Back from Left Coast Crime!

The blog was more silent than usual last week; I was finishing up a project and out of town for the Left Coast Crime conference – a fantastic West Coast mystery convention, organized by volunteers, that takes place in a different location every year.

This year’s conference, “Honolulu Havoc” — took place at the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort in Waikiki (O’ahu, Hawaii)

Koi in Pond

The first morning, I participated in “author speed dating” – a chance for readers and authors to meet over breakfast … in 2-minute increments. To my delight, the organizers paired me with Barry Lancet, who writes modern thrillers set in Japan (if you haven’t read him, start with Japantown and you’ll be hooked).

Spann and Lancet (LCC)

Later that morning, I spoke on the Historical Mystery panel with Rebecca Cantrell, Ovidia Yu, Ann Parker, and fantastic moderator Noel Hynd:

Historical Mystery Panel (LCC) (1)

and attended a number of fascinating panels, including this one on co-authorship, moderated by my friend–and fellow mystery author–R. Franklin James.

RF James Panel

Later in the weekend, I moderated a panel on Religion in Crime Fiction, attended even more panels, and spent a lot of time walking on Waikiki Beach.

Diamond Head

I might have consumed a colorful drink or two — purely in the interests of research.

Blue Ocean (2)

The last morning, I rose before dawn and hiked up Diamond Head (the peak in the beach photo above) with mystery authors Gigi Pandian and Diane Vallere. The view and experience were well worth a few hours’ lost sleep.


Today I’m home and back to life-as-usual, fortified with island sunshine and the plot for a brand-new standalone mystery! (Which I’ll write this year, along with the sixth Hiro Hattori novel. Hiro Hattori #5, BETRAYAL AT IGA, is finished and in production for its upcoming July release!)