The annual Left Coast Crime conference came to Phoenix recently, and mystery readers and writers came from all over to hear a wide variety of authors speak. Here are a few soundbites from the conference:

On learning to write:

Catriona McPherson –  “I’m a graduate of MSU: Making Shit Up.”

On getting rejections:

Andrew Kaufman

Andrew Kaufman

Andrew Kaufman – “I was the poster child for rejection. Signing with Amazon publishing was good for me, and was the bump I needed. Initially, the indie system was kinda broken, people were not reading; traditional publishers were getting bombarded and overloaded. Then the indie market exploded, and they expanded the market and content. It’s a better system now.”

On using locations:

Betty Webb – I write Arizona as a character. You know, the haboob, that evil thing that’s out to get you.

Betty Webb

Betty Webb

About readers:

Andrew Kaufman – Readers are golden. Treat them like they are so important! I’ve never forgotten what they mean to me.

On writing schedules:
Betty Webb – I get up at 4 every morning and write until noon, then live a normal life. I do that seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Mark Stevens – I start writing at 5 or 6 a.m. and I write by hand.
Susan C. Shea – I write every day for a couple of hours, then do marketing.

Eloise Hill – I have a busy intuitive practice with odd hours, so I work my writing schedule around clients, usually a couple of hours a day, six days a week.
Ray Daniel – I start at 8 or 9 a.m. and write 500 words a day. Then I switch hats and start coding.

On switching from journalism to fiction writing:

DS Catriona McPherson WN

Catriona McPherson

Andrew Kaufman – I worked in TV news and learned that life is stranger than fiction. It never got old, and I always had great material, but I wanted to make things up. TV taught me to be persistent and annoying, because (as an assignment editor) my job was to bother people to talk to reporters. I learned how to write for brief 15 second stories; don’t waste a word. It was fun until it wasn’t, I got laid off in LA and thought it was a tragedy, but then I wrote my first book.

On writing:

Catriona McPherson and John Clement share funny or sexy typos they have written:
I have been teated well.
I went peeing down the street.
It was the moist fun I’d had.
Except for a few bums on the road.

Next year, LCC 2017 will be in Honolulu, and I will be there with my new book!