Friday, January 12, 2007

I’m Going Out Left, Out on the Coast…

I’m paraphrasing the Ramones with that title because in less than a month I’m off to Left Coast Crime, in Seattle, Washington.

Left Coast was the first mystery writer’s event I ever attended and therefore holds a spot near and dear to my heart. That was back in ’04 when it was held in Monterey, California. Rose and I spent a month that year on my first book signing tour and LCC was right at the tail end. It was, as they say, magical. In 2005 LCC was in El Paso and that was blast – I strolled over to Mexico most nights and that alone made it worth the trip. Last year was the amazing LCC in Bristol England that I fear re-set the standard for this event. I’m sure the folks in Seattle are working hard to make it outstanding, and after Bristol they have their work cut out for them.

I’ve never been to Seattle but I do have family there. My Aunt Agnes lives in Lynnwood, which I’m told is a town nearby, and my cousin Mike and his wife Jackie live right in the city. That said I doubt I’ll have time to visit much, especially since I have the distinct honor of moderating the Miles to Go Panel on Saturday, Feb. 3rd, at 9am, which future generations of convention goers will refer to simply as “The Panel”. Oh not because of anything I’m going to do or say – no, it’s all because of the line up:

Diana Chambers, author of The Company She Keeps, Stinger and the soon to be published Beyond the Border. High adventure on the Silk Road would be the fast way to describe her books – and if you know me, you know this is the kind of stuff I love.

Elle Lothlorien, author of the religion-focused thriller, Virgin (which I was burning through just before I sat down to write). Think Di Vinci Code, just a lot better. (Attention publishers. Elle is represented by Susan Crawford of the Crawford Literary Agency and I suggest you give her a buzz. You can thank me later.)

Lauren Haney, author of the hugely popular Lt. Bak mysteries set in ancient Egypt. I’ve spent many a weekend in Cairo and am looking forward to chatting with her about our favorite haunts.

Finally, my friend and fellow CWC member Rick Blechta, author of a bunch of books including Cemetery of the Nameless (one of my top picks for 2005) and the When Hell Freezes Over, an exciting read set in the strange world of rock music. (Note to self: Bet Rick a beer he can’t name the band the Ramones were covering in my paraphrased blog entry title.)

Folks if you’re in Seattle you’ve got to drop in. I promise to keep my mouth shut and let these folks whisk you miles away with tale, true and otherwise, from their mysterious lives. And if you can’t make it, at least track down these books and buy, Buy, BUY!



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