Malice Memories

Last weekend, 5/6 of the Wickeds and all three of our accomplices were in Bethesda, Maryland at Malice Domestic, a fan conference that celebrates the cozy and traditional mystery novel. It is wicked and Wicked friendly. Lots of other writers, and lots and lots of readers.

We will probably touch on Malice a couple of times this month, but let’s start the conversation here: what new experience did you have this year at Malice? How did it go?

Edith: Two big new experiences. A – I was nominated for an Agatha Award for my short IMG_1746story, “Just Desserts for Johnny.” I didn’t win, but it was an honor and a thrill to be part of the illustrious group of nominees. B – I got to meet Sara Paretsky and tell her she was one of the reasons I started writing IMG_1755mysteries in the first place! She came and sat right next to me during the opening ceremonies. She’s a delightful, vigorous, articulate, progressive woman and one of my favorite authors. So pleased to have met her in person.

Liz: What a great time! This was my second year, and aside from getting to chat with some of my favorite readers and writers, a couple of things stand out: One, I was asked to jump in on an animal-related panel where they were missing a writer, and it was great fun. Two, I got to finally meet and chat with Dorothy Cannell – and I absolutely adore her! I want to go have tea with her now. Think she’ll invite me?

Jessie: I think the new thing for me this year was how not new it all felt. This is the fourth time I’ve attended and I was so pleased to look around and to see so many familiar faces. It felt like a reunion of sorts. Considering how much time is spent in solitude writing, it felt so lovely to thoroughly enjoy visiting with those kindred spirits I only get to see once a year and adding some new friends to the mix. I can’t wait until next year!

Sherry: As I started thinking over the weekend at Malice I realized I could write a whole blog on the topic. I finally met all the authors nominated for the Agatha Best First Novel panel. What a great group of women and authors, (find out more about them here) — being on a panel with them was a hoot. The picture below is my view from the panel.

IMG_3308IMG_3374Then I met Sara Paretsky and told her how her books helped me through a difficult period in my life. I almost cried and Sara said she almost did too. Getting the certificate for the Best First at the opening ceremonies was unforgettable.

And nothing beats meeting readers, authors, old friends, and spending time with the Wickeds!

IMG_3325Julie: Well, new for me was moderating a panel. (Thanks Sherry for the photo!) It was a crafty cozy panel, and I loved the homework. Wonderful panelists, and a special hat tip to Molly MacRae who asked me what was next for me. Besides being kind, she is a riot. I also went to the Berkley/Obsidian dinner, and when I introduced myself and said my book was coming out in October, folks clapped. Thrilling. It wasn’t new to have my friends nominated for Agathas, but it was thrilling nonetheless. Great weekend!

Readers, who else was at Malice? What stood out this weekend? And who’s planning on coming next year for the first time?

28 Thoughts

  1. It was great to finally meet some of you in person! It was my first Malice, and I had so much fun. I’m definitely going back next year.

    And Julie, I wore the Agent Carter lipstick to the banquet!

  2. Over the years, I’ve made so many friends at Malice, and each year provides a happy reunion with those friends. Missing Malice would be like missing a family reunion. I’m sorry that I didn’t get to meet all of the Wickeds.

  3. Ditto for me, and to meet Joyce, too! It was my second Malice–last year, Edith was the very first person I saw when I walked into the hotel. Such fun to see her receive the nomination certificate, although I missed talking to Sherry this year.

    1. I am so sorry to have missed you! I always think there should be one more day — but even one more day wouldn’t be enough!

  4. Said it before, say it again…the Wickeds are a great group to be adopted or visit with. So exciting to see nominations, panels, etc. of The Wickeds.

  5. This just makes me jealous all over again. I’m hoping for next year, but if not next year, some year.

  6. It was exciting to meet several of you Wickeds at Malice! Love your blog and your books. Congrats again on your Agatha noms…hope you had a great conference. 🙂

    1. Cynthia! SO great to meet you. Congratulations on your grant at Malice, and on your contract with Henery Press. Little did I know when we sat together at the SinC breakfast! I know you had a great conference. See you next year!

  7. Julie, to refresh your memory (and since I’m incognito here), we spoke for a few minutes in that horrible hallway just before the banquet. I was wearing turquoise.

  8. I’m always surprised that in a relatively small hotel (that Malice more or less takes over), there are still people you know are there but you don’t see at all, or don’t get to talk to for more than two minutes. It is wonderful to see so many familiar faces (and to trade industry gossip!).

      1. Which hotel did you stay at? How close was it to the Hyatt? In the past when the Hyatt was full I considered staying at a nearby hotel but was concerned about walking back there after the banquet. Did you have any concerns?

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