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 3, 2018


Paula, Debra, Gloria, Shari, Grace

Gloria Alden:  This past weekend I went to my twelfth Malice Domestic Conference. My friend Irma Baker was going to take me there and we were going to room together, however, her cat got very sick and she had to take him to the vet the day before we were to leave and the day we were to leave, so she contacted four members of our Sinc chapter who she knew were going and one of them volunteered to pick me up and take me. Tricia Spayer is a rather new member and since I often don’t go especially in the winter because we meet at least 30 miles from where I live, I didn’t know her nor did she me, but she came down from near Cleveland to pick me up and we got acquainted on our trip there. She was very helpful helping me get my stuff in her car and taking them out later when we got there and then going home.

My panel and the moderator  

This year I was on a panel “Out in the Country” The last two years I was a moderator which I enjoyed, but it was kind of nice to talk about my books this year. There weren’t a lot of people who came to this panel, but the few other panels I went to didn’t have a lot of people either unless there were more popular authors on them.
In addition to the bag of free books we always get at Malice when we sign in, this year outside of the signing room there were at least five or more long tables with free books being handed out by publishers with most of the authors of the books there to sign the books. I came home with 37 free books counting the ones in the Malice bags, and seven books I bought.

Tony and Me

I was a co-host at a table at the Malice Banquet this year with Tony Porona an author I’d never heard of before who writes books with his daughter. Two of the books I bought were his and his daughter’s. My favors were small bags with pretty flowers in them, my book marks and candy. I have to say the food was better this year than the past five years. The room was packed with hundreds and hundreds of people. Catriona McPherson was the toastmaster. Louise Penny was the Guest of Honor, and Nancy Pickard was the Lifetime Achievement Honoree and there were some other honorees.

Although none of my books sold this year, which many people thought was due to all the free books being given away. Word was that the dealers suffered this year because of that, too, I still enjoyed myself very much while there meeting new people and people I’ve met before from the other Malice Conventions I’ve gone, too.

Catriona McPherson was the toastmaster speaking here. The Guest of Honor was Louise Penny, Nancy Pickard got the Lifetime Achievement Award, Brenda Blethyn won the Poirot Award, and there were some other awards, too.

Shari's new book I'm going to read.

Shari Randall: Malice was one big blur of happy reunions, some with longtime friends, and some with folks I’ve only met on Facebook. But this year Malice was also a working weekend for two reasons. First, I’ve joined the Sisters in Crime board as Library Liaison, so there were several meetings and I had to speak at the Sisters in Crime Breakfast at 7:30 a.m. 

Normally I’m up at the crack of 8:00, so this was a challenge, but I managed to get my shirt on straight and not fall off the stage, so I’m counting it as a success.
Second, this was my first Malice as a published novelist, and I had a panel. New England Mysteries. It was so much fun to talk with everyone in the audience and get to know my fellow panelists Sherry Harris, Julie Henrikus, Leslie Maier and our moderator Rick Ollerman. Then a signing with my fellow Chesapeake Chapter writers for our new anthology, Fur, Feathers, and Felonies. Then the debut author’s breakfast – again, early – but again, I managed to chat with Cindy Silberblatt and not fall off the hot seat, so all good. It’s hard to go back to real life after so much fun, but it’s time to get to work on Book Three of the Lobster Shack Mysteries. Duty calls!

A friend and Debra

Debra Goldstein:  What a ride! Every moment of the weekend was jam packed for me. Between attending the Malice Go Round, the new Author’s Breakfast, the Guppy Get together Breakfast, the SinC Breakfast, Opening Ceremonies, the Banquet, meeting my agent, getting together with friends, taping a podcast for Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, dropping in at dinners and cocktail activities, wandering the halls of the hotel, and participating in the Make it Snappy Short Story panel (the nominees for the Agatha Award for Short Story), I was one tired but very happy attendee. Hats off to the volunteers who pulled Malice 30 together.


Grace Topping: Warning: Attendance at Malice Domestic Can Change Your Life. I have always been a mystery fan, so years ago it didn’t take much for a friend to convince me to go along with her to a Malice Domestic conference. I was thrilled to be among authors whose books I had read and to hear what they were working on. I wandered into panels where authors talked about how they had gotten started and what they were working on. This was a real eye-opener. The panel members were like me – balancing a job and family, but in their case, they had worked in time to write books. The seed of actually becoming a writer myself was planted and started to grow. I could now imagine myself becoming one of them.

During the intervening years I continued to attend Malice, slipped in an online class on how to write a mystery, devoured every book in the library on writing fiction, and best of all met writers who encouraged and helped me find my way. I was caught up in the world of mystery writing. Years went by and at the most recent Malice, I got to meet the literary agent who is going to market my manuscript.

I highly recommend going to Malice Domestic, but do so at your own risk.

Have you ever gone to Malice before?

If you haven’t would you like to go?


Jim Jackson said...

Malice is a fun celebration of the traditional mystery, and a great place to meet fellow writers and fans. Sounds like y'all had a great time. I still have my Guppy boa available should I decide to attend in a future year!

Margaret S. Hamilton said...

Glad you all had a productive and fun Malice.

E. B. Davis said...

I love going to Malice! I would have been there this year, except I have a wedding near town this weekend to go to. Since I couldn't travel to the DC area two weekends in a row, I had to miss this year. Hopefully, next year!

Gloria Alden said...

Jim, I couldn't find my Guppy boa, and this year I didn't notice anyone wearing any, either. Yes, I had a good time, but it's always nice getting home, too.

Margaret, it was well worth going to. So nice meeting people I'd met before and getting acquainted with new ones, too.

Elaine, I hope you can go next year. I can understand why you couldn't this year.

Debra H. Goldstein said...

Lots of fun...and note...the friend being embraced is Gigi Pandion who won the Agatha for best short story for an excellent tale.

Warren Bull said...

It sounds like great fun!

Gloria Alden said...

I forgot to add Paula's comments to the blog so here is what she wrote about Malice:

Each year the time at Malice seems to go by more quickly than the blink of an eye. It truly is a family reunion and the one time I know I can connect with WWK blogging mates. I was so proud to see Debra Goldstein's short story nominated for an Agatha. Shari Randall announcing her first novel, and Gloria Alden on a panel. Friday evening I table-hopped, joining Linda Landrigan and Shelly Costa before spending some quality time time with Dru Ann Love. My own Saturday panel on "Murderous Wit" introduced me to five fantastic writers, Sparkle Abby (Mary Lee Woods and Anita Carter) Ginger Bolton, Becky Clark and Lida Sideris. Becky Clark explained it to us all; humor is funny. The room dissolved in laughter. Dorothy McFalls and I live about 90 minutes from each other, but we only seem to meet at Malice. At the banquet, I was delighted to join Art Taylor's table and hob knob with such esteemed writers and editors as Tara Laskowski, Alan Orloff, Michael Bracken, and Janet Hutchings. Before leaving I had a few moments to catch up with Grace Topping and get the WWK group picture in front of the banner celebrating Malice's 30th year. May we have many more!

Paula Gail Benson said...

Thanks, Gloria, for putting this all together and including my comments! It was a wonderful gathering. So glad to be able to be there and spend time with so many great authors and friends!

KM Rockwood said...

I didn't get to Malice for the first time in several years, and I really missed it!

Next year, I hope.

Gloria Alden said...

Paula, I'm sorry that I missed you, but I had car problems and had to take my car to my car repair place and ended up waiting there for over an hour and they said they'd have to work on it tomorrow so I drove home and then tried to find someone free to pick me up if I took it back down after they closed and put my key in the hole to put keys in. By the time I got home I had so much to do like take care of my barn critters and fix supper, etc. I had my carpet cleaning guys coming this morning so I had to start taking stuff out of my living room that was easy enough to move. Still, that's no real excuse except I thought I had already put it on.

Kathleen, I hope you're able to go next year, too. I missed you and am sorry I couldn't spend more time talking to you when you were there for the signing. I needed to get ready for the banquet since I was co-hosting a table.

Shari Randall said...

Hi Gloria, it truly was a pleasure to visit with all the WWKers in attendance this year and I'm thrilled that we have a photo to mark the occasion. It did seem especially exhausting this year - so much to do and so little time, plus we all had to get used to the new venue, I guess. Can't wait until next year!