Monday, November 16, 2015

LCC Tips: The In Crowd

by Rochelle Staab, LCC2016 Member at Large

Lone wolf? Lost in crowds? Feel left out? Shy about registering for LCC because you won’t know anyone at conference? I know. I’ve been there.

My passion for writing and reading mysteries prompted me to attend, alone, my first Left Coast Crime in Los Angeles, 2010. Didn’t know a soul. Felt like an outsider. Wandered around the Omni Hotel certain everyone knew everyone else but no one knew me. And yet, I had a blast. I took notes during panels, cruised the book room, and chatted with a lovely group of librarians and readers seated at our banquet table during the awards. I bonded with a writer who looked as lost as I felt—Carlene and I are still friends.

But why do it the long way? There’s a much faster and easier way to meet people, fit in, and instantly become part of the action—


Left Coast Crime hums along by the grace of folks who, among other things, get involved by monitoring panels or book signings, stuffing registration packets and book bags, handing out badges, or staffing the hospitality suite. They have a backstage pass to the action and meet everyone!

Throughout the years I’ve had a great time pitching in to stuff book bags, acting as a panel monitor to hand out nameplates and cue the moderator for time, and building auction baskets. My conference-buds circle has grown to a group of writers and readers whose friendly faces I look forward to seeing in Phoenix.

As a volunteer you’re “part of” instead of “at,” and will leave with a sense of belonging and accomplishment. Not to mention the new friends you’ll make.

Consider joining us by emailing the volunteer coordinator at

And please make sure to stop and say “hello” to me in Phoenix. I can’t wait to see you there.

Rochelle Staab is the best-selling author of the Mind for Murder Mystery series, and winner of the LCC 2013 Watson Award.

1 comment:

  1. You say it well. My first LCCC was in Santa Fe. I stood on the mezzanine watching the opening night cocktail party happening below. They all looked like they'd gone to high school together. But at breakfast next day Clark Lohr, great mystery writer from Tucson, talked to me. Like you and Carlene. Clark and I are still friends. I'm volunteering as well. It's fun.