Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fun in the Sun

Barbara here, very late posting my Wednesday blog. At least I hope it’s Wednesday. I am somewhat discombobulated. But I have a good excuse. I just flew home last night from a week in New Mexico, where I attended Left Coast Crime. LCC is a conference of mystery lovers – authors, readers, booksellers, librarians among others – which is held annually in a location in the western half of a continent. I say continent because although traditionally this means the United States, one year LCC was held in Bristol England. A stroke of brilliance. I hope someday that Canada will host it too. Vancouver and Victoria would make a wonderful backdrop, and we have plenty of local authors and mystery lovers who could organize it.

This year, Santa Fe showed off its unique Spanish history, pueblo architecture and Southwest literary heritage in a beautiful old hotel designed with enough nooks, crannies and secret passageways to baffle the most savvy of mystery experts. Given the choice of enduring a fourth month of sub-zero windchill or flying to the sunny high desert of New Mexico, a surprising number of Canadians attended the conference, among them fellow authors Joan Boswell, RJ Harlick, Vicki Delany and Lou Allin. All good friends of mine now, mostly due to mystery conferences.

Mystery conferences are gatherings of kindred souls, where authors can find new readers, share with other authors the joys and horrors of this rollercoaster world called the book business, and connect with others who love the thrill of a good case. They are the social highlights of our otherwise solitary days, reminding us why we continue to write and how lucky we are. For what could be better than four days talking about villains, heroes, and the best way to kill someone, all in some of the most scenic and interesting settings in the world.

Not to mention tax deductible.

Next up on my conference list is Bloody Words in quaint, elegant Victoria, June 3 – 5. Bloody Words is Canada’s premiere mystery conference, a chance when we Canucks get to take centre stage, meet others from as far away as Halifax and Yukon, and tell our own stories through panels, readings and much more. British and American authors and readers come too, for the intimacy and the great party. So don’t miss it! I won’t.

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