Malice Domestic 2015

Malice Domestic 2015: Highlights and Photos

The 27th annual Malice Domestic mystery convention wrapped up yesterday. I attended the traditional mystery convention as both a mystery fan and an author, so between being a fan-girl and putting on my professional writer hat, the three-day event was a bit of a whirlwind.

I'm at the airport, drinking plenty of coffee and green juice to recover from the long weekend, so it's time to share a recap and photos:

Welcome to Malice Domestic
Upon our arrival, this mysterious projection was waiting for us.

Malice Go Round

The first full day of the convention began with an introduction to Malice for first-time attendees, an informational session for people interested in volunteering, and then Malice Go Round: Like Speed Dating, But With Authors. 

There were 20 tables with eight readers and two empty seats; authors paired up and visited each table and gave a 2-minute pitch about their books. I passed out postcards of Quicksand and The Accidental Alchemist out of a magician's hat, since stage magicians are a common element between my two series. (Sorry, I was on California time, so I didn't think to take any photos of the event!)

Welcome Reception

This year marks Midnight Ink's 10th anniversary, so they hosted the welcome reception with a special cake and books by all of their authors. 
Midnight Ink authors at Malice.

Sisters in Crime

Malice Domestic and Sisters in Crime are probably the two most important groups that brought me into the mystery fold. I love connecting with my Sisters at Malice, and at a convention of several hundred, the SinC breakfast is one of the best ways to see everyone.

Don't worry, SinC President Catrina McPherson is left-handed, so a broken arm can't slow her down.
SinC President Catriona McPherson and
Vice President Leslie Budewitz at the SinC breakfast.

The Sisters in Crime Dorothy Cannell Guppy Scholarship was given out at the breakfast. The yearly scholarship that pays $1,000 for a SinC Guppy to attend Malice Domestic is being offered by agent Meg Ruley to honor her long-time client.
Dorothy Cannell and Leslie Budewitz presenting the first
Guppy scholarship to attend Malice Domestic.
Also announced at the breakfast was the exciting news that the Eleanor Taylor Bland Crime Fiction Writers of Color Award, originally planned as a one-time grant for an emerging writer of color, will continue!

Frankie Bailey and I were involved in the inaugural grant committee last year, when Maria Kelson was awarded the first grant. Her work in progress is terrific.
Frankie Bailey and Gigi Pandian.

Ellen Byron, Gigi Pandian, Diane Vallere, Kendel Flaum.
(Kendel is my editor at Henery Press - if you're enjoying QUICKSAND,
the third Jaya Jones treasure hunt mystery, she's the one who saved it!)
Wondering about the boas? It was thought up a few years ago as a way for SinC Guppies to easily find each other at the large Sisters in Crime breakfast.
The Guppies gathering for a photo at the end of the Sisters in Crime breakfast.

The Sisters in Crime Guppy chapter meets for lunch every year, and it's a great opportunity to put faces to names we know online, in a smaller setting.
SinC Guppies gathering at Booeymongers for lunch.

Attending Panels

The Golden Age of Detection Panel

This was one of my favorite panels. I love Golden Age mysteries, plus check out the lineup of panelists! Mystery scholar Doug Greene moderating, with Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine reviewer Steve Steinbock, author and scholar Martin Edwards, and fiction and non-fiction writer (and Sherlock Holmes expert) Daniel Stashower. I'm tempted to do a recap of the entertaining and informative panel here, but I'd ramble far too long, so I'll post panel notes separately at a later date.

Steve Steinbock, Doug Greene, Martin Edwards, Dan Stashower.
I'm looking forward to reading this new book by Martin Edwards on the Golden Age of mystery fiction that's out this very week.

Academic Mysteries Panel
Susan Van Kirk, Lori Rader-Day, Debra Goldstein, Triss Stein, Neil Plakcy.

Best Short Story Agatha-Nominated Authors Panel
Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine editor Linda Landrigan (moderating),
Kathy Lynn Emerson, Barb Goffman, Edith Maxwell, Art Taylor.

My Sleuthing Duos Panel
Meeting for coffee to plan our panel.
Tracy Kiely, Gigi Pandian, Ritter Ames, Hannah Dennison, Wendy Tyson.
I hadn't met fellow panelist Ritter Ames before, and I was happy to learn about her Elizabeth Peters-inspired series. (My to-be-read pile of books grew exponentially this weekend...)

Stepping outside of the hotel to recharge

Green juice run with some of the Midnight Ink crew. 
Tracy Weber, Linda Joffe Hull,
Terri Bischoff (my fabulous Midnight Ink editor), Catriona McPherson.

Tulips were in bloom all around the hotel.

The Banquet

Pal Cynthia Kuhn (top row center) was awarded one of this year's William F. Deeck-Malice Domestic Grants for unpublished traditional mystery writers!
Past and present grant-winners with committee chair
Harriette Sackler (top left).

The Agatha Award Winners

My local Sisters in Crime chapter had not one but TWO
Agatha winners: Rhys Bowen and Penny Warner
(seen here with Parnell Hall - thanks to Penny for the pic)
Best Contemporary Novel: Truth Be Told by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Best Historical Novel: Queen of Hearts by Rhys Bowen

Best First Novel: Well Read, Then Dead by Terrie Farley Moran

Best Nonfiction: Writes of Passage: Adventures on the Writer's Journey by Hank Phillippi Ryan (ed)
(This is a book full of essays by members of Sisters in Crime.)

Best Short Story: "The Odds are Against Us" by Art Taylor

Best Children's/Young Adult: The Code Buster's Club, Case #4, The Mummy's Curse by Penny Warner

Sara Peretsky was given the Lifetime Achievement Award this year. Caroline and Charles Todd were the guests of honor, and Ann Cleeves was the International guest of honor.

Closing Ceremonies Tea
Cindy Brown and Gigi Pandian before the closing tea.
There were many hats to be found at the tea. It used to be more of a tradition, and there's a mini movement to bring it back. (I don't yet have a photo of the Henery Press authors with their hats, but I'll add it when I get a copy.) 

Poirot and Miss Marple were on hand at the tea, just in case anything untoward were to have occurred.
Poirot and Miss Marple.

And now it's nearly time for my flight to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I'm doing a week-long writers retreat with my local writers group to celebrate my 40th birthday. This was an idea I had while going through cancer treatments four years ago, and I can't quite believe it became a reality. But on the heels of Malice Domestic, it's perfect timing. As I type up this recap, I'm reminded again of how inspiring it is to connect with other mystery fans and writers. I'm going to take that inspiration with me to Scotland.