Lots of authors and readers are gearing up for their annual pilgrimage to Bethesda, Maryland for Malice Domestic this week. Many have posted on social media how much they’re looking forward to seeing old friends and meeting new ones, and how attending their first Malice was like finding their tribe. Kindred spirits.
I felt that way, too. In fact, it was at my very first Malice Domestic that I first connected in person with the Chicks on the Case. Malice Domestic is a magical place – like camp for book nerds. Unfortunately, I can’t make it this year because I’m still rehabbing from an injury. I’ll be okay, but I’m not yet up to the sprint through the airport and trekking through a large conference hotel. So, I’m standing on the curb, waving good-bye to the Chicks and other author pals as they board the bus to Camp Malice. *Sniff*
As a kid, I hated camp. At Malice everyone loves mysteries, understands Nancy Drew allusions, and casually points out places you could hide a body. These are my people.
It was not so at summer camp. I met a girl I thought I could be friends with, only to discover she’d never read Nancy Drew. Didn’t like to read at all.
I had slipped a book into my suitcase, against my mom’s orders, and finally found a chance to sneak off, sit under a tree and read. I was just getting to the best part when a camp counselor yelled at me for wandering away from the group. She confiscated my book and told me I could either go play tetherball or go to the arts and crafts pavilion.
So, as I sat in the arts and crafts pavilion painting a rock (true story), I wondered: Why does the camp counselor hate me? And why aren’t we allowed to read?
Partly because I’ve never been before, and partly as a consolation gift for having to miss Malice, I’m planning to attend Bouchercon this October in Dallas. Yay! I’m looking forward to seeing old pals — some of the Chicks will be there — and meeting new friends. I hope to see some of you there. Bouchercon starts on Halloween, so I’m thinking hijinks. Amiright?
To all of you attending Malice this week, safe travels and please post lots of pictures for those of us wishing we could be there. (Be sure to say ‘hi’ to the Chicks, and if you’re lucky you may score a Chicks on the Case pin in your attendee’s book bag.) And have a great time, everyone!
What’s the best conference you’ve ever attended? And will I be seeing you at Bouchercon? Please share in comments.