It’s been almost a week since Malice Domestic 29 wrapped and we’re still recovering from all the fun we had. We couldn’t help but relive some of our favorite moments!
Everything was a highlight. So wonderful to spend time with friends old and new, to talk about mysteries 24/7, and to be immersed in that incredibly special and all-too-fleeting space that is Malice Domestic. Grateful to be in the same geographical location as both the Chicks on the Case and the Henery Press Henhouse (two poultry-named mystery groups—what are the odds?)! And it was an honor to be included with the other Agatha Best First Novel nominees—our panel was especially fun. Also loved the Sisters in Crime Breakfast and the New Author Breakfast too! See, I can’t whittle it down at all. Malice = all goodness.
What a whirlwind trip! One of my favorite things about conferences is meeting someone and knowing within minutes that you’ll be friends for years to come. That just doesn’t happen in the real world! It was totally surreal and completely amazing to be on the Agatha Best First Novel panel—even more so to be sitting between my two very dear friends Cynthia Kuhn and Nadine Nettmann. (And I’d like to state for the record that I literally sprang out of my chair and cheered when they called Cynthia’s name!) I also loved getting to witness Miss Kellye Garrett sign her very first book (Hollywood Homicide, coming August 8) at the Midnight Ink popup. I took about 35 pictures of her, because it’s not every day you have your first book signing!
Ah, so many wonderful memories. But if forced to choose a favorite, it would be the impromptu after-party that popped up post-banquet. A bunch of us convened in the Atrium, where Laura Morrigan opened beers with a tube of lipstick. (Yes, you read that right.) When security kicked us out, we moved the party into our hotel room, and then took to the streets to find a bar that we eventually closed. I got to bed at 3 a.m. like some kind of party-hearty frat boy, and woke up with a smidge of a hangover. This seems to be a Malice pattern of mine, because fellow Chick Cynthia found a photo of us from last year’s morning-after-the-Agatha-banquet, and remembers me saying, “I think I’m still drunk.”
Sometimes magic Malice moments happen outside the hotel. Especially when you are so hungry you might even feel like eating one of those big, fluffy spring blossoms that blow through the streets of Besthesda like tumbleweeds. (Didn’t get the model release on that one, guys—sorry!) But here are two other snaps: Marla, El, and me tripping the bricks fantastic (we did get a few puzzled glances from passers-by who didn’t immediately appreciate that we were legit STARS, but we won them over). And then of course I had to snap Leslie Karst, Angie Sanders, and Marla during their impromptu VIP book signing at a nearby B&N.
My highlights reel: 1) Getting to wear a mask at the Dynamic Duos panel. (Thanks, Patti Ruocco! Next year let’s add capes, OK?) 2) Getting to chat with fab British author Frances Brody. I had mentioned on Chicks I would be stalking her at Malice (in the nicest possible way, of course.) She heard about it and messaged that she was looking for me! Frances signed the book I’d brought and gifted me with another—and I already loved her! 3) Hanging out with some of the Chicks was a highlight of Malice 2016 for me. Getting to hang out with all of them as a fellow Chick in 2017 was dreamy! And for those who are curious, yes, I did wear the pink feather boa—briefly.
This was my first ever Malice Domestic but it sure didn’t feel like it. I’m a mystery fan first and foremost, so I was in heaven. I saw so many authors I admired and the cool thing was that I actually knew some of them! (Thank you Facebook, Sisters in Crime, 17 Scribes and, of course, Chicks on the Case.) I loved meeting people who actually read our blog and seeing my fellow Chicks in “author mode.” Signing books. Speaking on panels. Being nominated for awards. (I even signed a few books myself! Twenty-five in fact. Not that I was counting or anything.) But I also loved the non-official moments—the lunches, the drinks, the one-on-one chats. During one break, Marla and I went back to our room, slipped into sweatpants, sat on our beds and just talked. I didn’t want to leave Malice and thanks to the Parking Lot of Doom, I almost didn’t. Lisa and I literally spent a good 10 minutes driving through the parking lot construction praying we’d find an exit. We survived though!
We know a few of you were at Malice this year! Drop us a line and let us know your favorite memory from this year’s conference!
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