Favorite Malice Moments

Malice27We are very excited that Malice Domestic 2015 is just one week away, and it’s in its twenty-seventh year! So today we will share some of our favorite Malice moments — take it away, Wickeds.

Edith: Wow. So many favorite moments. I roomed with Sherry my first Malice, and stayed at her home the night before and the night after (watching the royal wedding on TIVO, I might add). I didn’t have a book out yet, but I loved being immersed in all those authors and all those fans! In 2013, I was a debut author with Speaking of Murder, and hosted a table at the New Authors’ Breakfast. What a treat to have Catriona McPherson at my table – Catriona wguppiesboasho had just won an Agatha award the night before. Afterwards she pulled me aside and said she also held a PhD in linguistics. Man, this debut author was SO delighted. Then last year at the Sisters in Crime breakfast, the number of Guppies present, most wearing boas, took two photographs to capture us all. But this year, being an Agatha nominee for Best Short Story? I’m not sure I’ll be able to handle the excitement! At least I’ll have my lifeboat with me – the other five core Wickeds and all three of our Accomplices, too.

Barb: My favorite Malice moment involves a core group of the Wickeds and accomplices. My first book, The Death of an Ambitious Woman, was published in hardcover by a small press. Of course, I was thrilled to be on a panel at Malice and to have a signing. HOWEVER, at the signing, I was seated next to Maggie Sefton, who had a line that trailed off the signing platform, down the stairs and out into the lobby. Some of the Wickeds–Sherry, Kim & Edith–loyally went through my signing line–even though they already had my book. Then, they took one look at me sitting all alone while Maggie Sefton signed and signed–and they went through my line again! And again!  Such loyalty. Such sisterhood.

Edith: Aw, total no brainer, Barb! And what goes around, comes around.

IMG_4737Julie: At the risk of being a sap, my favorite Malice moment was that I met Sherry Harris. I was at the banquet, and was the table host. Sherry was seated at my table. If you have had the pleasure of meeting Sherry, you know that she is one of the loveliest people around. She mentioned that she was moving to Massachusetts, I told her to join Sisters in Crime, and the rest is history. I have many wonderful Malice moments (it is a great conference), but I suspect that sitting at the banquet with Sherry this year will be another one–so happy for my friend, and her well deserved Agatha nomination for Best First.

IMG_2063Liz: Last year was my very first Malice (unless you count the prior year when I went on a stick) and all I remember is what a whirlwind it was! Kneading to Die was a best first Agatha nominee, so it was like induction by fire. All the Wickeds being there together was awesome and so much fun. Meeting some readers who are regulars on my Facebook page was very cool too. I can’t wait for this year!

IMG_4579Jessie: My favorite moment occurred last year when I was able to thank Dorothy Cannell for being so kind to me when I met her years earlier at an author event in Maine. I stepped up to the front of her book signing line to ask her to autograph her latest mystery and then managed to gather all my courage in two hands and choke out the news that I had written some books of my own. She was, of course, gracious, and  generously asked me to autograph one of my books for her. I was so touched! I think one of the very best things about the mystery community is how supportive and kind everyone is to each other.

IMG_4701Sherry: I went to my first Malice in 2003 so I have a lot of favorite moments! In 2004 I was checking in at the same time as an agent and she told me to send her my manuscript. I did and it was rejected but still… And who can forget the year Louis Farrakhan was staying at the same hotel! As Julie said our meeting was momentous and life changing for me in so many ways. I blogged about it when I talked about the importance of networking. I’ve met so many wonderful people at Malice and that is really the best part about going.  Last year I moderated my first panel — that was so much fun — thank you Barb Goffman for trusting me with the Here Comes the Corpse panel! It will seem as if my Malice life has come full circle having Julie next to me at the banquet this year. Being nominated for an Agatha Award is like the icing on the Malice cake for me.

Readers: Any favorite Malice moments of your own? How about questions on the order of, “What the heck is Malice? And what do you do there?”

18 Thoughts

  1. I have too many favorite Malice moments to count, since I’ve attended almost every year since Malice 3, but one thing always stays the same–lots of friendly people. I love getting together with old friends and meeting new ones, and I don’t just mean other writers, either, although I’m looking forward to catching up with all the Wickeds. Many of the folks I’ll be hanging out with attend because they are avid mystery readers and, to tell you the truth, I don’t even know if they read my books, let alone like them. By the time I return to my solitary writing cave after Malice, I guarantee my jaw will ache from laughing so much and I will probably be losing my voice from so much talking.


  2. My moment was a few years ago when standing in line to sign up for a banquet table Edith and the other wicked cozy authors generously invited me to join them at the table they were signing up (ended up being Judith Kramer’s) — it led to me being adopted again at Crimebake this past year. Warm and wicked cozy women – kudos to all of your successes in the past few years. Look forward to seeing you at Malice next week.

  3. Just discovering that Malice existed was a thrill. An entire convention of like-minded people? Getting to hang out with them for days on end? Wow! (And being nominated for my first ever book, Through a Glass, Deadly (as Sarah Atwell–what are you doing these days, Sarah?) was icing on the cake. I’m not sure “networking” quite captures what goes one there–it’s so much better than that. See you next week!

    1. You are right, Sheila — networking doesn’t begin to capture Malice! I noticed my portion of the blog post was getting to be it’s own blog post so I tried to find a word instead of three paragraphs!

  4. So many memories, so little space to write. I met my idol Dorothy Cannell at my first Malice and that was a thrill of a lifetime. Sitting with Betsy Bittner at one of the banquets was the most fun I’ve ever had at any dinner. We nearly choked on our food from laughing so hard. Meeting Sue Grafton and having her critique a few chapters I had written was like an out of body experience! Of course, the moment that stands out most for me, winning the grant and being called to the stage by Harriette Sackler was one I shall never forget. Anne Perry came up to me afterwards to hug and congratulate me and I was in awe. I can’t wait for this year to see my Wicked friends and add to my collection of memories.

  5. My favorite Malice moment occurred also at the Malice when the Farrakhan group was there. I spoke to a woman who was trying to find the same room I was going to. We chatted along the way, and I discovered that she was Katherine Neville, author of “The Eight,” one of my favorite books. Of course, I gushed and told her how much I loved it. I nearly fainted when she told me “not many people know, but I’m writing a sequel to it.” I became one of the few people who knew!! For me, meeting authors I have admired is one of the most thrilling things I could experience. Walking down corridors with Katherine Neville, taking elevators with Edward Marston, standing in line next to Rhys Bowen, meeting my fellow Guppies. Can it get any better than that?

  6. Sadly, I have never been. However, I realized yesterday that the timing and money might work out for me to go next year. Crossing my fingers that I can actually make that happen.

  7. Lots of favourite moments since I’ve been going for several years – meeting people, meeting people in elevators (Sherry, Julie), being alone in an elevator with Sue Grafton, seeing friends every year. The Farrakhan year – a lot of people had problems with their rooms (not ready, a total stranger was already in it, one person had a bathroom with no toilet). Our bathroom had a toilet but it also had a pipe that didn’t connect to anything. And there was a small hole in the window that looked suspiciously like a bullet hole.

    1. The Farrakhan year was certainly an eventful one for a lot of us! What amazes me is there were so many years when I was attending that others of you were and yet we didn’t meet until recently!

      1. I had no idea that you’d been going for so many years or that last year was Liz’s first appearance in person. Glad we sat with you at the banquet.

  8. My favorite Malice moment is too difficult to pick out. I loved being there on a stick with all the Wickeds and meeting my favorite authors, however by proxy it might have been. It was great!

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