Left Coast Crime 2011 and other GREAT MURDERATI NEWS!

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

Margaret Coel and Steven Havill – Guests of Honor

Marv Lachman – Fan Guest of Honor

Steve Brewer – Toastmaster

Dorothy B Hughes and Frances Crane – Ghosts of Honor

Pretty wonderful, hunh?

March 24-27

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.

Convention Hotel
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).




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.

24 thoughts on “Left Coast Crime 2011 and other GREAT MURDERATI NEWS!

  1. Alli

    Wow, Pari the conference sounds fabulous. I’ll be living back in Oz by then, but hopefully I can wangle a skip across the pond for the conference.

    Welcome, Alafair. I am sure you will enjoy your time with the ‘Ratis and I very much look forward to reading your thoughts and ideas.

  2. pari noskin taichert

    That’s why I announced the convention so far in advance. I want people to start saving up their pennies and pence (is that right?) now. If they do, it should be tremendously affordable. The more that register, the more meals we can provide, too.

    I’m thinking this is a little like the Hawaii or Bristol LCC in that it’ll be a once-in-a-lifetime kind of visit for anyone who has ever fantasized about visiting NM.

  3. Stephen Jay Schwartz

    I definitely want to attend the conference! I would probably pick Taos (the Pueblo) as a side-trip. And right around the corner from the Pueblo you can go horseback riding in the mountains with a guide. I’ve done it before and I recommend it.
    You’ve done a great job on the line-up, Pari, and I know you’re the perfect choice to run the show.
    And I’ll have the green chile today.

    Welcome, Alafair! I can’t wait to read your blog next week.

  4. Louise Ure

    Pari, you’re going to be so busy with LCC planning that I’ll bet this once-every-two-weeks blogging will be a welcome relief! Especially when you get to share it with someone as wonderful as Alafair.

  5. Alli

    Pari, in Australia it’s dollars and cents – but I wish we our currency equalled that of the British Pound! I’ve always wanted to visit NM, and thanks to you, I may have a valid reason to go now!

  6. JT Ellison

    Oh crud. I just blew up my comment. Let’s see…
    green chile – yum!
    Santa Fe – awesome
    La Fonda – excellent – good job, P!
    Taos trip – yes
    Alafair – BIG welcome. I’ll have you on the site this afternoon!

  7. Fran

    Oh what a great website! Both Lillian and I are excited about the conference! Good work!

    Welcome, Alafair! What great fun to have you here!

  8. Catherine Shipton

    Pari the Left Coast Crime 2011 sounds like it will be a rich, rich serving of good stuff.

    I think it is wonderful news to see that you’ve added Alafair Burke to the line up. Wow. You guys just never really peak do you? Big welcome.

  9. Janet Reid

    This is great news Pari! Made my reservation at the hotel. You have to CALL them, it can’t be done online this early I guess.

    Very much looking forward to seeing everyone in lovely New Mexico!

  10. Zoë Sharp

    Hi Pari

    Great news on all fronts. Welcome Alafair! I’m really hoping to be able to get to LCC in New Mexico, and we’ve just been talking to someone recently who was telling us that Taos is one of the country’s best-kept secrets, so that sounds like a definite.

    But organising a convention is a big, big task. Go easy on yourself and try not to live on a diet of stress sandwiches ;-]


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