Thursday, April 4, 2013

Left Coast Crime - The End??

O.k. I'm going to make every effort to wrap up the Left Coast Crime recap today. Next week you'll be bombarded with reviews!

On Tuesday I left off after the panels during the day on Saturday. Saturday night involved the Awards Dinner and the Craig Johnson interview.

The dinner was lovely and the food was great, and poor Lou Diamond Phillips arrived in the middle of the meal. The man had been stuck in the airport ALL. DAY. LONG. But he was determined to come. He worked some kind of magic and made it to Colorado Springs. I think that says a lot. He could have easily said, "Hey y'all, my plane is grounded, I'm going home." But he didn't. He persevered and made it!!

Lou Diamond Phillips (center) with Craig and Judy Johnson

Following the dinner, the guests of honor were recognized. Laura Lippman made a very gracious speech and then ended with, "a reader emailed me and asked me to hug Lou Diamond Phillips for her, but I said that would probably be awkward since he doesn't even know me." And like a flash, LDP jumped up from his seat, darted up onto the stage, off the other side--because Laura was walking off--and wrapped her in a big bear hug. The audience was in stitches!

Parnell Hall ended the guest of honor portion of the dinner with a song called "Murder is the Last Resort" a la the theme of the conference. There was a CD copy of the song in our book bags, so if you know someone who attended you can hear it for yourselves.

Parnell Hall sings "Murder is the Last Resort."

Next they conducted the auction with the awards announcements still to come--for future event planners, this is NOT a good idea, especially if your auctioneer is rather luke warm. The auction was slow going until the next to the last item. Craig Johnson had a proof copy of the short story collection that he has coming out from ASAP publishing. The proof copy included signatures from Craig and the various contributors, including Margaret Coel, Lou Diamond Phillips and William Kent Krueger. There are illustrations and photographs and of course the shorts, plus some non-fiction pieces from Craig. I ordered one of the finished copies, but they had a proof that was being auctioned off. And bidding started but it was ho hum until Lou Diamond Phillips jumped up and took on the role of auctioneer for this article.

What'll ya give Lou Diamond Phillips for this book?

Ham that he is, he rubbed the book all over his body and cracked jokes, enticing the bidding all the way up to $775. Auctioneering requires an entertainer! The audience was enthralled. And here we thought we were only getting an interview from the man!

So now it was time for the awards! If you haven't already heard, the winners included:

Brad Parks and Catriona McPherson proudly represent Minotaur

Bruce Alexander Memorial Award for historical fiction: Catriona McPherson
Watson Award for best sidekick: Rochelle Staab
Lefty Award for humor: Brad Parks
Rocky Award for book set in the LCC geographic area: Craig Johnson

Rochelle Staab and her stunning Watson Award!

I know I've met Catriona before, but as with almost everyone at the Left Coast Crime Conference, I was able to actually talk to her a bit and she's just a lovely woman. And her speech was lovely as well. I do know Rochelle Staab--she's a xuni author--and she's a doll, so I was very excited for her.

I must point out that when Brad won his award, he lived up to the award. Humor does not stop at the man's books. First he walked up on stage and asked Lou Diamond Phillips if he could have a hug as well. LDP obliged.

Sorry for the blur--Brad gets his hug from Lou Diamond Phillips

THEN after he thanked Hilary Davidson and I for stuffing the ballot box, he did what Brad does best...he sang...a Laura Lippman, to the tune of "You've Lost that Lovin' Feelin'." Laura got up and danced with him and the crowd loved it.

With the wrap of the awards there was a short break so they could rearrange things in the room for the interview. I took the opportunity to snag a seat front and center. Had I known I would have such a great seat, I probably would have taken my video camera along. Alas, I did not. But I have some good pictures to share. AND I do have some audio from the session, so I'm going to include a snippet here. And boy was this an ordeal. I had always edited my audio on my PC, and this time I had to do it on my Mac...I like to learn, but not late at night when I'd just like to get done...anyway, the audio is about 9 minutes and hopefully it'll give you a good sense of the wonderfulness that was the Craig Johnson interview.

I know that my headline says this is the end for my Left Coast Crime recap, and it is, but there will be one more fun little post this weekend that is kind of my highlight moments and pictures. Yes, I have even more pictures. Don't ask how many I took in the Craig Johnson interview alone....

I know you're going to be thrilled with tomorrow's Five on Friday guest, so I'll meet you back here you then! Happy Reading!


Cathy DuPont April 4, 2013 at 7:38 AM  

Hi Jen:

I may be coming in late to this conversation but a question, please. I love Lou Diamond Phillips and his wonderful volume of work, but is he a reader of note? Why specifically was he there, for entertainment?

Thanks and I really enjoy receiving and reading your blog. Great pictures, all.

Cathy in St. Augustine (FL, that is)

Jen Forbus April 4, 2013 at 11:26 AM  

Hi Cathy!

Thanks so much. In answer to your question, Lou Diamond Phillips plays Henry Standing Bear in the television show LONGMIRE, based on Craig's Walt Longmire series. After hearing him in this interview, he is definitely a well-read man!

Cathy DuPont April 5, 2013 at 7:12 AM  

Thanks, Jen. My face is always in a book so I watch very little TV these days.

Enjoy reading your blog...great job.

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