Please contact E. B. Davis at for information on guest blogs and interviews. Interviews for August: (8/3) Dianne Freeman (8/10) Daryl Wood Gerber (8/17) E. B. Davis's Review of Granite Oath, James M. Jackson's new novel (8/24) Rose Kerr (8/31) V. M. Burns.

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Malice Domestic 28

Lucy Zahray, with different kinds of lead.
I just returned from my tenth Malice Domestic Convention, and as usual I had a great time meeting new fans and authors and those I’ve gotten to know from past Malice conventions. My roommate, Kathleen (KM) Rockwood and I arrived late Thursday afternoon. After registering that evening, we went to an early panel “A Little Spot of Poison” by Luci Zahray, the poison lady. As always she was both informative and funny. She talked about an unusual poison; lead. And as usual she went into factual details including how to murder someone with it, and she didn’t mean hitting someone over the head with a lead pipe.

I'm in the middle row at the left end.

Friday morning after breakfast I took my books to Mystery Loves Company for Kathy Harig to sell before I went to Malice-Go-Round. Kathleen and I both had slots, and it was a fun although a tiring event running from table to table with only two minutes each to talk about our books. Before we left after it ended, there was a group picture of all the authors who participated in this book marathon through crowded tables.

After that I went with a lot of other Guppies to Booeymonger for our annual lunch. I also took Beverly Allen/ aka Beverly Early with me to get to know her better. She would be one of my panelists on Sunday. Since I’d never gotten an email that she’d accepted being on my panel, I hadn’t read her book. As always there was a lot of laughing, talking and catching up with those we hadn’t seen since the previous year as well as getting to know Guppies we’d never met before.

The only panel I attended that afternoon was Simply the Best: Our Agatha Best Contemporary Novel Nominees, with Shawn Reilly Simmons, moderator, and panelists,
Annette Dashofy, Margaret Maron, Catriona McPherson and Hank Phillippi Ryan. What a great panel that was!
I went back for lunch the next day with two of my Sinc chapter.

That evening Writers Who Kill bloggers, except for Paula Benson, who had a prior meeting scheduled, went to La Madeleine for supper. Shari Randall, K.M. Rockwood, Jim Jackson and his significant other, Jan, as well as two of my local chapter of Sinc, Irma Baker and Jane Turzillo, and me of course. It’s a truly wonderful place to eat. We were joined by two others later, Maggie Toussaint, and Barbara Graham. After we got back, I went straight to our room to read more of Beverly Allen’s first book that she gave to me to read after the luncheon. Also, it had been a busy day, and I wanted some quiet down time.

I'm with the pink lei next to the fabulous Hank Phillippi Ryan. 
Saturday morning started with a scrumptious Sisters in Crime breakfast. Good food, and good camaraderie between mystery authors and fans, or as in my case, both author and mystery fan.
I went to several panels: One with K.M. Rockwood as a panelist, and one in which our Jim was the moderator, and he did an awesome job of moderating. Interesting questions and lots of joking and laughing. 
Paula Benson and Shari Randall

Shari and I met in the lobby late in the afternoon so we could go to 5:00 Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes three or four blocks away. We both like going to new churches, especially old historical ones. 

That evening was the Agatha Banquet which was packed with attendees. Just waiting outside for the doors to open the noise was so loud it was hard to hear anyone near you speak.
I was at B.K. (Bonnie) Steven’s table. Unfortunately two days before she’d fallen and badly broke her arm and required surgery, but her daughter came in case she won the award for either her book Fighting Chance or one of her short stories. The food was good as were the speeches, and it was interesting to see who won the Agatha’s. A wonderfully sweet member of my local chapter, Amanda Flower, won the best Children’s Young Adult novel. I was so happy for her.
Me, Beverly/Barbara, Christine, Wendy,, Liz & Jane
Sunday morning was the New Author breakfast. My panel Small Town Murders was at 10:00, with my panelists; Beverly Allen/Barbara Early, Christine Husom, Wendy Tyson, Liz Mugavero,  and Jane Cleland. It was a fun event, and I loved hearing their answers especially to the one in which I asked them to tell us about their most embarrassing event. Then there was my book signing before leaving for home. It was a fun conference, and I enjoyed myself, and best of all, I got almost as much money for my books sold and I spent, which was the first year that happened since I always buy way too many books, as I did this year, too.

K.M. Rockwood’s on Malice 28

Booeymonger last year, KM middle left & me on right.
I’m just home from Malice Domestic Convention and getting back to my regular life. That seems to get much more difficult as I get older.

Writing is a solitary process. The best part of Malice Domestic is seeing old friends and making new ones. People, fans and authors alike are so welcoming and supportive.
I’ve been going to Malice Domestic for the past few years, and each year is better, and I have more things to do. This time I had several things scheduled – Malice-Go-Round, participation on a panel, book signings – that kept me busy.

Abductions and Lies, the 6th in the Jesse Damon Crime Novel series, was released just prior to the convention. I had been afraid that it would not make it, but my fears were unjustified.

Because I was running around so much, I feel like I didn’t spend as much time with my “old” friends, including my fellow bloggers from Writers Who Kill. But all told, it was a great convention, and I’m glad I went. - KM

Shari Randall on Malice 28

Liz Mugavero and Shari Randall in a bathroom. 
Malice is the yearly reunion of the tribe of the traditional mystery loving readers. The panels are always enlightening and entertaining, but reuniting with old friends and meeting new are always the highlights for me and this year was no exception. Dining with the other Writers Who Kill and friends at La Madeleine, joining the Wicked Cozy Authors for dinner and swag bag stuffing, sitting at wonderful Julie Hennrikus’ table (AKA Julianne Holmes, author of Agatha nominated
Just Killing Time, meeting Mark Baker, the tireless reader behind the Carstairs Considers blog, having cupcakes with my wonderful editor, watching the amazing Barb Goffman win an Agatha award after being nominated for the prize so many times, seeing in person all the wonderful Guppies and Facebook friends I’ve made over the years – wow! No wonder I fell asleep on the train ride back home.

If I am honest, there is hardly a low light. Even the malfunctioning elevators gave us more time to chat and the instant camaraderie that comes from facing the “we’re all in this together” travails of modern life. The only thing I can think of that wasn’t fun was the line to ship books home. And even when I think of that, I just thing, “All right! More books!” - Shari

Jim Jackson on Malice 28

Jim's excellent panel that had everyone laughing.
Whenever mystery authors get together, I find a terrific atmosphere of supportive energy. This, my third Malice Domestic, fit that to a T. It was great to see so many members of the Guppy Chapter of Sisters in Crime. - Jim

And now I’m home in my favorite place to be with my small farm critters and lots of new books to read, and with fond memories of this past weekend at Malice.

Have you ever attended Malice or another convention?

What was your experience there if you have?


Kait said...

Oh, sounds like a wonderful convention! I am so sorry to miss this year. Fingers crossed for next year. Save me a place at the table!

Warren Bull said...

It sounds wonderful. I have not yet attended a Malice, but I need to.

Gloria Alden said...

Kait, I hope you can go next year. It's such a wonderful venue to meet fellow mystery writers.

Gloria Alden said...

Warren, I would so love to meet you in person some day, and Malice would be a good venue.

KM Rockwood said...

It was a great conference, and since I have to limit the number of conferences I can attend, a great choice. Thanks, Gloria, for giving us an overview.

Paula Gail Benson said...

Gloria, thank you so much for putting this together. As always, Malice was a delightful whirlwind. I'm sorry to have missed dining with you all on Friday, but was so glad to spend time with you throughout the weekend. I particularly enjoyed Jim Jackson's panel and definitely want to add his panelists to my "to be read" list. Gloria, I'm sorry I missed your panel. I'm sure it was wonderful. I had the privilege of sitting next to B.K. Stevens' table, at Art Taylor's table, for the banquet. I was so proud to be able to celebrate Art's best first novel award. Also, it was delightful to see Barb Goffman receive the best short story Agatha. But then, all the nominees in all the categories were extraordinary. I was extremely proud of all the WWKers who were involved in this year's Malice. I hope we can meet there again next year!

Shari Randall said...

So much fun to see everyone in person! Next year I hope we all can gather at La Madeleine.

Hank Phillippi Ryan said...

Such a great and truly memorable event--and what a treat to hear about all of your adventures! (And thank you for the kind words..)

xoo to all! I am just now beginning to recover from the festivities!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Maybe next year, family needs permitting. Thanks for a great write-up of your adventures.

Unknown said...

What a wonderful memory blog. Shari, I was so thrilled that you sat at my table at the banquet. I loved seeing all of you over the course of the weekend. What a great weekend!

Gloria Alden said...

KM, i'm limiting my conferences to one, too, unless one comes up closer to home. Otherwise,
Malice is enough for me.

Paula, even though we didn't connect often, it was so nice when we did.

Shari, I hope so, too. Wouldn't it be nice if more of our bloggers could attend.

Hank, you're the queen of all mystery writers, in my opinion. I'm always surprised that you remember my name out of all the people you're met.

Margaret, I hope so much you can go next year, and I can meet you in person.

Thank you, Julie I enjoyed meeting so many people, too.

Daveler said...

There is a writers' conference in my hometown and the guy who started it talks about how much it helps to get out of the solitary writer's lifestyle sometimes. It can be difficult though, if you are shy or uncomfortable with meeting new people, so nothing helped me start going to these things like articles like this.

Christine Husom said...

Gloria, a great summary of the weekend. It was wonderful meeting you, and kudos for the fine job you did moderating our panel! Until next time . . . :)