AshEdit—News About Books & Writers

June 13, 2011

California Crime Writers Conference, 2011 Part 3

Filed under: Uncategorized — ashedit @ 3:17 pm

Link to T. Jefferson Parker‘s keynote speech at Spinetingler Mag:

Missing in Action: Jeri Westerson, President OC Chapter, Sisters in Crime. The quicksilver author escaped my camera!

(BELOW) AGENTS’ COCKTAIL PARTY hosted by Sisters in Crime Los Angeles. Hilton Hotel, Pasadena, June 11, 2011. LEFT TO RIGHT Kimberley Cameron of Kimberley Cameron Associates, Matt Pizzo – Zoba Books, Kelly Gottuso Mortimer, Dan Smetanka, BJ Robbins. (Not pictured) Angela Rinaldi.

BELOW: Elizabeth Carroll, Bernie de Paolis, Kate Herbert

BELOW: Young volunteers at the Mystery Writers of America table.

Erika and Jefferson

BELOW LEFT: Detective Dennis Kilcoyne, LAPD talks about his involvement with celebrity cases and real-life noir LA.

BELOW RIGHT: Lee Goldberg answers questions about lucrative tie-in writing and the new opportunitie$$$$ in self-publishing. There’s gold in them thar hills!


Margaret York, Dianne Emley, Kathleen McChesney

BELOW: June Casagrande, the Grammar Snob (not really, she’s just trying to get your attention)

BELOW: SISTERS IN CRIME LOS ANGELES (L) Gabriela Vazquez, Board Member at Large, and Donna May, member

COMING SOON: Elaine Ash chats one-on-one with T. Jefferson Parker about movie rights, first-person-to-third-person novels and the manuscript he just finished that’s out for copyediting.



  1. And a good time was obviously had by all!

    Comment by Al Tucher — June 14, 2011 @ 7:50 am

  2. I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you modify it yourself? Anyway keep up the nice quality writing, it’s rare to see a nice blog like this one today..

    Comment by Alberta Maxell — June 14, 2011 @ 12:05 pm

  3. Blush! Alberta, you made my day. Nope, nothing paid for here, it’s all freebie, with a tip of the hat to the folks at WordPress who offer all these terrific designs.

    Comment by ashedit — June 14, 2011 @ 1:53 pm

  4. Thanks for all the great coverage, Elaine. We were really happy with the conference, pretty much all the comments we’ve received have been positive and it’s really encouraging to see and read coverage like yours. Eric Stone, Co-Programming Chair CCWC 2011, Director of the Speakers Bureau, Sisters in Crime Los Angeles Branch.

    Comment by Eric Stone — June 14, 2011 @ 2:56 pm

  5. Elaine,
    Thank you for the excellent coverage. You are a talented and hard-working reporter and photographer. You captured the excitement of our event — two keynote speakers, four tracks of workshops, and the popular agents’ reception!
    Jo Ellen Krumm
    Sisters in Crime/Los Angeles

    Comment by Jo Ellen Krumm — June 14, 2011 @ 3:14 pm

  6. Hi Eric, hi Joanne, I hope Sisters in Crime get a bump from this coverage. You guys were very welcoming to me.

    Comment by ashedit — June 14, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  7. Good to see writers having fun. Sometimes when you spend all your days in the office writing you think that maybe other “writers” are sort of like unicorns. Rumors but never seen.

    Comment by Charles Gramlich — June 14, 2011 @ 5:55 pm

  8. Charles, they were out in full force for this one, and from very established to just dipping a toe in. I was surprised at the cutting-edge info offered by e-experts such as Eric Stone and Lee Goldberg. Just as good, were law enforcement professionals who came out to share info–even a woman from the FBI. I was running from room to room.

    Comment by ashedit — June 14, 2011 @ 6:05 pm

  9. Elaine, thanks so much for your commentary and photos. In the hallways and meeting rooms, I heard everyone saying what a great conference it was.

    Comment by Dianne Emley — June 15, 2011 @ 6:57 am

  10. Hello Dianne! I am so honored that you dropped by Ashedit. Thank you for generously bringing your expertise to the “Women in Blue” panel at the conference (pictured above). The panel was an eye-opener for all of us.

    Comment by ashedit — June 15, 2011 @ 7:07 am

  11. I’m so jealous. I’m reading T. Jefferson Parker’s STORMRUNNERS this week and I keep stopping and saying, “Dang, I wish I could write like this.”

    Comment by Mark Boss — June 15, 2011 @ 8:58 am

  12. Hi Mark! If you really want to gnash your teeth with jealousy, try reading “LA Outlaws.” I really quizzed Mr. Parker about this book over lunch and he gave some great answers and observations. Thanks for dropping by and let me know if you look up LAO.
    PS Shameless plug here for my interview with T Jefferson Parker coming soon.

    Comment by ashedit — June 15, 2011 @ 9:04 am

  13. Well, when a writer hears words like those from Mark and Elaine, the writer’s head gets really big. But of course, critics are for getting it back to regular size! That was quite a day. There were two things about writing I wanted to say, and then forgot to. One, is anybody beginning writer should know this: NEW YORK PUBLISHERS NEED YOU. You are the stars of tomorrow. Really. They are always looking for you, for the next breakout author/book. There is an insatiable market for good writing out there. Believe it, because it’s true. And also this: one of the hardest things to get as a beginning writer, is respect for your writing time. So don’t let well-meaning people steal away your precious minutes. They mean no harm. I remember my friends chiding me about not coming out to play sometimes. But hey, they’re still friends and I’m a writer now, so you can have both!

    Comment by Jeff Parker — June 16, 2011 @ 11:33 am

  14. The next time somebody calls me a hermit, I’m going to say, “It’s okay, Jeff Parker said so.” (Just kidding) You make a good point. There’s always that guilt, I guess until the first check comes in and then people say, “Oh, I get it now.” Thanks for this, Jeff. I look forward to hearing what others have to say on this list.

    Comment by ashedit — June 16, 2011 @ 3:01 pm

  15. Great words of wisdom, Jeff!

    Comment by Jake Hinkson — June 16, 2011 @ 3:48 pm

  16. Jeff, I think your comment about the difficulty of getting respect for your writing time is spot on. And one thing I’ve discovered is, the first step toward your friends and family respecting your writing time is for you yourself to do so. Take it seriously, and eventually, others will as well.

    Comment by Chris F. Holm — June 16, 2011 @ 3:55 pm

  17. Great insight from J.P. It will motivate me for some time to come.

    Comment by Al Tucher — June 16, 2011 @ 4:21 pm

  18. Aw man, I didn’t know Parker was gonna come back and read this stuff. I sounded like a total fanboy. But I sort of owe him for Border Lords, and Renegades, and now Stormrunners.

    Comment by Mark Boss — June 16, 2011 @ 5:59 pm

  19. Elaine,
    Terrific blog, you really capture the spirit of the meeting. (If this is a sample of your work, I’ll buy anything you write!)
    Regarding the conference, with my first manuscript in hand and no idea what to do with it, I found the program well-worth the price of admission. I learned a lot of hands-on, usable stuff from Dorothy Howell, Michelle Gagnon, Eric Stone, Lee Goldberg, and Kerry Madden.
    I also appreciate the words of encouragement from Mr. Parker on this page–it was depressing last weekend to hear the many stories of the hundreds of rejected query letters and decades it takes to get published.
    So it’s I nice to know publishers might actually be in the market for a good read!

    Comment by Kris Calvin — June 16, 2011 @ 6:19 pm

  20. Hi Kris and welcome back Mark! Kris, thanks for the kind words. Thanks for posing for my camera as “Cutest Outfit at the Conference.” Kris can be seen in “Part 2” of photos.

    Comment by ashedit — June 16, 2011 @ 6:28 pm

  21. Hey Kris, thanks for the nice words about the conference. It is sad but true that what a lot of us writers all too often lose track of – even those of us with a number of books under our belts – is that we’re the single most necessary part of the whole equation. The opportunities for publishing are growing, not shrinking, and the one thing that will always be necessary is writers to create the content. There are no books at all without those of us who write them. It’s important to remember that our agents are working for us, not the other way around, and that the publishers wouldn’t have anything to print – or whatever the verb is for ebooks – without us writers either. Publicists wouldn’t have anything to publicize, reviewers wouldn’t have anything to review, book buyers wouldn’t have anything to buy, etc. Then again, as rosy as all that sounds I don’t want to give anyone a false impression – there are a whole bunch of us writers vying for the public’s attention, so while we might be necessary, it still isn’t easy.

    Comment by Eric Stone — June 16, 2011 @ 7:23 pm

  22. Thanks Eric, well-said! By the way, really enjoyed The Living Room of The Dead! (Catching up, first things first.)
    My tablemates at lunch at the conference laughed when I told them you warned me it has “a lot of sex and violence in it”. That left me, while in line with others behind me waiting for you to sign their books, with the choice of saying,
    “Oh, sex and violence are fine” as demurely as I could or looking appropriately shocked and putting it back. Glad I took the leap, all scenes were in support of a great story.

    Comment by Kris Calvin — June 17, 2011 @ 6:59 am

  23. Eric,
    I should add that as a woman of a certain age, I’m sure I looked like I was there for the cozies and just got in the wrong line. Under the circumstances, your comment was quite thoughtful.

    Comment by Kris Calvin — June 17, 2011 @ 7:45 am

  24. Kris, you’d be surprised. When the book first came out, Linda who worked at The Mystery Bookstore in Westwood was terrified when a bunch of elderly friends of my mom’s wanted to buy it. Later she began to describe them as “bloodthirsty and sex-crazed.” (Well, I’m paraphrasing there.) Still, I figure it doesn’t do anybody any good for me to encourage them to buy and read things that there is a good chance they might not like. (Although I do like challenging my readers.) Living Room is a particularly difficult book for some people – which is what I wanted. I felt like it needed to be that way to get its job done. (I did have one “fan” who liked it for all the wrong reasons, however. Eww. I never responded to any of his emails and eventually he stopped writing.) I’m really pleased that you liked it for the right reasons. Thanks.

    Comment by Eric Stone — June 17, 2011 @ 7:53 am

  25. Great coverage Elaine, Felt like I was there. And Jeff, you’re so right about the time thing. Gonna start carving out a wee bit more. Thanks!

    Comment by Glenn Gray — June 18, 2011 @ 7:48 am

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    Comment by InterventionASAP — July 29, 2011 @ 8:24 pm

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