Confession. I’m the only Chick who didn’t have her life together enough to go to the Malice Domestic convention this year. I suffered from a severe case of FOMO, the fear of missing out. So I decided to pretend I went to Malice this year. Read on to found out how much fun I had (not) going to one the the country’s largest traditional mystery conventions.
Lisa took the train from New Hampshire and stopped in New York City to see her kids. I met her at Penn Station and we jumped on the train. I managed to pack four dresses, six pairs of shoes, twelve shirts with coordinated pants and a partridge in a pear tree in a small carry-on. None of it wrinkled.
By the time Lisa and I got to Bethesda, you would never know we spent hours on a train. We looked exactly like supermodels.
I checked in to my room where I’m staying with Marla. She let me take the bed by the window because she got tired of me asking her if I could have the bed by the window.
To quote Beyonce from two years ago before everyone wanted to get into formation, I woke up like this:
I went to panels. And ate. And went to panels. And ate. And went to panels. And ate.
And I never gained a pound because everyone knows you don’t gain weight on vacation!
I bumped into Sunjata Massey at the cocktail reception and managed to “casually” mention that I have read all the Rei Shimura books. And by “casually” I mean screeched like a toddler high on Starbursts and back-to-back episodes of Bubble Guppies.
I went to my first panel of the day: Murder on the Menu: Food & Mysteries panel. It made me feel inspired. And hungry.
For the next session, I attended the “The Group Dynamics: Sharing Detection” panel featuring one Lisa Q. Mathews and I’m amazed that two years ago I was sitting with Lisa at a panel and now she’s on one. I feel like a proud mama.
I also managed to be at the “New Kids On the Block: Our Agatha Best First Novel Nominees” at the exact same time because it featured my all-time most favorite Agatha nominee ever: Ellen Byron.
At both panels, I loudly whispered to the people next to me that I personally know both Lisa and Ellen. They didn’t believe me.
That night was the Awards banquet, which is like the Grammys for mystery writers!
I woke up and briefly considered exercising but then remembered that I hate to exercise. Instead, I went to breakfast at the “Mystery Scene Presents: Meet the New Authors of Malice: Nosh with This Year’s New Authors: event.
Next, I went to “Just Die Laughing: Humor in Mysteries” featuring one Marla Cooper, who kicked total butt on her first panel. Once again, I told people sitting next to me that I know Marla and even showed how she shouted me out in the acknowledgements for Terror in Taffeta. People still didn’t believe me.
Since I have a special place in my heart for all things Hollywood, I hit the “Lights, Camera, Murder” panel and even asked a question. Everyone agreed it was the most amazing question ever asked.
I spent the rest of the day going to events and trying to match authors with their photos on their webpages and book covers.
At 3 p.m., the convention sadly came to an end. I briefly considered hiding in Ellen’s bag so I could go back to L.A. with her but ultimately decided against it, mainly because I don’t think they serve peanuts and complimentary drinks in the cargo area of the plane.
That’s my wrap-up of my time (not) going to Malice Domestic. Check back in on Friday when Marla, Lisa and Ellen all share what did happen at this year’s convention.