Meet and Greet at Malice Domestic

If you are a mys­tery writer, maybe even if you are a ded­i­cat­ed mys­tery read­er, you know what Mal­ice Domes­tic is. Or, maybe you don’t. It’s a fan­tas­tic con­ven­tion filled with mys­tery authors and even more mys­tery read­ers. It’s a grand week­end to put the two togeth­er. There are pan­el dis­cus­sions, shared meals, auto­graph ses­sions, and award pre­sen­ta­tions. And I attend­ed my first one the first week­end of May at Bethes­da, Maryland.

An in-per­son con­fer­ence intro­duces you to a lot of peo­ple. New faces. New names. But, since I’ve been a mem­ber of the writ­ing com­mu­ni­ty, espe­cial­ly the mys­tery writ­ing com­mu­ni­ty, for quite some time as a read­er AND a writer, I know many names. I’ve seen many faces look­ing back from web­sites and blogs on my com­put­er. And, won­der of won­der, some of those names and faces know who I am from see­ing my posts on those web­sites and blogs. I have even met a few of the writ­ers in person.

A gath­er­ing of 500 or 600 peo­ple can be over­whelm­ing. The thing is, you can’t be shy. (Bit of a prob­lem with that, as I’m sort of a nat­u­ral­ly shy per­son, but I over­come it quite well, I think) I met peo­ple I’d nev­er heard of before, and peo­ple who I already thought of as friends, even though I’d nev­er met them before.

I belong to the Gup­py chap­ter of Sis­ters in Crime, so I knew they were plan­ning to lunch togeth­er on Fri­day. Meet by the hotel front door, I’d read. So, I grabbed my cam­era, met, and lunched with the Gup­pies. We were spread out over sev­er­al tables. Here’s a few pic­tures of that event.

Late that Fri­day after­noon, I chat­ted with a few peo­ple. When I met Chloe. she had din­ner plans, but asked me to come along. So I end­ed up hav­ing a love­ly din­ner with five ladies from Neva­da. Besides Chloe, they were Mar­i­an, Martha, Susan, and Judy. They wel­comed me into their group, and, of course, I took a picture.

the ladies from Nevada

the ladies from Nevada

I attend­ed the Sis­ters in Crime break­fast on Sat­ur­day morn­ing. As I came in I glanced around at tables fill­ing up and saw a lot of unfa­mil­iar faces. I was gra­cious­ly accept­ed at the clos­est table, and as oth­ers joined us, I dis­cov­ered I was seat­ed with two of the hon­ored atten­dees, Lau­rie R. King and Lau­ra Lipp­man. (I did­n’t have my cam­era with me. Sor­ry about that.)

Sat­ur­day night was the big blast–the awards ban­quet. As I milled among the

Susan Boyer-Agatha winner

Susan Boy­er-Agatha winner

mul­ti­tude at the pre-din­ner cock­tail par­ty, meet­ing quite a few writ­ers that I knew in per­son or elec­tron­i­cal­ly, I heard my name. There were my five Neva­da friends. They’d scored a table for six, and had a chair with my name on it.

I’d signed up to sit at one of the Hen­ery Press tables, so I met more peo­ple. And, I had my cam­era when one of their authors won the Agatha teapot for Best First Mystery.

Sun­day after­noon as I sat in the lob­by wait­ing for my hus­band to pick me up, I chat­ted with authors I’d met ear­li­er dur­ing the con­ven­tion. Of course, I went home with a ton of new books, for, as a mys­tery author, I’m def­i­nite­ly a mys­tery read­er. I tru­ly enjoyed attend­ing pan­el dis­cus­sions and lis­ten­ing to authors tell about things their books had in com­mon. One was cooking–with sam­ples. One was the invis­i­ble woman sleuth. There were so many, I could­n’t pos­si­bly attend all of them. How­ev­er, it was great to meet and greet new authors and new readers–probably my favorite part of this convention.

How about you? As a read­er, or pos­si­bly as a writer, do you go to con­ven­tions and con­fer­ences? What is your favorite part? The class­es? The pan­els? The dis­cus­sions? Or, like me, meet­ing oth­ers who share your passion.


Meet and Greet at Malice Domestic — 7 Comments

  1. Oh goody, more Mal­ice pic­tures! It’s get­ting so that there are so many peo­ple I know at Mal­ice that I can’t even see all of them. I enjoyed the post. Thanks!

  2. You are so right Kaye. Except, this was my first time, so many were names only in my mem­o­ry. But I did meet you!

  3. I’ve been going to con­fer­ences for years as a writer and read­er. This year I signed up for more than the usu­al because my nov­el comes out in July–it’s a way to build buzz as well as just plain have fun! I met some great new peo­ple at Mal­ice and had a chance to shmooze with writ­ers and read­ers that I see only occa­sion­al­ly. This was my first Mal­ice, and I loved it! It was espe­cial­ly won­der­ful to see Car­olyn Hart receive her award and to be sit­ting next to Pen­ny Warn­er when she was total­ly sur­prised at her win!

  4. Isn’t Mal­ice great? The first time I attend­ed, I felt so alone–until I got the ele­va­tor and saw an author I knew well from online! Oth­ers got on the ele­va­tor, saw my name tag, and said, “Oh, hi, June. Glad to final­ly meet in per­son.” This con­tin­ued on and on through­out the week­end since I knew so many authors from Gup­pies and Sis­ters in Crime. The whole week­end is a ter­rif­ic experience!

  5. Thanks, Nor­ma, for the great Mal­ice pics. I was at the Hen­ery Press table too — so proud of Susan Boyle and Hen­ery Press’s Kendel!! How did we not meet? I was sit­ting with Kendel and Gigi; per­haps you were at Susan’s table?
    Next time,
    Nan­cy G. West

  6. Yes, I was at Susan’s table, Nan­cy. I did­n’t meet a lot of peo­ple, I’m afraid.
    Like you said, Next time (for sure)!

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