|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.
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
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?