Friday, February 12, 2016

My LCC: Maryglenn McCombs

What better time to reflect on why I love Left Coast Crime? I’ve just finalized my travel plans for Left Coast 2016 in Phoenix and frankly: I can’t wait.

I’ve been attending book/mystery conferences since—gasp!—the early 1990s. In the past 20 plus years, I’ve attended events all over the country: New York, Chicago, St. Louis, Long Beach, Indianapolis, Nashville, South Florida, Raleigh, D.C., Los Angeles, and last year, even made my way to Bristol, England for Crimefest.

My first Left Coast Crime, Monterey in 2014, stands out as one of my all-time favorite conferences. Granted—Monterey is gorgeous, and I had the good fortune of driving from San Jose to Monterey as the sun was coming up. (The word “spectacular” doesn’t do that view justice.) But what made Left Coast Crime 2014 so special was the people I met—Sarah Williams, R.M. Cartmel, Philip Donlay, Brenda Chapman, Chantelle Aimee Osman (we quickly bonded over our love of large, fuzzy dogs and shared photos and tales of her Standard Poodle Paladin, and my Old English Sheepdog, Majordomo Billy Bojangles), Matt Coyle, Lesa Holstine, Otto Penzler, Jeffrey Siger, Ken Kuhlken, Rochelle Staab, Joel Fox, Stan Ulrich, Lucinda Surber, Dave Putnam….and the list goes on.

Left Coast 2014 was also a great chance to see and catch up with people I’ve known and worked with for years – Tammy Kaehler, Robert Rosenwald, Mark Troy, Con Lehane, Doug Lyle, Deni Dietz, Julia Musha… In some ways, Left Coast felt totally unfamiliar—new faces, and definitely a new place—but in other ways, it felt wonderfully familiar.

When I look back at conferences I’ve attended in the past, the thing that stands out most is the people who are there. That’s what makes a conference great. Left Coast Crime brings together an incredible assortment of writers, industry professionals, and people who love mysteries and value good writing. The Left Coast Crime attendees are among the most welcoming, helpful, generous, and wonderful people around. It’s important to note that Left Coast’s programming is also terrific—and I have to give a nod to one of the most entertaining panels I’ve ever sat in on: Matt Coyle moderating an LCC 2014 panel about writing the “Mean Streets,” featuring Dave Putnam, Mark Troy, Ken Kuhlken, and Baron Birchter.

From a professional standpoint, I wouldn’t think of not attending. Left Coast Crime is a great networking event—and it’s also so much fun. I’ve noticed a curious thing about mystery conferences, Left Coast being no exception: seems most of the work gets done in the bar. I’m certainly not complaining. After all, there are few things more entertaining than hanging out and listening to some of my favorite writers do what they do best: tell stories.

Sometimes, it seems almost criminal—perhaps, appropriately—that I get to call this “work.
Maryglenn McCombs has actively worked in the book publishing industry for over twenty years. After starting her own publishing company in 1995, Maryglenn transitioned into the role of book publicist in the late 90s. As a book publicist, she works to create media exposure for books and authors through various print, online, and broadcast media outlets. Maryglenn focuses primarily on titles in the mystery/suspense/thriller genres. A graduate of Vanderbilt University, Maryglenn serves on the board of the Nashville Humane Association. A South Central Kentucky native, Maryglenn lives in Nashville with her husband, Tim Warnock, and their Old English Sheepdog, Majordomo Billy Bojangles. 

No comments:

Post a Comment