Top Ten Things I Learned at Malice Domestic

Hello, Wicked People. Susannah here, back from Malice Domestic and ready to catch up with you…

This was my first ever Malice Domestic. I’ve been to large conferences before, RWA (Romance Writers of America) Nationals, for example, but this was my first reader-centric conference. And it was super fun! I loved meeting so many readers who are as crazy about cozies as I am. And I met lots of writers as well. Win-win, all around.

So today I thought I’d give you my Top Ten Things I Learned at Malice, in no particular order:

  • Everybody knows (and loves) Dru Ann, and it was an honor to be able to give her a hug and say thank you in person for all she does.
  • It is worth publishing a book with Berkley Prime Crime just to be able to attend the publisher’s dinner at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse. Seriously, great company, and that pecan-topped sweet potato casserole, and it’s a wonder I even went back to the hotel instead of setting up camp and waiting for next May to roll around.
  • I could listen to Catriona McPherson’s fabulous Scottish burr all day long. And I discovered that she and I share a love of shopping at Dress Barn!
  • A very nice hotel room all to one’s self for a few days is a luxury I hope everyone can manage at some point in their lives.
  • The women of the Wicked Cozies are, well, Wicked Fun to hang out with. Okay, I knew that already. But it bears repeating. Come find us at a conference and you’ll see what I mean.
  • Next year, I’ll take some time and explore outside the hotel a bit more. Bethesda, Maryland, where the conference is held, has some very fun-looking restaurants and stores, including a chocolate shop I meant to go back to and didn’t. Drat!
  • I still haven’t unpacked my bag of conference swag. I wonder what’s in there? That will be something I learn after the conference.
  • Next year, I will bring more swag of my own. I didn’t realize how much I’d need or that people would actually want it, so I hardly had anything to hand out. Readers, I’m not cheap. Just clueless.
  • Coffee–don’t drink so much of it at future conferences. I was up half the night. On second thought, maybe it was okay, since I got to enjoy that solo hotel room for that many more waking hours.
  • Malice has been added to my list of Must-Go conferences. See you next year!

What conferences are on your Must-Go list?

19 Thoughts

  1. Well, New England Crime Bake, of course. And now I’m going to Bouchercon, as well. Left Coast Crime is fun, but it’s a big plane ticket for us New Englanders. This year I’m hitting Magna Cum Murder in Indianpolis – exactly when my first Indiana-based mystery comes out! (And then rushing back for Crime Bake.)

  2. It was my first Malice too, and I agree about the Berkley dinner–I just wish there had been room to mingle with more of my fellow authors.

    I did explore a little bit. On Friday, Martha Reed, Annette Dashofy, Jeff Boarts, and I went to a Mexican restaurant called Uncle Julio’s that Martha and Annette had found the day before. Martha now has a plan to convince them to open a restaurant in Pittsburgh. On Saturday morning, I took a long walk around the block, and on Sunday I found a Catholic church only two blocks away. It’s probably good I didn’t know there was a chocolate shop, though.

    I can’t wait until next year!

  3. There’s a chocolate shop and nobody told me? I found a comic book store about a 10-15 minute walk from the hotel (the Saturday of Malice was Free Comic Book Day).

    Must go to conferences – Malice, Comic Con. This year Comic Con was the weekend after Malice. Next year it’s 2 weeks after. That should be enough time to recover.

    Haven’t been to Bouchercon since Cleveland. I registered for Albany and Long Beach but had to cancel. I’m registered for Raleigh, New Orleans and Toronto. Hope I get to all 3.

  4. I have that on my go to list for next year I am definitely coming to Malice!! It will be my first trip there and I cannot wait. See you there, ladies!!

  5. It was so great to see you! I don’t think I’ve been to a conference I didn’t love. I’m heading to my first Bouchercon in the fall and really looking forward to it!

  6. As if the chocolate cup dessert wasn’t enticement enough, now this! I am definitely signing up for Malice next year. Going to my first Bouchercon in the fall and I wouldn’t miss a New Englalnd Crime Bake for anything, but this year with Elizabeth George as Guest of Honor, I am over the moon. Great post, Susannah Hardy!

  7. Malice, Bouchercon and next year I’m going to my first Left Coast Crime conference.

    There’s a chocolate shop? Where’s Uncle Julio?

    1. Dru, Uncle Julio’s is on Bethesda Avenue. Make a right out of the hotel, then right on Bethesda. It’s about two or three blocks down.

  8. Thanks for the shout-out. I saw you earlier and didn’t recognize you until after you walked away. And I’m so glad I got to meet you and give you a hug.

  9. Thanks for the recap of things you enjoyed at Malice Domestic. As a reader it’s nice to learn about the conference and what goes on there through others’ experiences.

  10. There’s a chocolate shop near Malice? That sounds like an added perk – and a deadly one to my weight.

  11. Loved the Malice report. Thanks, Susannah! I met DruAnn-on-a-stick at the Albany Bouchercon. 🙂 Crime Bake is a mad whirl of learning and fun. Simply the Best. I’m also a big fan of the special interest conferences like the Writers Police Academy and the new Authors Combat Academy.

  12. So nice to meet you at Malice! I’m glad you had such a great experience–hopefully I’ll see you again next year!

  13. Malice was the first book conference I ever attended and I have gone back every year since. New England Crime Bake is another always. I go to Bouchercon every few years and this year is one. I signed up for my first Left Coast Crime in Phoenix. As a reader not a writer these conferences are a blast!

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