The Wickeds Hit Crime Bake

Edith here, still recovering from a fabulous (and teensy bit stressful, since I was co-chair of the whole affair) New England Crime Bake.


All the Wickeds were there once again! So, ladies, share your favorite pictures and your favorite moments!

Edith: I was so lucky to have C. Michele Dorsey as my calm experienced conference co-chair.

We had one hour to go before the end of Crime Bake, so we’re tired and happy.

Our guest of honor, the great Walter Mosley, was brilliant and entertaining and generous with his time. We awarded Kate Flora, a friend and mentor to many of us, the well-deserved Lifetime Achievement Award.


Here I am with Walter and Kate. She was delighted to have a tiara as part of the package!

Liz: As usual, the whole weekend was fabulous (great job, Edith and Michele!), and Walter Mosley was an incredible guest of honor. He has such an interesting way of looking at the world, and I felt fortunate to be privy to some of his insights. Here he is, being interview by Michele Dorsey. IMG_4903And of course, spending time with the Wicked gang is always the best part of this weekend, and of course seeing all our other friends from near and far! My other highlight – teaching a master class with Julie! We taught about seven steps to create an author’s life that feeds your soul. And we had a blast!Liz Julie Master Class.jpg

Sherry: Crime Bake is always fantastic. I always love being in New England and being around New Englanders. Usually when I’m at Crime Bake I’m just an attendee but this year I also had my Sisters in Crime president role. I got to sit in on the SinC New England chapter’s board meeting and talk to them briefly, was on a panel, and sat at the head table right next to Walter Mosley. In my attendee role I went to two incredible master classes — one with Walter Mosley and one taught by Julie Hennrikus and Liz Mugavero. The panels I attended were fantastic. Then as everyone has said seeing friends and encouraging a just starting on her writing journey author. I always learn so much while I’m there. I also bought books and got them signed!

Barb: This was my most relaxing Crime Bake in years since I wasn’t on the committee or giving a big presentation. I realize my history at mystery conferences is the same as my history at conferences when I was in the educational technology industry. First you go like a sponge, taking every class, attending every session, writing notes furiously. As the years go by, you become focused on business meetings and your own presentations. Finally, you reach the stage I’m at now, where you have a list of friends you absolutely want to touch base with. I got to see a bunch of them, but only saw some others across a crowded room. Regretting that now. Next time, I may make an actual list.

Julie: I had such a wonderful time seeing the Wickeds, but like Barb I didn’t see so many folks! Edith did a great job as co-chair. Michele Dorsey did a wonderful interview with Walter Mosley. And Walter Mosley was a really wonderful Guest of Honor, laying down truth tracks about the life of a writer that both inspired and were grounding. Liz and I had a wonderful time teaching our class. I also really enjoyed talking to folks who were new to Crime Bake. It is such a great conference for writers, and it was great to see so many folks soaking it in.

Readers: Sherry is giving away one of the books she bought at Crime Bake. It’s a signed copy of A Borrowing of Bones by Paula Munier. It’s the first in a new series and Sherry loved it. Which do you like better starting a new series or staying with the tried and true? Leave a comment below or just say hi for a chance to win.

78 Thoughts

  1. As a reader, starting a new series is exciting. If I had to choose, though, I would choose those tried and true series that I love.

  2. You all always look like you have so much fun! What an event! I do like finding a new series, especially when I know I can keep up with them as they release, thereby becoming tried and true! This from your reader that stood in s used bookstore this last weekend and read the first two chapters of The Unexpected Mrs, Pollifax! I left her behind for someone to discover and now my own copy is calling me!

  3. I like both! My tried and true series are like finding that “sweet spot” in your bed on a cold winter night– comforting, warm and safe. On the other hand, I do enjoy expanding my reading choices and have lucked upon happy surprises! The Paula Munier series was one such happy find! I really enjoyed it. Wickeds,, any idea when her next book will be published?

    Congrats on a successful conference, Edith!

  4. I like a little of both. A new series is like a new beginning with anticipation of whats to come. Next in a series is like visiting old friends.

  5. Thank you all for your kind words. Edith was a fabulous cochair so I’m looking forward to working with her again next year. (We actually started yesterday.) it’s always fun to see and be with the Wicked Cozies. You bring a lot of energy with you, ladies!

  6. Crime Bake sounded wonderful. I’m sorry I missed it this year. It coincided with a visit from a friend from Australia. As you can imagine, we don’t get to see each other often.

    Since I am working on the second book in my series, I haven’t begun to think of another series, but I look forward to that challenge.

  7. I love following a series (they are like old friends) but I also get excited about trying something new that might lead to a whole new series that I also love.

  8. I agree with most people…starting a series is exciting! (and I just read Erin Lindsey’s “Murder on Millionares Row” and I can’t wait for the next one)….but I do love following along a series. I’m obsessed with the Quaker Midwife, and Shelia Connolly’s County Cork mysteries.

    I also agree that the Crime Bake was awesome Edith! You guys did a great job and Walter Mosely (who I wasn’t totally familar with) was super awesome and entertaining. I got to meet up with one of my fellow authors from my publisher, got to talk with Sherry for a bit, and even met some new authors who I can’t wait to read.

    Can’t wait until next year!

  9. Oh, how do you pick one over the other? I want – need – both. Love reading a series where the people become your friends and you just have to see who is doing what or what adventure you can take with them. It’s always sad to me to know that a series is ending and we can’t continue “getting to know” them other than rereading the series (which I’m known to do). However, life isn’t made to be a stand still situation. It’s suppose to be new things and spreading out in new avenues. That is what reading a new book is to me. I always have room in my life for new things, new people, new books.

    The Crime Bake sounds like working fun. I can only imagine so many talented authors all in one room!

    Thank you for the fabulous chance to win a copy of “A Borrowing of Bones” by Paula Munier. Always ready for a new cozy adventure!
    2clowns at arkansas dot net

  10. Hello!
    I’m sorry I missed everyone at Crime Bake this year.
    I love Paula and had the wonderful opportunity to chat with her a lot last year.

  11. I always look forward to the next book in any of the series that I read, seeing what adventures, or should I say, misadventures, my favorite characters get into. But, that being said, there is always room on my bookshelves, and in my heart, for a new series that draws me in to its world!


  12. Crime Bake always sounds like so much fun. I’m sure it is a lot of work, too, for the organizers, presenters, etc. I love to start a new series and if it good, I know I have a lot of great reading ahead. But, of course, finding the latest in a series I love, it even better. So, I waffle in my answer. I love them all!

  13. Congratulations to Edith and her co-chairwoman for what sounds like a fabulous well-planned conference.

    I am always willing to begin a new series and have not been disappointed very often. If the new series is written by an author that already has a series that I read, I’ve been very pleased with it.

    I’m never reluctant to begin a new series as it may end up being one of my favorites of my author preferances!

    Thank you.

  14. I like both. I have a batch of series that I follow but I always enjoy finding a new one that I like

  15. I used to stick to my favorite series but I realized I was missing too much. I know have many more favorites and try to keep up with all of them.

  16. I’d love trying new series and having them turn into old friends. And I love to visit old friends as well.

    This book sounds intriguing. Sign me up for the giveaway, please. Not that I have any idea when I might possibly get to it.

  17. That was a marvelous Crimebake! I wasn’t there last year, and it was so marvelous to see everyone again. The slate of authors, editors, agents, and experts was top-notch, and the committee and the volunteers made it all run smoothly. I had a great time. Thank you all.

  18. Great photos and sounds wonderful. Always great to connect and reconnect. I like both my old favorites, the standalone that I re-read and starting new series. I learned long ago that I was missing out if I only stuck with what I already knew and loved. After all, everything was new at one point, right?

  19. Oh, that sounds like a wonderful time (even including the stress). With the title of the conference, I was anticipating that all the panels would include cooking demonstrations (with audience samples, of course). Now THAT’S a conference I could REALLY get behind.

    Barb, I can absolutely relate to your “Seven Ages of Man” kind of characterization of the phases of conference attendance. I’ve gone through exactly the same thing, and not just with mystery conferences, but with technical conferences as well (which I have to go to in my Real Life).

    The first time you go to any new conference, you feel compelled to spend every single hour of the day absorbing all the information there. Your sponge metaphor is spot on. Then at the end of the week or weekend, you are not only exhausted, but guilty about missing the sessions it wasn’t physically possible to get to (unless one of you has a time machine you’d let me borrow, you just can’t be in two places at once. I know this. I’ve tried it. Doesn’t work.)

    For me, it takes until about the third time going to one of these wing dings that the compulsion not to miss ANYTHING is succeeded by a bit of rationality. Of course by then, you’re reached the next phase that Barb describes. Your’re either working as a volunteer, an exhibitor, or a presenter and you’re twice as busy and three times as stressed when you were back at the “see everything” phase.

    Finally with maturity (or old age in my case), you realize that you CAN’T see and do everything and realize that the opportunity to see and catch up with old friends from previous years trumps everything else, and you have at least the HOPE of coming home happier AND less stressed than when you arrived (transportation stresses excepted – remember when air travel used to be fun!).

  20. I am always starting a new series even though I have so many series going, but it’s addiction when it comes to cozies I want to read them all!!! 🙂

  21. Hi Edith,

    I’ve always been of the opinion (which I’ve expounded at extreme length to anyone who was too polite to fun in the opposite direction – so if I’m beating a dead horse – what a repulsive metaphor-I need to find a better one – I apologize) that well-written series (and by that I mean ones where the protagonist changes and grows over time) are really multi-volume novels. And, as with anything where you’ve invested time and emotional capital, there’s a sadness when a series you love comes to an end.

    For example, I found myself sad for a considerable time when Margaret Maron decided that she’d told us everything she could about Deborah Knott in her wonderful Bootlegger’s Daughter series. I could name dozens of other series’ that have done this (including every one of the Wickeds).

    But the downside of this long-term engagement is that you (or at least I) become resistant … almost angry at an author for abandoning a character you love for the creation of a new one. In a way, it’s like being dumped. There’s a mourning period (and sometimes a REALLY angry period) where you don’t want to even consider something new.

    And then there’s the issue of volume. I just counted them up, and I’m aghast to realized that I have over 60 authors that I’m following, I read (or at least put in my Kindle “To Read” Collection) every book they write. And somehow I’m managing to keep up with almost all of them. With some of them, I read their new books the moment they’re released, and others I allow to “mature” until I can get to them.

    Fortunately for me, most of “my” authors come out with about one book a year, so my chances of keeping up to speed with them are pretty good. However, there are a few (and I mean YOU Shield Connolly) who produce multiple books every year. While I LOVE having all these books to read, I begin to despair that I’ll ever find myself reading the latest volume.

    And, of course, despite the sensation of being dragged to the altar in a shotgun wedding when an author ends one series and starts another, the talent that engaged and seduced me with the original suck me into the new one I I’m having to resist the urge to send “write faster” emails to her or him.

    1. Thanks, Lee. I’ve had the same emotions at ended series. I didn’t read Dorothy L. Sayers until after she was dead. When I finished the last book, I knew there wouldn’t be another one!

  22. I’m glad you all had such a wonderful time. I love discovering new to me series while I’m catching up with the older series I enjoy.

  23. I like both. I’ll usually read all the books in a series and then move on to something new.

  24. Crime Bake looks fabulous! Thanks for the recap. As for your question, I like starting a new series best. Standalones are actually my personal preference, so I suppose that makes sense. That said though, there are many series I enjoy too. Basically, I’ll read anything!

  25. I really enjoy starting a new series by a new author that someone has recommended to me.

  26. Thank you for sharing some of the good times you had! I like both. Catching up with old friends in familiar series and meeting new friends in new series are both fun. Thanks for the chance to win!

  27. I enjoy both. Love catching up with characters I love, but it’s always exciting to meet new ones.

  28. I had a great time at Crime Bake and thanks to Edith, I sat at the table with Walter Mosley. He is very astute and inspirational in what he has to say. I like staying with my tried and true as they bring me comfort, but I’m always game for a new series. BTW, Paula’s first book is fabulous.

  29. I like both reading new series and existing series. When I find a series I really like, I tend to read all the books in the series. It’s always fun discovering new authors and series.

  30. I am always willing to read a new to me series! I do love my tried and true, but new. well it’s always exciting!!!

  31. I love both the excitement and intrigue of starting a new series AND the pleasure of exploring the next chapter of a beloved series.

    In fact, I am starting on a new series tonight!

  32. I love starting a new series…it’s always fun to find a different kind of heroine or a different setting and learn something new. Looking forward to seeing you all at Malice!

  33. Gosh, that is a difficult choice…I love starting a new series because it’s always fun meeting new characters, but I also love seeing what happens next to my characters in a series I’ve enjoyed..

  34. I would love to start a new series and explore new worlds =) Thanks for the chance!

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