Wednesday, October 28, 2015

My First LCC, By Tammy Kaehler

My first Left Coast Crime experience feels like ancient history … so long ago, when I was so young.

And yet, it’s only been five years. Los Angeles. 2010.

But maybe author years are like dog years. Don’t you think? At my first Left Coast Crime, I was a clueless, dorky, new kid in kindergarten. Just five years later, this year in Portland, I felt at least like a self-conscious high schooler—projecting an air of confidence and savvy, as if by pretending, I’d really feel them.

Maybe in another couple years I’ll have matured to the level of cool, knowledgeable adult. Then again, I haven’t reached that as an adult yet, let alone as an author, so maybe it’s too much to hope for.

But back to my first LCC. I’d been trying to sell my first book for a couple years, and I hadn’t yet connected with Poisoned Pen Press (still my publisher, thank you very much). I didn’t know much about Left Coast Crime at all, nor about Bouchercon (we could do a whole series on how we discover our great fan conventions), but I knew someone on the organizing committee.

So since the convention was happening near me, I went. And I discovered a whole new world. It’s probably not hyperbolic to say that’s when I first discovered my tribe.

I don’t remember meeting specific people—except for Matt Coyle, both of us pre-published and trying to soak up published-author mojo. And I don’t remember any specific advice or panels, though I remember listening to (and marveling at) Lee Child and the Kellermans.

But what I remember, and what has stayed with me, is the sense of community I felt. At that first LCC experience and at every other since then, I’ve felt connected to other attendees, to mystery readers and lovers, to writers. I always leave inspired to go write something interesting, as well as to read as much as possible.

That’s why since 2010, I haven’t missed a Left Coast Crime. That’s why I’ll be in Phoenix, looking for new books to read, inspiration for my own writing, and people to have good conversations with. Will you be there too? And what’s your first LCC memory?

Tammy is the author of the award-winning Kate Reilly Racing Mystery Series, published by Poisoned Pen Press. She's also unable to say no when asked to help plan mystery fan conventions.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Back By Popular Demand!

Author/Reader Connections

We know it’s not always easy for readers to connect—or spend quality time—with your favorite authors during the whirlwind of Left Coast Crime, so we’re making it easier by bringing back Author/Reader Connections (after their successful debut at LCC2015).

Author/Reader Connections are specific activities, such as lunch or a walk through town, hosted by authors for readers. All connections are free, and some may also include giveaways or benefits from the author(s).

Example connections from Crimelandia: Left Coast Crime 2015:

  • Happy Hour: Pints and Pretzels with Kate Dyer-Seeley
  • Coffee with Simon Wood
  • Criminal cocktails with the Women of Suspense (Cathy Perkins, Donnell Bell, DV Berkom, and Christine Finlayson)
  • Lunch with Dave Putnam and Matt Coyle
  • Wine tasting with Wendy Hornsby

Authors: We challenge you to be creative! Team up or offer an activity on your own—whether you stay close to the hotel or venture off to local sights, the sky's the limit. Once you've decided what you want to offer, email your proposal to

Readers: Once we have options for you to choose from, we'll post them to the LCC2016 website. Simply sign up, then meet your author during the convention at the scheduled time and place. 

Let's connect!

Left Coast Crime 2016 registration is required to participate in these activities. Signing up for a connection doesn’t mean you can’t spend time with authors throughout the convention.

Author/Reader Connections are not official activities sponsored by Left Coast Crime, but are agreements between the participants. Participants assume the entire responsibility and liability for losses, damages, and claims arising out of injury or damage during Author/Reader Connections activities. Participants shall indemnify and hold harmless Left Coast Crime, and the agents and employees of the organization from any and all such losses, damages and claims.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Help Us Help You!

We know many members of the mystery writing community have just returned from Bouchercon in Raleigh, North Carolina. And anyone who wasn't in attendance was probably following the revelry on social media.

If you're starting to recover, we figure you're asking yourself, "When can I see these great people again?"

Left Coast Crime 2016 has the answer. Actually, it IS the answer! Next February 25-28, we hope you'll join us in Phoenix for The Great Cactus Caper. We promise a break from winter weather, as well as another great mystery community gathering. And remember, you've got until October 31 to register at the discounted rate of $235! Sign up today!

Of course, there's something you can help us with, beyond your registration and attendance. And that's your ideas. We know we come home from one convention full of thoughts and ideas for the next one ... but we also know how easy it is to forget those after a couple weeks of "real life."

So here's your chance to help make Left Coast Crime 2016 awesome: send us your ideas. Whether they're for the kind of dessert you want at the banquet, the kind of sessions you want to attend, or the other activities you think should be available, we want to hear your thoughts. (Obviously, we can't promise to implement them all, but we want to hear them!)

Just email us at and tell us what you think!