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Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

I was in New Mexico last week, visiting family in Albuquerque and making a one day stop at the Left ...conference in Santa Fe, otherwise known as THE BIG CHILE.

 

The Big Chile - Left Coast Crime 2011

 

Several familiar authors were there, including last week's featured author, BETH GROUNDWATER.

 

(You can see the full list here:  http://www.leftcoastcrime.org/2011/attendees.html)

 

Beth checked in with daily updates from the conference, that you can read about here: http://bookclubs.barnesandnoble.com/t5/Mystery/Please-Welcome-Author-BETH-GROUNDWATER/m-p/911462/mes...

 

 

Left Coast Crime 2011

Santa Fe, New Mexico
March 24-27, 2011

At the historic La Fonda Hotel
La Fonda Santa Fe
la fonda

 

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

Sisters in Crime

 

Dorothy B. Hughes: Ghost of Honor

By Jeffrey Marks
This year, one of Left Coast Crime's Ghosts of Honor is Dorothy B. Hughes, one of my favorite authors. The conference is being held March 24 - 27 in Santa Fe. I’d love to be leaving the cold behind to head for New Mexico but, alas, I’m going to be admiring from afar. I sent off a basket of books to the conference, mainly novels by Hughes.
hughes

Hughes and I share bonds in the mystery world. First, she so very kindly offered her assistance to me when I was writing my biography of Craig Rice. I corresponded with her about Craig and their common bond of being women authors in the 1940s. Hughes shared stories of sitting on the front porch with Craig and Anthony Boucher, drinking lemonade and talking about books and reviews. She was generous with information that helped to round out Craig’s character.

After her death, I wrote about Hughes in Atomic Renaissance, devoting a chapter to her works, her Hollywood career, and her decision to give up writing to care for her family. Her last novel, The Expendable Man, is a work of art. For 50 pages, we see the nervous energy of the protagonist as he picks up a blonde who is later murdered. His anxiety is so palpable that you wonder as a reader why he’s so paranoid, until Hughes lets you in on his secret. I can’t tell you the secret, because it would spoil the novel, but it’s definitely worth reading for yourself. For a last novel, it was a wonderful way to go.

I was amazed at some of the fantastic works (Dread JourneyThe Blackbirder and others) by Hughes that hold up 50 years after their publication. Of course, she is best known for In A Lonely Place, a masterpiece that is overlooked too often. It covers the anxiety and darkness of the men who have been taught to kill in World War II and who must return home to fit into a society that no longer appreciates that skill. If it wasn’t for the Bogart film, the book would likely not be remembered at all.

Finally, Hughes and I have one more bond in common. We’ve both written a biography of Erle Stanley Gardner. Her book in 1978 used significant parts of Gardner’s own memoirs, while mine is hoping to cement Gardner’s place in the genre with more analysis of his work in the field. Hers is done — and I am immensely jealous of that! I’m still writing the 1950s, but working to finish that decade in the next few weeks. And off to Mississippi in a few weeks for more research!

Who Was That Lady? 


Jeffrey Marks is the award-winning author of Who Was That Lady? Craig Rice: Queen of the Screwball Mystery, Atomic Renaissance: Women Mystery Writers of the 1940s and 1950s, and the Anthony Award-winning  Anthony Boucher . He is also the author of the U.S. Grant mystery series that includes The Ambush of My Name and A Good Soldier. Marks lives in Cincinnati.

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

smith

Lifetime Achievement:
Martin Cruz Smith

smith


Guest of Honor:
Margaret Coel

 

smith

 

Guest of Honor:
Steven Havill

 

brewer

Toastmaster:
Steve Brewer

 

marv

 

Fan Guest of Honor:
Marvin Lachman

 

hughes

 

Ghost of Honor:
Dorothy B. Hughes

 

crane

 

Ghost of Honor:
Frances Crane

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

[ Edited ]

#1 - Beth Groundwater and me

 

#2 - Hannah Reed and me

 

#3 - Avery Aames and Hannah Reed

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

Left Coast Crime 2011 Awards

 

Left Coast Crime is delighted to announce these nominees for works published in 2010. The awards were voted on at the convention and presented at a banquet on Saturday, March 26.

 

Winners are in bold.

 

Download the press release (PDF)

 

THE LEFTY: Best humorous mystery novel

 

Donna Andrews, Stork Raving Mad (Minotaur Books) 
Laura DiSilverio, Swift Justice (Minotaur Books/Thomas Dunne Books) 
Donna Moore, Old Dogs (Busted Flush Press) 
Kris Neri, Revenge for Old Times' Sake (Cherokee McGhee) 
J. Michael Orenduff, The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein (Oak Tree Press)


(*Note - Mike just introduced himself on the Welcome thread here a few weeks ago)


THE BRUCE ALEXANDER MEMORIAL HISTORICAL MYSTERY: Best historical mystery novel, covering events before 1950

 

Rebecca Cantrell, A Night of Long Knives (Forge Books) 
Robert Kresge, Murder for Greenhorns (ABQ Press)
Kelli Stanley, City of Dragons (Minotaur Books) 
Jeri Westerson, The Demon's Parchment (Minotaur Books)
Jacqueline Winspear, The Mapping of Love and Death (HarperCollins)


(Note: Jackie will be writing a guest blog for us here soon!)


THE HILLERMAN SKY AWARD: The mystery (short story to novel length) that best captures the landscape of the Southwest

 

Sandi Ault, Wild Penance (Berkley Hardcover)
Christine Barber, The Bone Fire (Minotaur Books) 
Margaret Coel, The Spider's Web (Berkley Hardcover) 
Deborah J. Ledford, Snare (Second Wind Publishing)

 

THE WATSON: Mystery novel with best sidekick

 

Sandi Ault, Wild Penance (Berkley Hardcover) 
Rachel Brady, Dead Lift (Poisoned Pen Press)
Chris Grabenstein, Rolling Thunder (Pegasus) 
Craig Johnson, Junkyard Dogs (Viking)
Spencer Quinn, To Fetch a Thief (Atria)

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

#1 - Denise Swanson

 

#2 - Steve Havill

 

#3 - L.J. Sellers

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

http://bethgroundwater.blogspot.com/2011/03/hanging-out-at-left-coast-crime.html

 

Hanging Out at the Left Coast Crime Conference

by Beth Groundwater

 

 


This weekend, I will be attending the 2011 Left Coast CrimeConference, subtitled "The Big Chili," in Santa Fe, New Mexico. It will be a gathering of around 400 mystery authors, librarians, booksellers, and readers to celebrate the mystery genre. If you plan to attend, here's where you can find me:

Today, Friday:

11:30 AM - 12:15 PM, “Murder in the Great Outdoors” panel with me, Sandi Ault, Twist Phelan, and Michael Norman, followed by a signing from 12:15 – 12:30 PM. We're bringing props and having a contest for free books!

5:30 - 7 PM, Opening Reception, where I'll be singing "Paperback Writer" with the Mass Market Murderers (members of the Rocky Mountain chapter of Mystery Writers of America). This is guaranteed to be a hoot and a half!

Saturday:

7:30 - 9 AM, Continental breakfast featuring Established Authors where I'll give my "elevator speech" about Deadly Currents

2:30 – 3:45 PM, I'll be a volunteer in the Hospitality Room, so I'll be looking for people to be hospitable to!

I'll also be attending panels and the conference banquet and award ceremony, and meeting various groups for meals: the Rocky Mountain chapter of MWA, the Guppies chapter of Sisters in Crime, and the Mystery Babes.

On the drive home from the conference on Sunday, I'll stop at the Barnes and Noble bookstore at the Eagleridge Shopping Center in Pueblo, Colorado from 4 - 5 PM for a signing.

It will be a busy and fun weekend, I'm sure!

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

#1 - Rosemary Harris and Neil Plakcy

 

#2 - Me with Kelli Stanley and Rosemary Harris

 

#3 - Kelli Stanley, Neil Plakcy and (?) Tana (?)

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Sisters in Crime

 

Left Coast Crime 2011: The Mystery of Santa Fe

By Kathie Felix with reporting by Marcia Talley
http://sisters-in-crime-sinc.blogspot.com/2011/03/left-coast-crime-2011-mystery-of-santa.html
The annual Left Coast Crime conference took over the historic La Fonda hotel in Santa Fe, New Mexico, last week. The gathering, which ended on Sunday, feted Guests of Honor Margaret Coel and Steven Havill, Lifetime Achievement Guest of Honor Martin Cruz Smith, Fan Guest of Honor Marvin Lackman and featured Toastmaster Steve Brewer. The Ghosts of Honor were Dorothy B. Hughes and Frances Crane.

According to Sisters in Crime president Cathy Pickens: “Left Coast Crime is an intimate, friendly affair that always does a great job incorporating local flavor. Combine tours of Georgia O'Keefe and Willa Cather sites with crime and good southwestern food – I can't think of a better way to spend a March weekend.”

SinC’s immediate past president Marcia Talley attended Left Coast Crime 2011 and sent video, photos and news dispatches to share with SinC blog readers.
For Marcia, day one in Santa Fe began with an amazing meal at La Fonda, pictured above.

She later shared video of the Opening Ceremony of the conference, a Buffalo Dance performed by members of the Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo.

“The floor is trembling as they bless the conference,” Marcia reported by email.

Friday’s “Industry Professionals on Publishing” panel, moderated by Barbara Peters of Poisoned Pen Press, featured agent Kimberley Cameron, Keith Kahla of St. Martins Press, past MWA Executive Vice President Larry Light, agent Janet Reid and independent editor Jodie Renner. All of the panel members agreed that, when they are passionate about a book or author, they throw everything behind the project or individual.
The panel’s conversation roamed through a variety of topics, including the MWA-approved publisher list (Lee Goldberg is heading a team to review the ebook world to determine what is legit and what is not), Stieg Larsson’s book sales (one billion ebooks sold), the digital reading experience (different platforms, different ways to experience reading), the changes in the industry following the Borders bankruptcy situation, the effect of the economy on book sales, the need for an agent in the ebook age and the importance of an editor in any format.

(Pictured from left: Peters, Kahla, Cameron, Light, Reid, Renner)
Each panelist offered their own point of view on the writer's world.

“Voice! I love it,” said Barbara Peters. “You have to love it to promote it.”

According to Keith Kahla, “Seriously, write a good book with a good voice and good hook.”

Larry Light likes to learn something from reading a book.

Janet Reid, focusing on nonfiction, loves query letters. “They are like Christmas. Sometimes it’s socks from the aunt who doesn’t know you very well. I’m looking for the pony under the tree. Send me your query! I’d rather see it than not.”

Kimberly Cameron said that great writing and great voice excite her, in all genres. She then looks for the best place to put it. “Send me your good stuff,” she said.

Jodie Renner pointed out that the first couple of pages are key. Dialog is critical; voices must be distinct. A book needs dialog and action up front. Cut out the wordiness. Think about pacing and plot holes.
(Pictured above: Sisters lunch at Pasqual's -- Twist, Marcia and Denise.)
Next year, Left Coast Crime will be held March 29 – April 1 at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Sacramento, California. The Guests of Honor are John Lescroart and Jacqueline Winspear. The Toastmaster is Harley Jane Kozak. The Fan Guest of Honor is Noemi Levine.

For more information about Left Coast Crime, go to www.leftcoastcrime.org.
Left Coast Crime: Boots required.
Photos by Marica Talley, immediate past president of Sisters in Crime and award-winning author of the Hannah Ives mysteries. Marcia's newest book, A Quiet Death, will be released in May.
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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

[ Edited ]

#1 - Pari Noskin Taichert, author and event organizer

 

#2 - Zoe Sharp and J.T. Ellison, who presented a great self-defense workshop

 

#3 - G.M. Malliett (who, like J.T., has been featured here before)

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

#1 - Parnell Hall

 

#2 - Meredith Anthony, Annette Mahon and Marcia Talley

 

#3 - Me and Rachel Brady

 

#4 - Don Cannon

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

Authors-Did you attend LCC? Share your stories here!

 

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

Becke, looks like a good time was had by all.

Great authors, great accommodations, great food, great weather a great combination

 

Thanks it makes me feel like I was there

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

 


dhaupt wrote:

Becke, looks like a good time was had by all.

Great authors, great accommodations, great food, great weather a great combination

 

Thanks it makes me feel like I was there

It would have been a blast if you HAD been there!!

 

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

 


dhaupt wrote:

Becke, looks like a good time was had by all.

Great authors, great accommodations, great food, great weather a great combination

 

Thanks it makes me feel like I was there


I second that, Debbie. I'm going to start saving my money now so I can go to the one in Sacramento next year! becke, looks like you cut a wide swath amongst the authors/attendees.What fun!
I'm making notes of the names of nominees for the Left Coast awards, and going to check out the titles/author's names to get to some new sources of mystery reading. The only book that I've read off the entire list(if my memory serves me right) is Jacqueline Winspear's The Mapping of Love and Death. I've read all of her Maisy Dobbs books except for the one that's just been released. That's one prolific writer!

 

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie
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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

Fricka - It's not on the schedule yet, but Jackie Winspear is going to be guest blogging with us soon, and she'll come back to respond to questions and comments.

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

Thanks for sharing that with us!

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Re: Left Coast Crime: The Big Chile

balloon clip art

Whooooo-hooooo! I can hardly wait!

 

" A murder mystery is the normal recreation of the noble mind."--Sister Carol Anne O' Marie