If you are interested in blogging or want to promote your book, please contact E. B. Davis at writerswhokill@gmail.com.

January Interviews
1/1 Sherry Harris, Sell Low, Sweet Harriet
1/8 Barbara Ross, Sealed Off
1/15 Libby Klein, Theater Nights Are Murder
1/22 Carol Pouliot, Doorway To Murder
1/29 Julia Buckley, Death with A Dark Red Rose

Saturday Guest Bloggers:
1/4 Lisa Lieberman
1/11 Karen McCarthy
1/18 Trey Baker

WWK Bloggers: 1/25 Kait Carson, 1/30 E. B. Davis


Congratulations to our writers for the following publications:

Don't miss Shari Randall's "The Queen of Christmas" available on at Amazon. Shari's holiday story for WWK was too long so she published it for our enjoyment. It's available for 99 cents or on Kindle Unlimited for free!

KM Rockwood's "The Society" and "To Die A Free Man; the Story of Joseph Bowers" are included in the BOULD Awards Anthology, which was released on November 19. KM won second place with a cash prize for "The Society." Congratulations, KM! Kaye George's "Meeting on the Funicular" is also in this anthology, which can be bought for 99 cents on Kindle until November 30.

Paula Gail Benson's story "Wisest, Swiftest, Kindest" appears in Love in the Lowcountry an anthology by the Lowcountry Romance Writers available 11/5 in e-book and print format on Amazon. The anthology includes fourteen stories all based in Charleston, South Carolina.

Kaye George's "Grist for the Mill" was published in A Murder of Crows anthology, edited by Sandra Murphy on October 9th.

Lyrical Press will publish Kaye George's Vintage Sweets mystery series. The first book, Revenge Is Sweet, will be released in March. Look for the interview here on 3/11.

Shari Randall will be writing again for St. Martin's, perhaps under a pseudonym. We look forward to reading Shari's Ice Cream Shop Mystery series debuting next year. Congratulations, Shari!

Susan Van Kirk's A Death At Tippett Pond was released on June 15th. Read E. B. Davis's interview with Susan.

Warren Bull's Abraham Lincoln: Seldom Told Stories was released. It is available at: GoRead: https://www.goread.com/book/abraham-lincoln-seldom-told-stories or at Amazon: https://tinyurl.com/ydaklx8p

Grace Topping's mystery, Staging is Murder was released April 30. It is now also available in audio.


Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Memories of Malices Past

Banner Logo from http://www.malicedomestic.org/

This coming weekend, more than 600 will gather to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Malice Domestic, a mystery readers and writers conference held each spring near Washington, D. C. The participants in Malice Domestic favor what is known as the “traditional” mystery, like those written by Agatha Christie, where the murder usually occurs off stage and the focus is on the investigation or detection.

Some people associate Malice Domestic with the cozy mystery, taking place in a small town, resolved by an amateur sleuth, and often featuring a cat; however, the authors attending Malice represent a wide variety of mystery genres, including police procedurals, private investigators, thrillers, women in jeopardy, paranormal, and historical. Because Malice usually follows the Mystery Writers of America’s annual celebration, Malice attendees get to hear all about the Edgar news first hand.

Malice awards are given to recognize best novel, best first novel, best short story, best young adult novel, and best nonfiction. They are called the Agathas, in honor of Christie, and the award itself is a porcelain tea pot.

Last year, two new awards were initiated, one to acknowledge the best historical novel (first awarded to Rhys Bowen, who was not at the banquet to accept because of injuries she suffered from a fall at the conference) and the other in recognition of Elizabeth Peters’ heroine, the Amelia, which honors lifetime achievement. Last year’s Amelia recipient was Elizabeth Peters. This year, Carolyn Hart will be recognized.

The great wonder of Malice is its family atmosphere. People greet each other annually and pick up conversations from the year before. Audience members bring knitting to occupy their hands while they listen to the speakers. You don’t ever have to worry about being alone because someone is always there to invite you to have a drink or go to lunch or dinner and talk books and authors.

Vendors have the participating authors’ latest as well as some of their inventory. There are also tables offering used books, clothing, and jewelry. You don’t need to leave the hotel to go on a shopping extravaganza.

I discovered and attended my first Malice in 2003, when Mary Higgins Clark and Carol Higgins Clark were guests. I was very excited to be among the many authors whom I had come to admire. I had my picture taken with the Clarks and made copies for myself and my aunts, who were great fans. Later, my aunts told me another aunt had visited and asked them who was in that picture. It made me feel like a real author to think I had blended in so well with the writers that I went unrecognized by family.

When my mother was able to attend Malice with me, I would drive from South Carolina, traveling through North Carolina.  Once I had the opportunity to tell Margaret Maron the trip to Malice made me feel like I was driving through Deborah Knott’s territory. She told me to let her know if I was coming and to stop and visit.

Cathy Pickens had been one of my students in law school, and I reconnected with her at my first Malice. I met Joanna Campbell Slan at a panel; rode on the elevator with Louise Penny after she won her third Agatha; and had a great conversation with Sandra Brannan at a reception which led to our continuing friendship. My good friend Dorothy St. James was introduced at the New Authors’ Breakfast last year.

The delightful Cindy Silberblatt, who makes the new author introductions, has helped me to find so many emerging writers to enjoy. It’s a thrill to see that she is being recognized as Fan Guest of Honor this year.

When Sue Grafton attended several years ago, I had the good fortune to sit beside her in the audience and the audacity to tell her I had worn my all purpose black dress in Kinsey Millhone’s honor. I have a feeling she hears that line a lot. She told me she had seen my dress material before.

I met Dana Cameron standing in line to get a book signed by Elizabeth Peters. I took Dana’s picture with Ms. Peters. The next year, Dana had my picture taken with her and posted it on her website. Last year, I was very honored to join Dana at her banquet table, to cheer as she served as Toastmaster, and to watch her win best short story for “Disarming.” I got to meet Charlaine Harris, Dean James, Janet Hutchings, and Frankie Bailey, and see Toni Kelner, who I had met previously.

The next morning, at the Sisters in Crime Breakfast, I saw Ms. Harris had an empty seat beside her. She put her hand up as I approached, and I thought that meant someone else was seated there. I passed by and suddenly heard Ms. Harris call out my name and ask me to come back and sit down. She had been motioning for me to join her, not to move on. She remembered my name! That’s the kind of special moment you can experience at Malice.

I have to sing the praises of those who plan the conference and execute it so flawlessly. They prepare a complex and well organized program, coordinate hotel services, mobilize volunteers, and, at the end of an exhausting weekend, are somehow ready to start again.

Thanks to so many who have made my memories of Malice Domestic so very special. Have you been to Malice and are you going this year? What memories do you have of Malices past?


Jim Jackson said...

I am leaving today for a leisurely trip to Bethesda and look forward to meeting a ton of people I only know electronically. It will be my first Malice, so all my memories are yet to be.

~ Jim

Dorothy St James said...

I'm looking forward to my second Malice convention! Last year was so much fun. My head was spinning after meeting authors whose writing inspired me, especially Elizabeth Peters. Meeting her was a dream come true for me!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Safe journeys to you both, Jim and Dorothy!

Warren Bull said...

I have not attended a Malice. I had no idea what I have missed. I have throughly enjoyed other confereneces.

Kaye George said...

Paula, we've been at a bunch of these together and our paths never crossed. We must fix that this year! I'll seek you out! I'm meeting Jim in person for the 1st time, too. This will be so exciting!!

G.M. Malliet said...

I can't believe it is Malice's 25th birthday! Packing now... It looks like the weather will cooperate by Friday.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Kaye, that's a deal! I'm looking forward to it.

Paula Gail Benson said...

G.M., thank you so much for commenting! I remember your receiving the Agatha for Death of a Cozy Writer and congratulate you on your nomination for A Fatal Winter this year.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Warren, I wish you could be with us.

Jim, Dorothy, Kaye, and G.M., I will be looking for you!

Also, hoping to catch up with fellow WWK bloggers Gloria, E.B., and Shari!

Happy Malice everyone! Travel safely.

Gloria Alden said...

My first Malice was in 2006, and I've not missed once since. When I went to that first one, I'd never heard of Sisters in Crime or the Guppies. I joined that year and it was one of the best things I ever did. I'm looking forward to meeting my fellow bloggers this year as well as all the others I've met in the past. I'll be leaving Thursday morning.

Anonymous said...

I'm going to my first Malice this year, and while I'm not sure what to expect, I'm looking forward to it!

Paula Gail Benson said...

KM, you will love it. Hope you have a wonderful time!