Santa Fe Favorites and Tips cont.

On March 15, 2011 · 1 Comments

Hey all. One bar I like a lot is at the Hotel St. Francis. The head mixologist really enjoys making old-time drinks — the stuff of Hollywood in the 20s — and he also has seasonal drinks with local produce. Worth a look for an afternoon break.


Announcing the Cuentos!

On February 24, 2011 · Comments Off

Congrats to all the Cuento competition winners AND our gratitude to everyone who submitted a proposal.

The descriptions below are in the presenters’ own words. These descriptions will not be in our program book, so take note of them now.



1. Mike Befeler     Mixing Humor, Mystery and Older Characters
The art of combining humor and dead bodies in a way that keeps the reader reading by pointing out the foibles of the aging process, using quirky characters, employing unexpected twists, showing people acting in unique ways, uncovering  flaws in the protagonist and honorable traits in the antagonist.

2. Vicki Delany      The Changing Role of Women in Mysteries as Reflected in Fiction
Author of a modern police procedural series with a female protagonist, a series set in 1898 featuring a woman with a shady past, and standalones partially set in World War II, Vicki discusses the changing role of women as characters in her fiction live it.

3. Chris Eboch     What I learned from Nancy Drew
Generations of fans can’t be wrong. “Grab you by the throat” openings, cliffhanger chapter endings, a little danger, and a lot of drama keep readers coming back for more. A ghostwriter shares tricks she learned while writing about the famous sleuth and explores the difference between Nancy *then* and Nancy *now*.

4. Christine Goff     Killer Birds: Explore the Newest Trend in Wildlife Mysteries
There are only eight mystery novelists truly writing birding/birdwatcher fiction. Goff will introduce you to the authors and their series, share some true-life stories of some killer birds, and send you forward with a list of birds to look for while visiting Santa Fe.

5. Joan Hansen, Stacey Aaronson & Tracey Kaehler
Men of Mystery

One elegant ballroom …Fifty Men who know how to kill …and get away with it … 450 guests dying to know their secrets. Sneak into a preview of our Raven Award-winning Men of Mystery Event with cameo appearances by celebrity authors who probe the twisted minds of their cryptic characters .

6. Robin Harlick     The Crime Hot Spots of Canada
What do the mountains of British Columbia, Canada’s Capital City and the forests of Quebec have in common? Find out as Vicki Delany, Barbara Fradkin and R.J. Harlick take you on a tour to some of the crime hot spots of Canada. Door prizes and uniquely Canadian delicacies.

7  Barbara Peters & Keith Kahla      Wisdom from Industry Pros
What do you get when you combine decades of publishing and editing experience? These two pro! Join St. Martin’s longtime editor Keith Kahla and Poisoned Pen’s co-founder Barbara Peters for a discussion of everything you might want to know about mystery publishing, trends and more. Come with questions.

8. Maria Hudgins     The Detection Club
The club for Mystery Writers was founded in London in 1930 by Sayers, Christie, et al. Today, it still meets 3 times a year, tongues still firmly in cheeks. I’d like to talk about this club, include quips from current members, and conduct an ersatz induction ceremony complete with Eric the Skull. I’d bring my own skull. . . . well, you know what I mean.

9. Bob  Levinson     Hollywood from the Inside Out
Robert Levinson is the only author writing about show business icons who knew hundreds  personally, worked alongside them, and can share uncensored memories of Mae  West, Lana Turner, Rita Hayworth, Marilyn Monroe, Natalie Wood, James Dean, John  Lennon, Clark Gable, Errol Flynn, Alan Ladd, Paul Newman, Tony Curtis, Marlon  Brando, Bob Hope, Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley; more.

10. Kris Neri     Humor Will Discharge Our Anger
We know our society is splintering apart, but Kris Neri will show that it’s not false civility we need, it’s humor that will bring our polarized country together, make us laugh together at our oddities, help us shed our fears, and embolden us to rid ourselves of the Boogeymen that keep us apart.

11. Katherine Russell
Designing Winning Protagonists for Today’s Mystery Market

What do reader demographics and buying patterns tell us about what the contemporary reader wants? How do you design characters to appeal to big segments of the market? Can fictional characters be positive role models for readers, especially younger readers? Let’s have some fun predicting what future ‘break-through’ protagonists will be like!

12. Zoë Sharp and J.T. Ellison      You Can’t Run in High Heels
Zoë Sharp and JT Ellison demonstrate the gentle art of self-defence. A practical and entertaining look at how to avoid being stabbed, strangled, or even aggressively chatted up. Two kick-ass writers show you the moves and discuss how to avoid putting yourself – or your characters – in danger. (No audience members will be harmed.)

13. Sue Trowbridge Who Wants to Be An E-Book Millionaire?
Do you own the rights to your out of print books? Have you thought about making them available as ebooks – but don’t know where to begin? Learn everything you need to know from someone who’s already done it. We’ll cover buying ISBNs, formatting text, designing the cover, and more. Bring questions!

14. John Vorhaus  My Favorite Con Games and Scams
Join John Vorhaus, author of the grifter mysteries: The California Roll and The Albuquerque Turkey, for an insider’s look at how con games work. Learn about the Fiddle Game, Penny Skim, Nana’s Attic, and especially the Golden Rule of Con Artistry: If you think it’s too good to be true, it is!

15. Lea Wait     Ten Things I’ve Learned Since I’ve Been Published
Before Lea’s first book was published in 2001 she was a corporate manager. She didn’t know about stalker fans or dangerous giveaways or discontinued series or lonely signings or fanatical copy editors. Now, 9 books and 10 years later, Lea’s ready to share what she’s learned. Be ready to laugh, groan, and nod.

Santa Fe one of the smartest cities

On November 9, 2010 · Comments Off

According to Travel & Leisure, Santa Fe is #10 among the smartest 20 cities in the U.S.

Just thought you should know . . .

Get your thinking cap on,



On September 26, 2010 · Comments Off

Nomination Period Coming Before You Know It!

Nominations will be accepted between January 1 and January 21, 2011, for four Left Coast Crime awards:

THE LEFTY: Best humorous mystery novel

THE BRUCE ALEXANDER MEMORIAL HISTORICAL MYSTERY: Best historical mystery novel, covering events before 1950

THE HILLERMAN SKY AWARD: The mystery (short story to novel length) that best captures the landscape of the Southwest.

THE WATSON: Best sidekick in a mystery novel

Eligible works must have been published for the first time in the United States during calendar year 2010. If published in other countries before 2010, works are still eligible if they meet the US publication requirement.

You will be able to nominate three works in each category. And, yes, you can nominate your own books!

Nominating Process
Nomination ballots will be emailed to all 2010 and 2011 LCC registrants prior to January 1.

Only nominations received between January 1-21, 2011, will be tabulated.

Announcement of Award Nominees
We intend to announce the nominations on January 24, 2011.

We know the timing is tight, but we want to be fair to all potential works of fiction published during the entire year of 2010. We hope that by telling you about the process this early, you’ll be thinking of the works you want to nominate from this point on.

Thank you, and we’ll see you in Santa Fe!

Sarah Storme, Left Coast Crime 2011 Awards Chair
Pari Noskin Taichert, Left Coast Crime 2011 Chair

New Mexico Question #6:

On September 5, 2010 · 2 Comments

For the country fans . . .
Which George Strait song includes a line about breaking his leg in Santa Fe?

The answer to #5 is on The Big Chile discussion page.



New Mexico Question #4

On September 3, 2010 · 3 Comments

What film starring Johnny Cash and Kirk Douglas was filmed in Santa Fe?

I’m not linking to anything or telling you the year because that would make this too easy.

Answer to yesterday’s main question: Jan. 6, 1912. Though people have lived in this area for longer than most other areas in the U.S., we’re one of the youngest states in the country.



NM Question #3

On September 2, 2010 · 1 Comments

We’ve got a lot of history here in New Mexico. Indigenous peoples created astounding communities in places like Gila and Chaco Canyon. The Spaniards grew wine here before they did anywhere else in what is now the U.S.

So here’s the question for the day:

When did New Mexico become a state?

Bonus question: Approximately when did people start using the name “Nuevo Mexico” for this part of what is now the U.S.?

Answer to #2:  Santa Fe and Truchas, NM.


Trips, they’re up to you

On April 5, 2010 · 21 Comments

There are so many incredible things to do in Northern New Mexico, I’m having a difficult time picking what would be best to offer our attendees for the before-convention trips.

I’ve gotten some proposals. Before I decide, I want to give you a chance to tell me what you’d like to see. Even though LCC Santa Fe is a year away, you’ll need time to save up your pennies and sign up. Since we’ll be using a tourism service we’ll need to see if the trips will fill and actually happen (most are for a minimum of 12 people, so I would hope to generate at least that much interest).

What I need in the comments section here — or to the LCC email on this site, or to my personal email — are your preferences.

– Anyone interested in native American ruins/culture? The NM pueblos offer a unique glimpse into worlds less publicized.

– Horseback riding?

– Walking tours of Santa Fe?

– Fine Arts (a visit to Abiquiu and O’Keeffe country, art museums etc)?

– Native American pottery making (demonstration) and collecting (visiting the private home of a world-renowned collector)

– Cooking classes?

– Los Alamos?

– Trains/train history?

– Private wine and chile tasting at restaurant?

The possibilities are endless but I’d like to narrow them down a bit. Again, I’m going to keep this post up for a week or so — we’ll contact our registered attendees — and see if we get any kind of consensus.

I’m looking at 2 1/2 days of potential trips — Tuesday, Wednesday trips and a short one on Thurs. morn.

PLEASE don’t respond if you’re not registered. I’m going on the honor system here . . .