Tag Archives: Left Coast Crime

Thanks, Vancouver!

I had an excellent time this weekend at Left Coast Crime 2019 in Vancouver. It’s always fun to catch up with readers and fellow writers, to attend panels and hear what people have to say, and generally to engage in writerly shenanigans. With sunny skies and snowcapped mountains, British Columbia was a perfect place to do it.

This week: Left Coast Crime, Vancouver


This week I’m heading North-Northwest to Vancouver, British Columbia, for Left Coast Crime 2019. This is a terrific conference, and I’m looking forward to seeing everybody who’s attending. I have a couple of official and semi-official events on the schedule:

Mystery Writers of America reception
Thursday, March 28
Following opening ceremonies — 7:15pm-ish.

Panel: Writing Villains
Friday, March 29

It should be fun. I hope I’ll see some of you there!

Upcoming events

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I have a number of events coming up in the next few months. Here’s a preview:

Left Coast Crime
March 28-31, 2019
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Texas Writes at the Sterling City Public Library
April 11, 2019 10:00AM to 1:00PM
Sterling City Public Library
301 Main St.
Sterling City, TX 76951

Edgar Symposium
April 24, 2019
Grand Hyatt New York
New York City

Oklahoma Writers’ Federation: Turning the Page Conference 2019
May 3 & 4, 2019
Meg will be the 2019 conference Keynote Speaker

July 10-13, 2019
New York City

October 31 — November 3, 2019
Dallas, Texas

Hope to see some of you along the way!

‘Bye, Portland

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Left Coast Crime was a terrific conference. Good panels, good friends, lots to learn, lots of fun. And Portland was gorgeous. It’s rare that I round a corner and gasp. But when I saw Mt. Hood yesterday, that’s what I did. In the photo above, it’s 65 miles away. 100 km. Yeah.

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It was wonderful to catch up with Laurie R. King. (I am selfie-challenged, but fortunately other conference goers rescued me.) And I was the lucky recipient of a gift from Sean Chercover: the Blackwing 602, which he insists is the best pencil in the world. I will let you know.


On Friday I moderated a panel on writing female protagonists. I read up on each panelist, researched and prepared questions for a 45 minute discussion, then prepared more questions, printed my questions, and psyched myself up by humming “Eye of the Tiger.” I went to my hotel room to put on my good shoes and my makeup. Makeup… I had left at home.

You have to understand. I was a tomboy. I hated makeup. I still rarely wear it. Except when I’m onstage in front of a large room under harsh lights. Which is why, 45 minutes before I led a panel discussion on the modern heroine in crime fiction, I had a girly panic, ran out of the hotel, across a park, into a mall, found a Macy’s, sprinted into the cosmetics section, and stood there going, “HELP.”

I got it. And made it back to the panel in time to discuss heroines and stereotypes and breaking all those crime fiction molds. Makeup artists of Portland, I salute you.


Left Coast Crime: Today, female protagonists. Tomorrow: cats!


Today at Left Coast Crime I’m moderating “She Said, She Said: Writing the Female Protagonist.” 1:30-2:15pm. We’re going to talk about women, men, social and physical limits — and how to break them; brains vs. brawn, stereotypes, writing from the POV of the opposite sex; the “strong female protagonist”; and authors’ best, worst, and funniest experiences writing mystery fiction.

Tomorrow I’m on a game show panel. And I’ll be competing with the other big event that’s taking place at the conference hotel: the cat show.

Watch out. Let them escape their crates, and crime writers cause all kinds of trouble.

This weekend: Left Coast Crime in Portland


This weekend I’ll be attending Left Coast Crime 2015: Crimelandia. I am excited that I’ll get to attend this excellent crime writers’ conference, held this year in one of my favorite cities, Portland, Oregon.

Most of the time I’ll be hanging out talking about mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels with readers and other writers. To reiterate: this is my ideal weekend.

I’ll also be taking part in a couple of panels.

She Said, She Said: Writing the Female Protagonist
Friday 1:30-2:15pm
Meg Gardiner (Moderator)
Lisa Fernow
Darrell James
Frances McNamara
Carole Sojka

Been There, Wrote That: The Game Show
Saturday 1:30-2:15pm
Gar Anthony Haywood (Moderator)
Hilary Davidson
Meg Gardiner
Timothy Hallinan
D.P. (Doug) Lyle

The first panel should offer plenty of lively discussion. The second panel should be a hoot. To quote our moderator: “The purpose of the panel is to test how well you know your own work, and to see how many laughs a room full of people can get at your expense when you can’t remember a damn thing about your last book, let alone the one you wrote three years ago.”

If you’re in the Pacific Northwest, drop on by.

2015 Events: Houston, Portland, Santa Barbara

I’ve started putting events on my schedule for the first half of 2015. I hope I’ll see some of you there.

Montgomery County Book Festival
Lone Star College — Montgomery
3200 College Park Dr.
Conroe, Texas
Saturday, February 21, 2015
9:00 AM to 4:00 PM
This is a free annual event, open to the public — if you’re in the Houston area, please come.

Left Coast Crime 2015 — Crimelandia
March 12-15
Portland, Oregon
Crime! Writing! Portland! It’s going to be a blast. It also may rain.

Santa Barbara Writers Conference
June 7-12
Santa Barbara, California
This is the big, bad, wonderful writers conference in my hometown, and I am stoked that this year I’ll be taking part.

More details to come.