Wednesday, June 10, 2015

California Crime Writers Conference Retrospective

Last weekend I attended the California Crime Writers Conference 2015.  It's a conference jointly held by the Mystery Writers of America SoCal Chapter and Sisters in Crime LA, and it was great!

I commuted there both weekend days.  I'd been invited to participate in an event on Friday night that wasn't officially part of the conference but was nevertheless related, but I ultimately declined.  I didn't think a two minute reading of my work was worth the couple of hour commute I'd likely have to Culver City from the San Fernando Valley on a Friday evening in Los Angeles.  It was a demonstration of the differences between cozy mysteries and noir, and it did sound like a lot of fun.  But ultimately I figured I'd made the right decision.

I anticipated that traffic over the weekend would be a lot better and wasn't disappointed about that.  I arrived in plenty of time on Saturday morning to start attending the sessions I was most interested in, and Sunday's traffic was similarly light.

The conference was organized in tracks.  I mostly stuck to Marketing and Industry, since I'm at the stage of things in my writing career that marketing is vital, and it always helps to learn what's going on in the publishing industry.  The other two were Forensics and Craft.  Because I write cozy mysteries, my amateur sleuths and I don't get into a lot of detail about forensics matters so, as interesting as some sessions might be, they're not as helpful to me.  I especially avoided the session on the Forensics of Creepy Crawlers, presented by an entomologist.  I did, however, attend a session or two in the Craft track, including one on historical mysteries.

The panel I participated in was part of the Craft track: Mysteries of the Spirit.  It was a session dedicated mostly to paranormal or spiritual themes in mysteries and was definitely enjoyable.  I got to talk about my Alpha Force paranormal romances for Harlequin Nocturne that feature my covert military unit of shapeshifters.

I also talked about my Superstition Mysteries.  Are superstitions paranormal?  I really don't think so... but who knows?

The lunchtime keynote addresses were by Charlaine Harris and Anne Perry.  Amazing! And definitely inspirational.

Plus, I got to see authors who are long-time friends as well as make new friends among the writing community.  In addition, my delightful editor from Midnight Ink was present and I got the opportunity to chat with her now and then.

In case you can't tell, I really enjoyed CCWC!  It's a bi-annual conference... so I'll be looking forward to 2017.


Betty Hechtman said...

I was going to sign up for it and then forgot all about it.It sounds like it was a great conference.

I'm glad the traffic wasn't a problem. I never know whether to stay at the hotel or commute.

Linda O. Johnston said...

I considered staying at the hotel, Betty, but figured that since the conference was local I'd try the commute. The last CCWCs were in Pasadena which were easier to get to for me, but this worked out all right.

The next CCWC should be in 2017. Maybe you can attend that one!