Aloha Me!

Stephen Buehler CCWC2015 - 2It’s that time of year again. Time to prepare for Left Coast Crime. This year it’s in Hawaii. It’s called Honolulu Havoc – March 16-19.

Having the conference in Hawaii is great and it’s not.

honoluluhavocbannerOne of the down sides is that it’s expensive. It’s a 6 hour flight from Los Angeles and even longer from other parts of the country. The only way to get there is to fly. Usually you have an option to drive and perhaps save some money. The Hilton Hawaiian Village Waikiki Beach Resort has five pools and 20 restaurants and bars and 22 waterfront acres. It sounds great. But it also sounds expensive and it is. The convention rate is $209. Next year in Reno it’s only $82.

I’m willing to suck it up and pay these rates. But it also means it will probably be the only conference I go to out of state this year. (Bouchercon is in Toronto).  More importantly, a great number of my friends and fellow authors won’t be attending. As I look at the Attendees list, there is a great number of people I’m not familiar with. I know I will meet new people and that’s a good thing but I’d also like to hang out with some of the folks I usually see at conferences too.4-people-group-with-me

I’m on a panel: Performing Sleuths: Standing Ovations. I assume I’m on the panel as my protagonist in The Mindreading Murders is a magician. But that novel is not published yet whereas the other panelists have published novels with their performing characters. I kind of feel like a fraud. But I’m going to let the audience know what the circumstances are and go from there. Even though my novel isn’t published yet, I feel I can contribute to the discussion.

I’ve been talking about my concerns about attending. But there’s a lot of positives as well. My writers group, Travis Richardson and Sarah M. Chen will be there. We have put together an Author/Reader Connection where 6 people can meet up with us on Friday night and we will talk about how the three of us have had over 55 short stories published in recent years. Plus we buy our guests the first round of drinks and give them some books.

Also, by the time LCC rolls around, I will have The Mindreading Murders out to my beta readers. After the conference, when I’ve incorporated their notes, I’ll be ready to send that out to agents and publishers.

Another thing I like about Left Coast Crime is that I get to be a big fish in a small sea. Since only about 500 people generally attend LCC I can stand out more. Bouchercon typically has over 1,500 attendees and I tend to get lost in that big crowd.airline-jet-in-clouds

Even though I put the 6 hour flight as a negative, it’s also a positive. I get to read and write undisturbed for 6 hours!

Here’s the thing I tend to overlook – the conference is in HAWAII!!! Where’s there a beach and sun and ocean and new places to explore. My perfect vacation always includes a beach.The End!

Yes, I have some trepidations about the conference but the closer it gets the more excited I’m becoming.

How do you feel before a conference?  Does the location really matter to you?

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Stephen Buehler’s short fiction has been published in numerous on-line publications including, Akashic Books. His Derringer Nominated short story, Not My Day appeared in the Last Exit to Murder anthology. Seth’s Big Move will appear in the LAst Resort anthology in April 2017. He is currently revising his novella, The Mindreading Murders, into novel length. It’s about a magician, psychics and of course, murder. He is also currently seeking a home for his mystery/comedy P.I. novel, Detective Rules. By day he is a script/story consultant, magician and lives with a dog named Seymour.






17 thoughts on “Aloha Me!

  1. How wonderful you, Sarah, and Travis are attending this conference, Stephen! I’ve never been to Hawaii but I do watch Hawaii 5-0 (and I was a fan of the original, too!) As I watch snow and wind blow through my community this morning, I wish I was now in the Aloha State! The only conference I plan to attend this year is Wyoming Writers, Inc., being held about 2 hours away from my community in early June. It’s been a few years since I’ve been to a conference, and one of my friends is the keynote speaker this year, so I’m planning to go (plus, there seems to be a good selection of classes this year). I’m looking forward to meeting up with people I haven’t seen in a few years and to hearing my friend Nina McConigley speak. Enjoy your conference! (and if you see any of the 5-0 cast, please say “Aloha” for me!) 🙂


  2. So you buy the first round of drinks? That insures you will be very popular there. :-). So far I’ve tackled three fantasy novels and a historical fiction one. Maybe soon I’ll tackle a crime novel, but I admit the challenge makes me nervous. Have fun in Hawaii.


    1. Mike,
      Yes we buy the first round of drinks and we give them one of our books (which I hope is another incentive.) I’m experiencing all the worries of getting ready for the conference but I’m sure I’ll relax by the time I get there.
      You’ve been busy with your writing. Congratulations to all your books.
      – Stephen


  3. Love conferences, but location plays a big part in whether I attend or not. Still, Hawaii- yeah, that is a great place for a conference. Have fun! Doris


  4. I’m always excited as it gets closer to conference time, but I’m also a bit aprehensive. Because of my visual impairment, I wonder how easily I’ll be able to find my way around the hotel and conference venue. If the rooms where events will be held are scattered throughout the facility as oposed to being in one area, it can be a logistical nightmare, but it always works out one way or another. I hope your conference in Hawaii is beneficial and that you can get some sun.


    1. Abbie,
      Yes, some conferences can be daunting in how they’re laid out at the hotel. I’ve checked and I think the meeting rooms are all pretty much together. Besides being easier to find, it also gives you a chance to gab before the next panel instead of high-tailing to it before it starts.
      I’m looking forward to the sun part.
      – Stephen

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds wonderful. And how nice two of your writers group will be there! I’m sure you will be great on the panel too. Just the experience and research you’ve done to write the novel will make you qualified. Went to Hawaii 25 years ago and would love to go again. Have fun.


    1. Neva,
      Thank you for the kind words of encouragement. I’m hoping you’re right about my research qualifying me for the panel.
      I went to Hawaii about 6 years ago for another conference and it rained almost the whole time. A lot more attendees sat through panels than they probably thought they would since they didn’t play hooky.
      Thank you for reading my blog.
      – Stephen


  6. Great post, Stephen. Neva is right, you’re more than qualified to be on that panel since you have experience actually performing magic and writing about it (not to mention reading about it and working in that environment!). We all get nervous before conferences (I know I do) but it’s going to be great!


    1. Thanks Sarah,
      Yes we all get nervous before conferences and panels but this is probably the most nervous I felt. I don’t have a book to direct them to of what I’ll be talking about.
      Overall, the conference will be great. I mean, it is in Hawaii!
      Plus I do have some really good friends going and I’m sure I’ll meet new ones.
      Thank you for reading the blog.
      – Stephen

      Liked by 1 person

  7. That sounds such fun, Stephen and who can turn down Hawaii? Enjoy!
    I’m heading to my first ever Scottish Writers conference near Glasgow that’s about a 300 mile round trip away and I’ve never met any of the writers attending. On line I’ve been introduced to a couple so I’ll be homing in on them first, I think since I know what their photos are like and if they actually look like their avatars then i’ll find them.


    1. Nancy,
      Have a great time in Scotland! That sounds like fun. I like knowing writers at the conference but I also like meeting new writers as well. It helps make me a more rounded writer and reader.
      Good luck with your avatar comparisons!
      – Stephen


  8. Every conference has the potential to be a great experience. It’s a shame you will be pretty busy at the conference and won’t get much time to enjoy Hawaii. I am already looking forward to a conference here in WV in June.


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