Friday, March 13, 2009

The 4-1-1 on Hawaii and Left Coast Crime

Ah, Hawaii. Was it real or was it a dream? Considering I hit the ground back in LA at 5 am on Thursday and was sitting at my desk in the law firm by 11 am the same morning, it was easy for me to start wondering about 2ish if it was all a hallucination and not a real trip. But it was real and all in all a fabulous time.

Let’s get the downside out of the way early. The flights, both going and coming, were ugly. It was raining the day I arrived and cloudy the next two days. The day I left it was postcard perfect. But the weather didn’t dampen my good time. Also, I didn’t win the Lefty award. However, my good friend Tim Maleeny did bring the coveted award home for his latest book Greasing the Pinata.

Now the upside, and there was lots of that. One of the best things about these book conferences is catching up with old friends from around the nation, even the world, and making new friends. And I made lots of new friends this trip. I roomed with gal pal Sophie Littlefield and spent time in the airport on both legs of the trip with Jeri Westerson. By the way, check out Jeri’s book, Veil of Lies. Sophie’s book, A Bad For Sorry, will be released in August.

Even in Hawaii, I continued my morning walks, but instead of traffic and street lights, I encountered feral cats, mongeese, and sea turtles and turned in concrete and pavement for lava, sand and coral under my feet. One day I took a long early morning hike with budding author Diane Hemme. We walked from our hotel to the Hilton along a winding, narrow, and uneven lava and coral path in the dark to catch a beautiful sunrise. Sitting at the top of one of the Hilton’s cliffs, we watched whales frolicking in the ocean before hiking back to our hotel and breakfast.

All the panels I attended or participated in at Left Coast Crime were wonderful and lively. I was exposed to new authors and met favorites, both old and new. I finally met fellow Midnight Ink author GM Malliet and her hubby and look forward to seeing them at Malice Domestic in a few weeks.

Some of the best times centered around meals. Not the actual food, but the camaraderie around the tables. I found myself sitting down to dine with an eclectic assortment of people at every turn. One evening I dined with pals Sophie and Tim, book reviewer Cameron Hughes, and authors Jonathan Hayes and Barry Eisler. And, yes ladies, Barry Eisler is just as cute in person! And I should know since he sat across from me the entire meal. He’s also funny, passionate, and charming. Not to be left out of the funny and charming department is Jonathan Hayes, a senior Medical Examiner from New York City, food critic, and author. I enjoyed several meals with Jonathan. Trust me, his biting wit and melting English accent can make any mediocre, overpriced meal a treasure. I’m currently reading Jonathan’s edgy novel Precious Blood.

Photos, you ask? Well, hmmm, it seems my camera was on the blink while in Hawaii. Sorry.

Sigh – now it’s back to reality, Mud Run training and my own writing.

1 comment:

Sophie Littlefield said...

hey y'all - sue ann is a *great* roommate - i recommend her highly! :)