Tuesday, March 17, 2015

It happened at Left Coast Crime

Well, a swell time was had by all. I moderated a panel called "Without a Fedora: New Directions in Noir" (wearing a fedora, of course) with Bret R. Wright, Roger Hobbs, Robert Downs and Baer Charlton, and another (due to the lamentable absence of Steve Mertz) called "Mean Streets: Pulp Detectives of the Past & Present," with Craig Faustus Buck, William E. Wallace, Tim Wohlforth and Dale W. Berry. Somehow, I failed to take any selfies. I also failed to take photos of Angela Sanders moderating a fine panel called "Not Just Cats & Quilts, the Evolution of the Cozy," or of the esteemed Richard and Barbara Robinson gracing the panels with their presence. Nuts.

The Right Reverend Cap'n Bob Napier enthralls the crowd on "It's a Living: Odd Jobs & Strange Professions." With moderator Linda Joffe Hull, Diane Vallere, Tammy Kaehler and Camille Minichino.

Christine Finlayson (far right) wrangles "The Great Outdoors: Murder in Nature," with Shannon Baker, Mark Stevens and Christine Carbo.

David Schlosser (left) waxes eloquent on "Editing Your Own Work: Approaches to Rewriting," with Hannah Dennison, Margaret Lucke, Philip Margolin and Judith Janeway. 

And Doug Levin shows off the 2002 book containing his first published story. It was priced at well over two hundred bucks, but well worth it, I'm sure. 


Christine Finlayson said...

Nice shots! I especially like the one of Doug and his first published story. Between you and the photographer with the giant telephoto lens, we panelists felt like the paparazzi had arrived.

Rick Robinson said...

We failed to take any pictures, to, and now I wish we had. My con report is up on my blog, TiptheWink.net.

Great seeing you and the gang there!

RK said...

Great panel moderating, Evan. Here are my notes from the session:

New Directions in Noir with Evan Lewis, Baer Charlton, Robert Downs, Roger Hobbs and Bert Wright.

Introduce your work.
BW His main character is kind of a nice guy. He’s dealing with a lot of ghosts from the past. He has an altercation with a guy in a porta potty. The name of the book is his nickname, “Nasty.” Friends play a big role in the story.
RH Ghostman has no identity. He creates identities. His characters kind of mirrored his experience of graduating at the peak of the great recession with no prospects, he felt invisible.
RD His main character is sort of an alter ego of the author.
BC “Hooker” the tow truck driver. BC was a driver at one time. Also had a lot of cats, the basis for “Box” in his stories.

BW Writes about Seattle but lives in Colorado. Spent his childhood in Seattle and visiting Portland.
RH Moved to China for research. His is a fiend for research.
RD “Man Fiction” as his genre.
BC Character Relationships/crime split his stories about 50/50. We're born into one family, and we get to choose our other family.

Does noir have to include a detective?
BW Dark, moody. New directions, the detective is more of a human being today, with feeling.
RH Noir post war was all about alienation. Characters didn’t feel a sense of place when they returned home from the WWII. The essential mood of noir is the feeling of alienation.
RD Larry Brown (Big Bad Love) (and others I didn’t capture) are cited. In today’s noir women are stronger characters then in many of the original noirs.
BC Dark art, never sees the light of day. The new wave vampires who are detectives. He calls his work “western noir.”
EL Hardboiled, noir was labeled in the 1950s.

Biggest Influences
BW Chandler, Asimov, EQMM,
RH Westlake,
RD Robert Parker,
BC Chandler, Spillane, Hemingway, Mary Shelley
EL Robert Parker

Do you read true crime?
BC Cop friend's files used for ideas. One case cited in which prostitutes were killed with cyanide.
BW Watched a lot of True Crime TV, but burned out and wanted to make things up.

RH Loves Thug Lit

Current WIP
BW Nasty People
RH Next book in series, then TV
RD A new direction, with an amateur detective, and another one for a small press
BC Book five of “Hooker” series, and a one-off
EL Shorts of both his series characters Skyler Hobbs and (in May AHMM)

How would Sam Spade be different today?
BW More about that internal world, alienation, dealing with social issues, more compassion.
RH The central character of noir hasn't changed, they are lonely outsiders.
BC But they’ve moved to the suburbs [laughs]. They live in that house that isn’t like any of the other ones, off by itself.
EL Readers want characters that are more developed today. Sam was a bit of a mystery in his original form.

Rick Robinson said...

Wow, RK, I guess you were busy writing it up the whole time! Good job.

Evan Lewis said...

Glad you were paying more attention than me, RK. I was busy trying to think up the next question.