Short Stories

Malice Domestic 2018: Coming Home with an Agatha Award!

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On the first full day of the conference, this was a terrific panel with my fellow Best Short Story nominees, Barb Goffman, Debra Goldstein, Gretchen Archer, and Art Taylor! And thanks to Michael Bracken for leading the discussion in interesting directions.

On the first full day of the conference, this was a terrific panel with my fellow Best Short Story nominees, Barb Goffman, Debra Goldstein, Gretchen Archer, and Art Taylor! And thanks to Michael Bracken for leading the discussion in interesting directions.

Henery Press hosted a luncheon for their authors. Here we are! You can learn more about Henery authors at www.henerypress.com.

Henery Press hosted a luncheon for their authors. Here we are! You can learn more about Henery authors at www.henerypress.com.

One of the best things about this year’s Malice Domestic was meeting the amazing daughters of Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz) and Joan Hess, Beth and Becca. I became a writer in large part because of Elizabeth Peters novels. I got to meet her once before I died, and this weekend it was so special to hear more stories from her daughter, who is maintaining her legacy. Joan Hess finished the last Amelia Peabody novel,  The Painted Queen , after Barbara passed away. I still haven’t read it, because I don’t want the adventures to be over!

One of the best things about this year’s Malice Domestic was meeting the amazing daughters of Elizabeth Peters (Barbara Mertz) and Joan Hess, Beth and Becca. I became a writer in large part because of Elizabeth Peters novels. I got to meet her once before I died, and this weekend it was so special to hear more stories from her daughter, who is maintaining her legacy. Joan Hess finished the last Amelia Peabody novel, The Painted Queen, after Barbara passed away. I still haven’t read it, because I don’t want the adventures to be over!

After the opening ceremonies, a behind the scenes look at the photo shoot of the Best Debut Novel nominees! Micki Browning, VM Burns, Kellye Garrett, Kathleen Valenti, and Laura Oles.

After the opening ceremonies, a behind the scenes look at the photo shoot of the Best Debut Novel nominees! Micki Browning, VM Burns, Kellye Garrett, Kathleen Valenti, and Laura Oles.

Meeting old friends and new at drinks with fellow writers of color. Kellye Garrett, Cheryl Head, Frankie Bailey, Mia Manansala, VM Burns, Sujata Massey. (Alexia Gordon, seen in the next pic below, joined us a little later.)

Meeting old friends and new at drinks with fellow writers of color. Kellye Garrett, Cheryl Head, Frankie Bailey, Mia Manansala, VM Burns, Sujata Massey. (Alexia Gordon, seen in the next pic below, joined us a little later.)

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Attending panels on a range of topics, from Golden Age detective fiction to the best in modern mystery.

Attending panels on a range of topics, from Golden Age detective fiction to the best in modern mystery.

More meals! A Sisters in Crime breakfast and an unofficial Guppies breakfast. Thanks to Debra Goldstein for organizing this breakfast for the Guppy chapter of Sisters in Crime! This is the Guppy chapter after the SinC breakfast.

More meals! A Sisters in Crime breakfast and an unofficial Guppies breakfast. Thanks to Debra Goldstein for organizing this breakfast for the Guppy chapter of Sisters in Crime! This is the Guppy chapter after the SinC breakfast.

Downtime catching up with author pals (with Annette Dashofy here) is one of my favorite things about Malice.

Downtime catching up with author pals (with Annette Dashofy here) is one of my favorite things about Malice.

Malice Domestic, the convention celebrating the traditional mystery, is always a blast. It was especially fun to be nominated for an Agatha Award this year for "The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn." And it was such an honor to win! Especially for a Jaya Jones locked-room mystery novelette that honors the Golden Age of detective fiction.Photos from the banquet are below, but to do a proper recap of the conference I'll start at the beginning.

And now for the Agatha Awards banquet!

The Agatha Awards honor traditional mysteries. Kellye Garrett (who won for her terrific debut  Hollywood Homicide ) and I grew up reading traditional mysteries we loved but that didn’t have many characters who looked like us. So we grew up and wrote our lives into the type of mysteries we adore. It was so amazingly cool to have Dayna and Jaya mysteries honored this year.

The Agatha Awards honor traditional mysteries. Kellye Garrett (who won for her terrific debut Hollywood Homicide) and I grew up reading traditional mysteries we loved but that didn’t have many characters who looked like us. So we grew up and wrote our lives into the type of mysteries we adore. It was so amazingly cool to have Dayna and Jaya mysteries honored this year.

Kendel Lynn from Henery Press has been part of my publishing journey from the beginning, so it was wonderful to have her there to celebrate.

Kendel Lynn from Henery Press has been part of my publishing journey from the beginning, so it was wonderful to have her there to celebrate.

Shelly Dickson Carr co-hosted a banquet table with me. It was wonderful celebrating with Shelly not only because she’s awesome, but the reason I met her in the first place was because I’d read her debut novel (Ripped) and loved it, so I said hello to her at a mystery convention a couple of years ago. I’d discovered the book because I love her author grandfather’s mysteries. And the connection gets even cooler: John Dickson Carr wrote locked room mysteries during the Golden Age of mystery fiction, and his books and stories are what inspired me to write the locked room mystery in “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn.”

Shelly Dickson Carr co-hosted a banquet table with me. It was wonderful celebrating with Shelly not only because she’s awesome, but the reason I met her in the first place was because I’d read her debut novel (Ripped) and loved it, so I said hello to her at a mystery convention a couple of years ago. I’d discovered the book because I love her author grandfather’s mysteries. And the connection gets even cooler: John Dickson Carr wrote locked room mysteries during the Golden Age of mystery fiction, and his books and stories are what inspired me to write the locked room mystery in “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn.”

A wonderful group joined us at the banquet table!

A wonderful group joined us at the banquet table!

At the Agatha Banquet with fellow short story enthusiasts Josh Pachter, Shelly Dickson Carr, and Steve Steinbock.

At the Agatha Banquet with fellow short story enthusiasts Josh Pachter, Shelly Dickson Carr, and Steve Steinbock.

At the Agatha Banquet reception with Kellye Garrett, Mia Manansala (who won last year’s Malice Domestic Grant, so stay tuned for her book), and Sujata Massey (whose latest novel  The Widows of Malabar Hill , set in 1920s Bombay, is terrific).

At the Agatha Banquet reception with Kellye Garrett, Mia Manansala (who won last year’s Malice Domestic Grant, so stay tuned for her book), and Sujata Massey (whose latest novel The Widows of Malabar Hill, set in 1920s Bombay, is terrific).

Fellow NorCal author Rhys Bowen won Best Historical Novel for  In Farleigh Field .

Fellow NorCal author Rhys Bowen won Best Historical Novel for In Farleigh Field.

The Malice Domestic community is what makes the conference not one to be missed, and this year the Agatha for "The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn" was icing on the cake.