Friday, April 22, 2011


Malice, here I come!

In just a short week (notice how weeks & days can be much shorter if there's a deadline of some sort looming, even a good one?) I'll be attending the Malice Domestic conference in Bethesda, MD. If you're a cosy type, this is the place to be.

The last Malice I attended was just after 911. It was held in Washington D.C. at that point, needing a larger space after many successful years at the Hyatt Regency in Bethesda. I stopped attending because other conferences were wooing my travel budget. And, to a small extent, because the conference vibes had changed when it moved into the big city.

Now, it's back in Bethesda again, in the same great hotel with the rooms that wind around an open walkway which allows one to peer down into the lobby and eyeball who's where. It also has a marvelous glass elevator, and while I cringe, hugging the back wall if such an elevator climbs the exterior of a building, this one is inside and not quite so hard for someone with vertigo to manage. It's also the elevator in which I was stuck with my favourite author of the day, Nancy Pickard, for 20 minutes while the maintenance staff worked to get it moving again. We enjoyed a nice visit, Nancy gave me the name of her agent, and the elevator continued on its way. Ah, conference memories!

It's not all fun and games though. Well, always fun...yes. The panels are always entertaining and informative. And I'll give a small plug to the one I'm moderating about mysteries set in the New England states. it's called, Cold Winters, Deadly Nights: Murder in New England and I've just finished reading the latest books by my panel of authors -- Sharon Love Cook, Katilyn Dunnett, Lea Wait, and Heather Webber -- and thoroughly enjoyed each of them. So, I'm really looking forward to meeting this crew and I guarantee, it will be a panel to attend, if you're attending Malice.

The size of this conference means there's a lot of schmoozing that goes on -- always a chance to hook up with an author you've been dying to meet, someone from the publishing world, or readers who delight in mysteries. It's very similar to our own Bloody Words in that way.

There's the Agatha Awards banquet on Saturday night and this year, it's even more exciting because Mary Jane Maffini is on the short list for the Best Short Story award! Her nominated story, So Much in Common, appeared in Ellery Queen magazine Sept/Oct 2010. Go Mary Jane!!

So, my panel notes are prepared, plane tickets printed out, banquet meal already ordered. There's just the small problem of packing. What to take, what to wear. I'm starting on that one early because you can never change your mind too often.

And then, I'll be going through the same routine all over again for Bloody Words 2011 which is being held in Victoria, B.C. the first weekend in June!

Conference season is in the air! Will I meet you at any?

Linda Wiken/Erika Chase
Mystery Book Club series coming
from Prime Crime Books, April 2012

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