The California Crime Writers Conference, sponsored jointly by the Los Angeles Chapter of Sisters in Crime and the SoCal Chapter of Mystery Writers of America, was held this year on June 6th and 7th at the Doubletree Hotel in Culver City. For those of us who worked to organize the conference, it started early on June 5th, unpacking boxes, stuffing goody bags and generally working very hard to make the conference a success, and a success it was — not to mention a lot of fun! Here I am with Laurie Stevens, author of the award-winning Gabriel McRay series.
The weekend kicked off Friday evening with a Cozy vs. Noir battle at The Culver Club bar at the Doubletree moderated by the very witty Eric Beetner. Here’s Eric in the bar offering his advice on differentiating between cozy and noir fiction. I’m sure all those Noir Guys (Craig Faustus Buck, Gar Anthony Haywood, Samuel Gailey, Josh Stallings, Jordan Harper and S.W. Lauden) didn’t think the Cozies had a chance against their lurid prose, but we showed ’em.
We wore our Team Cozy robes. Our whole team posed in the ladies’ room with our Team Cozy robes before our big entrance (to a standing ovation, I might add): Harley Jane Kozak, Holly West, Rochelle Staab, me, Diane Vallere and Sue Ann Jaffarian.
All the panels were marvelous and packed with attendees. I couldn’t catch them all, but here are a few of the highlights: The Thrills and Chills Panel with Doug Lyle, Paul D. Marks, Craig Faustus Buck, Laurie Stevens and Diana Gould was standing room only.
“My Editor Is My Friend, Right?” was a huge hit. Editor and author Kendel Lynn of Henery Press and Annette Rogers of Poisoned Pen Press appeared with authors Kim Fay and James Ziskin, to discuss the benefits, blessings, trials and tribulations of the editing process.
Here’s Diane Vallere, President of the LA Chapter of Sisters in Crime and Craig Faustus Buck, President of SoCal MWA with Anne Perry.
Charlaine Harris was our other Keynote Speaker and Guest of Honor. Both ladies were incredibly entertaining and I was thrilled to meet them. We couldn’t have wished for more illustrious guests! For the finale of the conference, we were treated to both Charlaine and Anne discussing/dissecting Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing.
California Crime Writers Conference 2015 was one of the most enjoyable conferences I’ve ever taken part in. Next one will be held in the summer of 2017. Don’t miss it!