|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 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?