Before I get into the uniquely joyous celebration that is Malice Domestic, I want to tell you about who will be honored at Malice 30 (mark your calendars for Bethesda, Maryland, April 27-29, 2018):
Louise Penney, Guest of Honor
Catriona McPherson, Toastmaster
Nancy Pickard, Lifetime Achievement
David Suchet, Amelia Award
Janet Blizard, Fan Guest of Honor
Robin Hathaway, Malice Remembers.
My Malice was a bit different that Mary Sutton’s and it only goes to show that you can create any experience that you want from the compendium that is offered. This is my third convention and I decided to volunteer as a monitor. The monitor is the guy in the back of the room with signs that say “10” and “5” to remind the moderator of the time.
Being monitor didn’t get me into any special panels; all the panels are open to everyone. What it did was get me to the panels that I had wanted to see and prevented me from giving in to the lure of napping after 12 hours of travel, a 4 hour time change and serious jet lag. Who needs to sleep? I have 51 weeks to sleep before Malice 30. It also was an opportunity to get to know the wonderful people who put on Malice.
The panels I saw included: Simply the Best (Agatha Best Contemporary Novel Nominees) moderated by Shawn Reilly Simmons with panelists Ellen Byron, Catriona McPherson, Barbara Ross and Hank Phillipi Ryan. Another great panel was New Kids on the Block (Agatha Best First Novel) moderated by Harriette Sackler and with panelists Marla Cooper, Mysterista alum Cynthia Kuhn, Nadine Nettman, and Renee Patrick (Rosemarie and Vince Keenan). Not only was it encouraging to see Cynthia up there, but Nadine Nettman told the most inspiring story. Having written five books over ten years and having received 451 rejections, her debut was nominated first best. I should only live so long.
Mary Sutton and I had a cracking good time on Small Stories in a Big World panel moderated by Kaye George. We were joined by Debra H. Goldstein, Eleanor Cawood Jones and Kathryn O’Sullivan.
Charlene Harris, mystery goddess and author of the Sookie Stackhouse series that became the TV show True Blood and who now has one television series, Midnight in Texas, about to air on NBC and two movies on the Hallmark channel, was interviewed in a separate event. What a delightful and real lady!
If you go, definitely go to the interviews. Tiny little tidbits fall from the mouths of these giants shifted the ground upon which I stand. For instance, Charlene Harris had two series her publisher “didn’t continue” and Marcia Talley was orphaned when her publisher went out of business. But, they’re still standing! The story of mystery and mystery writers is the story of overcoming obstacles.
The best thing I remember about Malice is the laughter. We laughed from the Opening Ceremonies through to the Agatha Tea and Closing Ceremonies celebrating the genre that we love.
And, yet again, we got a really great dessert at the banquet. Chocolate mousse and cake and sinful. It’s definitely worth dieting all year for.