Hackers, Rabbis and Ninjas, OH MY! (Left Coast Crime, Day 1)

I’m at the Left Coast Crime conference in Monterey, CA, this weekend, and having a wonderful time. My wrap-up posts are running a day behind, mostly due to an excess of activity, a load of fun, and a lack of sleep. 

Thursday, I spoke on a panel called “Unusual Sleuths: Your Day Job is WHAT?” The panel read like the start of a joke: a hacker, a rabbi, a ninja, a race car driver and a scuba photographer walk into a bar…

14C20 Panel photo

Our moderator, Ray Daniel, prepared a fabulous list of questions which turned the panel into an ongoing conversation about the adventurous elements of mystery and the manner in which unusual sleuths bring something new and exciting to the genre.

Bonnie Cardone, whose Cinnamon Greene Adventure Mysteries feature a scuba diving photographer, talked about writing her way through the best dive spots in the world.

Tammy Kaehler shared her experiences in the world of auto racing (she worked in hospitality, and has even ridden laps on the track with professional race car drivers – LUCKY!) and the way she brings that excitement to life in the Kate Reilly Racing Mysteries — which are now in my TBR pile.

Rabbi Ilene Schneider’s sleuth is Rabbi Aviva Cohen, and it was clear that Ilene’s mysteries incorporate her sharp sense of humor as well as rabbinical knowledge.

And yes, I talked about ninjas.

After the panel, I went to lunch with Ray, Bonnie, and fellow Debutante Ball blogger Lisa Alber, who also signed her recent debut mystery, KILMOON, for me that morning! 

Lisa and I stopped off for a photo-op in the book room, too.

14C21 Susan and Lisa LCC

One of my favorite things about conferences like Left Coast Crime is the opportunity to meet and visit with other authors–both the ones I know and the ones I didn’t know before. This business is solitary in many ways, but also offers some wonderful chances to build friendships and community. I’m looking forward to the rest of the weekend!

What’s your favorite thing about conferences?