Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Photos from Left Coast Crime 2015 (where Pirate Vishnu won the Rose Award!)

I'm home from Portland after attending the 25th annual Left Coast Crime convention for mystery fans. What a weekend! Here's a recap of the long weekend in photos, beginning with my surprising highlight before jumping back to the beginning of the convention.

As I mentioned elsewhere over the weekend, I'm officially the most surprised award-winner in Left Coast Crime history. I still can't quite believe that I was awarded the Rose Award on Saturday night! Thank you to everyone who celebrated with me in person and congratulated me online. I'm touched by all of your good wishes.

I was honored that Pirate Vishnu was nominated for the Rose Award for Best Novel of 2014 set in the West Coast region. But with the phenomenal competition, I thought there was no chance I was going to win. When toastmaster Gar Anthony Haywood announced me as the winner, he had to read my name again before I'd believe he truly said my name!


Now that my awestruck moment has kicked off this recap, back to the beginning of the convention:


Opening Ceremonies

On Thursday, March 12, the opening ceremonies officially began the gathering of over 500 mystery readers and writers. We mingled with appetizers and drinks, and the award nominees were presented with plaques. It was especially fun to have good friends as fellow nominees.  

With author pals Diane Vallere and Lisa Alber 

Best first novel nominees:
Allen Eskens, Lisa Alber, M.P. Cooley, Lori Rader-Day, Holly West

Best humorous mystery nominees:
Jess Lourey, Timothy Hallinan, Donna Andrews, Diane Vallere, Cindy Sample


And here's that phenomenal Rose Award competition I mentioned:
L.J. Sellers, Gigi Pandian, Johnny Shaw, Chelsea Cain, Terri Nolan
(And no, I'm not shrinking from my 5'9" height. I was wearing flat boots and there were a lot of tall people at this year's convention!)


Attending panels

Stacy Allen  speaking on the Modern Thrillers panel
Stacy Allen is an author I didn't know before last weekend, but I'm so happy to have gotten to know her. Not only is she a real life underwater treasure hunter (!!!) but she's one of the loveliest people imaginable. I started reading her mystery Expedition Indigo on the plane flight home.

Lee Goldberg moderating the Collaborating with a Co-Author panel
I spoke on the Plotters vs. Pansters panel, a mix of authors who outline (plotters) and who write by the seat of their pants without a plan ("pansters").
Karen MacInerney, Anne Cleeland, Lori Rader-Day, Maia Chance, Gigi Pandian


Slipping out of the hotel to see Portland

There's always so much going on at mystery conventions (here's the program) that it's impossible to do everything. One of the best things to avoid getting burnt out is to take breaks to recharge. I found a local vegan restaurant that was a perfect getaway. It even had mysterious art on the walls.

Henery Press authors at Left Coast Crime:
Nancy G. West, Cindy Brown, Gigi Pandian, Diane Vallere
With fellow Midnight Ink author Tracy Weber
Yup, I'm now writing two series for two publishers (The Accidental Alchemist mysteries with Midnight Ink and the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries for Henery Press). It means a more rigorous writing schedule, but also getting to know more amazing people.

 
Hanging out in the lobby and bar

Catriona McPherson, Stacy Allen, Gigi Pandian, Lisa Alber

With one of my favorite people, Camille Minichino
(who writes more mysteries under more names than I can list here!)

Charlotte Elkins
(who writes the wonderful Alix London art restorer books with Aaron Elkins)

Debut author Cindy Brown

Rosemarie and Vince Keenan, who are collaborating on their
Malice Domestic Grant-winning novel (coming in 2016)

25th Anniversary Celebration

This year marked the 25th Left Coast Crime convention. The celebration on Friday night included toastmaster Gar Anthony Haywood holding a raffle for LCC swag from over the years, a slideshow of photos from the convention over the years, and a stage magician. 

Magician with volunteers from the audience


The banquet

I hosted a table at the awards banquet. Since I thought there was no chance I was going to win, I got to enjoy a relaxing evening with my table-mates!


To celebrate Pirate Vishnu's nomination, I brought a paper pirate ship as the table centerpiece. And to have fun with my new 2015 novels, I gave my table-mates miniature dollhouse gargoyle figures (The Accidental Alchemist) and brought the France-themed photo props from the book launch party for Quicksand (the third Jaya Jones treasure hunt mystery, following Pirate Vishnu). 

Table favors - miniature dollhouse gargoyle figurines

Sisters in Crime Guppy pal Patricia Gulley
with a France photo booth prop

Mysti and Dale Berry having fun with the French props
A list of all the award winners is posted here.

Huge thanks to Catriona McPherson, who forced me to write a brief acceptance speech even though I was certain I wouldn't use it. 

With Catriona McPherson, who won Best Historical Novel
With Cindy Brown

With Jenn McKinlay and Kate Carlisle



After the convention, visiting my parents who live near Portland

Pirate Vishnu nomination plaque feeling right at home
next to a carving from India




I'm looking forward to next year. But in the meantime, I think I'll sleep for a few days.

Update 3/18/15: I forgot to thank the fabulous volunteers who made the convention such a success! Lisa Alber, Bill Cameron, Kendra Elliot, Don Longmuir, Doc Macomber, L.J. Sellers, Johnny Shaw, Lucinda Surber, and Stan Ulrich -- thank you!

12 comments:

  1. Congrats, Gigi. It was fun to meet you (briefly) at the elevators :-)

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    1. Thanks -- and ditto! Too bad the weekend flew by so quickly, because many nice encounters were too brief.

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  2. Gig, your win is so well deserved. And love the photos!

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  3. Great pictures, Gigi! Congrats again....Sisters rock!

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  4. Wow, honored to be included in your collection. Congratulations again!

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    1. Thank you, Camille! I'm glad we ran into each other.

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  5. Miss Pandian,

    You didn't caption your final photo, with you posing with a distinguished-looking Indian gentleman. Inquiring readers want to know...

    Cheers!
    FCZ

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    1. Ah... that caption is the section header: "After the convention, visiting my parents who live near Portland" -- it's my dad :)

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