Left Coast Crime Replay by Paty Jager

Last month, March 22-24, I attended the 2018 Left Coast Crime conference in Reno, NV. It was a five and a half hour drive from my home.  A friend and I left Wednesday morning and took our time driving through rain, snow, and sleet to get there.

speed dating
Laurie and I at Speed Dating

Thursday morning started with a speed dating event where two authors were teamed up and we moved from table to table talking about our books to readers who remained at the tables.  There were 20 tables of 6-8 people per tables. It was a lot of fun. My “dating” partner was Lauri Rockenbeck.  She had her first book out, and I was pitching my Shandra Higheagle Series.

I attended a couple of the panels that day and hung out with my friend.

Friday morning I was on the panel “I Still Miss Someone: Ghosts, Hauntings, & Horror” with Michele Drier, Margaret Lucke, Catherine Paul, and Jo Perry.  We talked about the supernatural elements in our books. Michele was the narrator and did an excellent job with great questions and keeping things moving.

Panel 2018
My Panel

After my panel I popped in on a couple others where friends were speaking. Then I had lunch with an up and coming writer, who had contacted me before the conference to see if I would take the time from the conference and talk to her about writing and the business side of things. It was fun to meet Heather and share knowledge.

Friday evening, I attended the interview with William Kent Krueger. He was, as always, entertaining.  He told how he took his 10 year-old grandson with them on a trip to Arizona to learn about about human trafficking and the border wars.  He said while no one would open up to him,when his grandson asked questions, they would respond to him.  And that was how Kent found the information he needed for his book Sulphur Springs which won the Lefty Award on Saturday night.

Saturday morning, I read the first chapter of Artful Murder at a “You Had Me At…” where authors could read for ten minutes and talk about their books or do a demonstration.  After I read, a talk was given by Nancy Tingley on “Art Historians as Detectives”. I found it fascinating and made sure I watched a few more of these types of presentations by authors.

Sundae Social
Sundae Social

Saturday afternoon, I hosted my Sundae Social at Rosie’s Cafe in the casino.  Thirteen readers signed up and twelve showed up. I was excited to have so many come. I purchased vanilla ice cream in dishes for them, and I’d brought along toppings for them to make their own sundaes, while I visited and talked about my books. They all went away saying it was the best event they’d been to during the conference, because they had one on one time with an author and enjoyed ice cream!  I enjoyed each person who came.

I didn’t go to the banquet on Saturday night as a romance author friend who lives in Reno was meeting me for dinner. We had a great time catching up and talking writing.

While standing in line to pay and pick up the silent auction item I won, I started up a conversation with the author behind me (can’t remember his name), and he suggested my Shandra Higheagle books sounded like the the new category Cozy Noir that he’d heard about while at the conference.  Anyone else heard of this?

Sunday morning my friend and I rose, packed up, and headed home.  For this introvert writer, it was an exhausting weekend just having to stay in a open, welcoming mode for the readers and the authors I connected with.

As a reader and/or author are you a person who thrives on the energy of a conference or do you find it exhausting?

SH Mug Art (2)

I Love Writing Mysteries Except… by Paty Jager

I’ve been working on the next Shandra Higheagle book. It will be book #9 and it is set around Halloween.  On top of it being book #9 and a bit of a Halloween setting, it will have an orange cat on the cover.  I love when I have fun ideas come to me. I decided since Sheba the dog found the body in Yuletide Slaying and was on the cover, the October release, Haunting Corpse, should have the cat, Lewis, find the body and be on the cover. I wonder if I can come up with Shandra’s horse Apple finding a body for a future book?   LOL

Besides having fun coming up with murders, figuring out why the person was killed and how, and who the killer is, I enjoy coming up with the premise and the titles just as much.  I would have to say the only thing I don’t like about writing murder mystery books is the fact most of the big mystery contests and conferences don’t feel a self-pub or Indie book/author has anything of value to give on a panel or their books aren’t good enough to be in contests. Otherwise, I love it all! And I wish I had stayed with mysteries when I first started writing all those years ago.

I’m looking forward to attending Left Coast Crime Reader/ Author event March 22-25, 2018 in Reno, Nevada. It’s fun talking with other authors and meeting new readers. If I’m lucky I’ll get on a panel but because I’m an Indie Author and can only be a moderator or if there is a panel with not enough “traditionally” published authors to fill it and I meet the criteria, I might get on a panel.

Romance Writers of America have embraced the self-published author but the mystery genre is still a bit behind the times.

That is the one thing I don’t like about writing mystery.

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