It’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.
One 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.
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.
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.
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. www.stephenbuehler.com