt with "Setting" in mysteries and why authors chose certain places for their novels to take place. And that panel was the perfect place for me to spread the word about my upcoming new mystery series set in my old hometown, Washington, DC. Those are the Molly Malone suspense mysteries. The first in that series is Deadly Politics and will be out this August 2012.
Great turnout for both panels. The rooms were packed each time, and people were standing in the rear. That's a great feeling for an author---to see so many people show up to hear about books they loved to read and new books on the horizon.
Panels are fun, but the main reason I enjoy conferences is because I get to meet readers and fans. I've been enough times now, that I recognize faces! That's always fun. Conferences are also a wonderful way to renew acquaintances with fellow mystery writers. Re-connect with old friends and make new ones! This year, I met several of the new mystery writers. But Catriona McPherson, from Scotland, now living near Sacramento, stands out. Delightfully thick Scottish accent, and a wicked sense of humor. :)
At the end of April, I'll be in Washington, DC for another mystery conference, Malice Domestic. More old friends, and hopefully, lots of new faces as well.