Tuesday, March 8, 2016
Left Coast Crime - 2016 - The Panels - fun, funny, touching and informative....
Welcome to my 2nd post about Left Coast Crime 2016! Today, we're going to talk about panels. This year, there were 13 specific panel times beginning Thursday afternoon and ending Sunday at noon. Each of those times had an assortment of panels available and we could choose which we'd like to attend. They were all an hour in length and then the participants came out into the atrium area to sign books and talk with fans. I managed to get to 11 different panels and got pictures at 10 of them. I'll list the panel title and share the moderator (M) and participants with links attached. They will be in the order of the picture above the info. If I don't talk about every author - well, doesn't mean I'm not interested but this post will be very long regardless. Here's the scoop:
1. Setting as Character
Jeffrey M Siger (M); Shannon Baker; Christine Carbo; Sara J. Henry; S.K. Rizzolo; Dana Stabenow
I did not get a picture of the participants of my first panel. Honestly, Cathy and I had been finishing up our lunch when we discovered we were late (horrors!). We jumped and ran. I squeezed into a seat in the middle of a row, was fascinated with glimpsing the authors, did not take a picture, and remember exactly nothing about what they said. Bad Kay. In my defense, I was still recovering from the Author Speed Dating event Thursday morning - more about that on Thursday.
2. Big Fish in a Small Pond: Big-city sleuths tackle small-town murder
Dana Stabenow (M); M.P. (Martha) Cooley; Frederick Ramsay; Robin (R.J.) Harlick
As this panel was short one member, Dana Stabenow prevailed upon Laurie R. King, who was in the audience, to complete their number. Which was fun. I had thought that I would take notes at the panels and even got a special little notebook for that purpose. However, I found that I just wanted to sit and listen. Loved it. I was able to talk with Martha Cooley afterwards and tell her how much I enjoyed her first book, Ice Shear, which I wrote about here. I also bought a book by both Robin Harlick and Fred Ramsay.
3. Traditional: The Space Between Cozy and Thriller: What defines a traditional mystery?
Terry Shames; Triss Stein; Nancy G. West; Carla Buckley; Catriona McPherson (M)
I wanted to see Carla Buckley especially on this panel and talk to her afterward. I also visited with Terry Shames, who writes the Samuel Craddock series that is set in my part of the world, Central Texas. And the minute that Nancy West started speaking I knew she was from Texas as well. Her series is set in San Antonio and Aggie Mundeen is the protagonist. Triss Stein's Brooklyn based series is published by the Poisoned Pen and I'm excited about reading the first book, Brooklyn Bones.
4. Genre Hopping: Authors writing multiple genres
Clea Simon; Annette Mahon; Mette Ivie Harrison; Chris Goff; Ann Cleeves (M)
Cathy and I were most delighted to shake hands with Ann Cleeves as she met everyone at the door and welcomed them. Cathy was the 'fangirl' that time. This panel had some very touching moments as the authors shared some personal things that have affected their writing. I was really caught up in their discussion and was glad I attended. Clea Simon writes books that all have cats included, but her latest, The Ninth Life, is a bit darker than previous books. Annette Mahon's books include quilts and that lovely quilt in the picture was one she made and it's featured on the cover of her latest, Slay Bells. Mette Ivie Harrison is the author of The Bishop's Wife and her protagonist is the wife of a Mormon bishop. Mette herself has a PhD, 5 children, and is a highly ranked triathlete. Her life with her church after publishing her first adult book has been complicated. I enjoyed chatting with her after the panel. Chris Goff has a birdwatching mystery series, but her latest, Dark Waters, is a thriller set in Israel. And the lady in white talking to Clea is Cathy Ace, a lovely Canadian author.
5. Cherchez La Femme, Women Overturning the Stereotype: Strong female sleuths as role models
Francine Mathews/Stephanie Barron (M); Allison Brennan; Mark Coggins; Deborah Crombie; Tammy Kaehler
This was a most interesting panel and even the participants were a bit flummoxed by Moderator Francine Mathews' questions. Mathews, who writes spy type thrillers under that name and Jane Austen mysteries under her Stephanie Barron persona, used to be an analyst with the CIA. So....there you go. I enjoyed listening to Deborah Crombie talk about Gemma James and Duncan Kincaid. Her books are great favorites of mine. Tammy Kaehler writes a Poisoned Pen series about a female race car driver - fun!
6. Historical: Turn of the 20th Century
Ann Parker (M); Charles Todd; Tessa Arlen; Annamaria Alfieri; Donis Casey
All of these authors write series set in the early 20th century. I'm a big fan of Donis Casey's Alafair Tucker books. Moderator Ann Parker writes a series set in Leadville, Colorado of the 1880's. It's another Poisoned Pen series and I got the first book, Silver Lies. Can't wait. I talked to Tessa Arlen, the daughter of a British diplomat, about how popular her first book, Death of a Dishonorable Gentleman, was around the blogging world. She was delighted. The discussion pointed out how history cycles occur and these authors have found so many similarities to situations today, while they were researching events of the past.
This was how the signing area was set up and the picture shows both Caroline and Charles Todd, who team write the Charles Todd books featuring Ian Rutledge in one series and Bess Crawford in another.
7. Two Sleuths are Better Than One: Fictional crime-solving duos
Rochelle Staab (M); Laurie R. King; Anne Cleeland; Mary Anna Evans; Tina Whittle; Michael Robertson
Each of these authors have protagonists that are either married, related in some way, or in a romantic relationship and it was interesting to hear them talk about pitfalls and comments by fans and how they decided to write their books featuring at least 2 regular sleuths. Laurie King's Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes books are probably the most familiar. However, Michael Robertson writes the Baker Street Letters mysteries, which have a Holmes connection. I've read several really positive thoughts about Anne Cleeland's books around the blogs. And both Mary Anna Evans and Tina Whittle are published by the Poisoned Pen. Thumbs up in my thinking.
8. Sleuthing on Both Sides of the Law: Bending society's rules to solve crimes
Lori Rader-Day (M); Agnete Friis; Mette Ivie Harrison; Alan Russell; Carla Buckley
Lori Rader-Day was a very funny moderator - very dry humor. She was a natural at her moderator job. Her two books are The Black Hour and Little Pretty Things, both stand alones and multiple award winners or nominees. Agnete Friis writes the Nina Borg series with writing partner Lene Kaaberbol and they are Danish. Alan Russell writes a series with a LAPD officer and his police dog, but his latest book, A Cold War, is about a woman who has been captured by a mountain man in Alaska. Each of these authors has protagonists who have to decide whether to step outside of the law or expectations of their peers in order to 'do the right thing'. Lots of food for thought.
9. The Thriller of It All
Sarah Williams (M); Chevy Stevens; Michael Sears; Ingrid Thoft; Mark Wheaton
All of you know that I love thrillers, so this panel was sort of a given for me. Plus, Michael Sears and Chevy Stevens were panelists - have loved books by both of them. Michael Sears' first book, Black Fridays was a favorite with my mystery group - great discussion. Ingrid Thoft writes about Fina Ludlow, who is a PI for her family's law firm. And I've heard very good things. Mark Wheaton is a screenwriter, comics writer, and has a new book, Fields of Wrath, that features a young priest sleuth in Los Angeles.
10. Writing Other Cultures
Paty Jager (M); Timothy Hallinan; Shannon Baker; William Kent Krueger; Jeffrey M. Siger
Each of these authors writes a series set among another culture, be it in an area outside the US or inside the US. Tim Hallinan writes the Poke Rafferty books, set in Thailand. Hallinan has lived in Thailand part-time for many years. Jeffrey Siger, also published by the Poisoned Pen, lives mostly in Greece and his series is set there. His protagonist is Andreas Kaldis and so he not only writes books set in foreign country, his main character is Greek as well. Siger's books are very popular in Greece. Shannon Baker writes a series that features aspects of the Hopi tribe, though her protagonist Nora Abbott is not Native American. Her new book, Stripped Bare, is the first in another series and set in the Nebraska Sandhills. I look forward to that one, to be published in September. Of course, William Kent Krueger writes about Cork O'Connor, who lives in Minnesota and is one-quarter Objibwe and three-quarters Irish. This was a very lively panel that kept us laughing.
11. Murder in the Great Outdoors
Maegan Beaumont (M); Vicki Delany (Eva Gates); Ellie Alexander (Kate Dyer-Seeley); Chris Goff
The very last panel and it was a good one. Vicki Delany's Molly Smith series, set in British Columbia, is a great favorite of mine. I had the chance to talk with Vicki several times over the course of the conference. She's also started writing cozies under the name Eva Gates. Her Lighthouse Library mysteries look like a lot of fun. Ellie Alexander writes the Bakeshop mysteries, but she also writes a Pacific Northwest cozy series under the name Kate Dyer-Seeley. I really enjoyed talking with her about Portland and Oregon outdoors. Can't wait to read the first book, Scene of the Climb. Chris Goff's birdwatching mysteries are found with Christine Goff as the author. She lives in Colorado and had funny stories to tell about researching those books.
I know this post has been forever long. Sorry about that. Tomorrow, I'll quickly share the books that came home with me. Some I bought, some I won, some I found in my book bag. All look great!