This is a good week. We have enough in place that I get to announce the details of Left Coast Crime Santa Fe. In addition to that, I’m absolutely delighted to tell our ‘Rati readers that starting next Monday, August 31, Alafair Burke—yes, you read that right—will be joining our blog.
Left Coast Crime 2011: The Big Chile
First off, let me introduce you to a new word: “chile”. Yep. Lower case. In New Mexico that’s how we spell what most of the rest of the country spells chilli or chili. So don’t pronounce it a la Southern for “child.”
Guests of Honor
When I was thinking about guests of honor, I wanted to make sure we’d have a variety of crime fiction subgenres represented. I also very much wanted to make sure that all of our guests had a tie with New Mexico—that they “got” what my state is all about. I’m very excited to announce this line up:
Martin Cruz Smith – Lifetime Achievement
Marv Lachman – Fan Guest of Honor
Steve Brewer – Toastmaster
Pretty wonderful, hunh?
I plan to have at least one side trip, maybe two, before the convention starts. Right now I’m thinking of a combined trip to either Los Alamos and Bandelier National Monument OR Taos (the pueblo and town). We also might have a specialty writing day such as LCC 2010 is having on that Thursday.
La Fonda on the Plaza
This incredible historic hotel epitomizes New Mexico to me. Think adobe. Think hand-painted Mexican tiles in the bathrooms. Think saltillo tiles, a restaurant with huge sky lights and a lovely fountain in its center. La Fonda is unlike any other hotel you’ll ever visit or stay in. We’ve negotiated the rates for standard rooms down to $179/night. This is a great deal, especially since the hotel is right on Santa Fe’s world famous Plaza.
I’d encourage anyone who wants to stay at La Fonda to make their reservations EARLY –you can do it today!—because rooms will fill up fast. I can tell you right now that we are definitely going to have at least one overflow hotel. Of course there are many places to stay in the area – many far more expensive -- and even a few motels a little further away, but La Fonda is a once in a life time experience.
Website and Registration
We’ve got the LCC 2011 website up--though there may be portions that aren't quite ready for primetime yet--but you can register right this minute if you want. We’ve tried to keep the prices reasonable and there are benefits to signing up early.
We are definitely including the buffet awards dinner and at least one continental breakfast in the convention package. I plan to include a second continental b-fast, but that will depend on how many people sign up and what we can afford.
If you’ve got ideas or comments, either include them here or send them to me privately. At this point, with more than eighteen months' lead time, we’re fairly open to suggestions. Now is the time to make your voices heard. No guarantees that we’ll be able to accommodate every creative concept, but we’d sure like to make this convention memorable for all the right reasons.
If anyone wants to take a larger, planning piece of this puzzle, let me know and I’ll email you privately (provided I can find your information).
AND NOW FOR ALAFAIR
I feel sheepish giving so many details about LCC and so little space to Alafair, but what can I say about this fabulous and accomplished writer? Only this: I wasn’t looking to give up my solo blogging on Mondays. I liked being the only ’Rati who didn’t alternate with someone else.
It took an extremely special person to make me reconsider.
There’s no question in my mind that Alafair will add a wonderful voice to our mix. She’ll bring a depth and level of excellence that just makes my heart sing.
Alafair will post her first blog with us next Monday, August 31, and thereafter will alternate Mondays with me.
I know you’ll make her feel welcome. All of us at the ‘Rati are absolutely delighted. We hope you are too.
I think that’s enough information on a Monday morning.
-- Tell me what you think about Left Coast Crime 2011: The Big Chile
-- Tell us what you think about Alafair joining the 'Rati.