Next week I’m going to Left Coast Crime, a convention sponsored by fans of mystery literature for fans of mystery literature. Officially it is the “Western North American Regional Mystery Conference”. “Western” is defined by the Mountain Time Zone and zones westward to Hawaii. The conference is held yearly in the first quarter of the calendar year and rotates north to south on an annual basis.
Last year was my first time at Left Coast Crime. It was held in Portland, and I went by myself, not knowing what to expect. It rained a lot, I guess because it was in Portland, and I never left the hotel, but I had a terrific time and met a lot of other mystery writers and mystery readers.
So I decided I’d go again this year. It’s being held in Phoenix, and it’s called The Great Cactus Caper. The American Guest of Honor is Gregg Hurwitz, and the International Guest of Honor is Ann Cleeves.
Last year I was on a panel with four other mystery writers, and we had a topic: “She Said, She Said: Writing the Female Protagonist”. It was a lot of fun, the moderator (Meg Gardiner) and the other panelists were great, and the pressure wasn’t all on me.
This year I have been assigned twenty minutes in a room by myself where I can do
anything I want (within reason, of course). I’ve chosen as my topic “It’s Never Too Late.” As a writer who only began publishing really late in life, I plan to talk about becoming a writer and writing seriously after retirement. I just hope that I’m not talking only to myself!
Now I need to spend some time planning what I’m going to say. If, indeed, there’s anyone there to say it to. I hope that some of the participants, both fans and writers, will want to hear what I have to say.
Wish me luck!