Day One of the Malice Domestic traditional mystery convention continued with a crime lab talk and author interviews. I especially enjoyed the fan mail panel, where authors shared their most touching, funny, and irksome letters from fans.
In the evening, several authors published in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine gathered in the hotel lounge to meet with editor Linda Landrigan. Selling a short story to AHMM is a Very Big Deal in the mystery fiction world. For some, publication in the magazine launched writing careers.
When Linda purchased my short story The Jolly Fat Man for the AHMM April 2013 issue, I responded to the email by running in circles around my living room and screaming. I exercised more restraint in the hotel lounge as I finally met Linda in person.
Meeting Carole Nelson Douglas, author of the Midnight Louie series, was Fan Moment Number One. I may have squealed. http://carolenelsondouglas.com/
While waiting for the dessert reception, I chatted with author Maggie Sefton http://www.maggiesefton.com/ . We are both Colorado residents, with a history of attending the Pikes Peak Writers Conference. Maggie shared how she took risks to start her career, enduring a diet of peanut butter sandwiches on her path to becoming a multi-published author.
Delectable squares in a variety of flavors rewarded those able to stay up for the Welcome Reception. Or is nine o’clock not late? I stood beside a tall table and nibbled my plate of goodies while I chatted with authors Cathy Ace http://cathyace.com/ and Carolyn Mulford http://carolynmulford.com/ .
Cathy munched on a chocolate-dipped strawberry, declaring she had met her fruit requirement for the weekend. Her Welsh accent was delightful, and her enthusiasm contagious, as she spoke about her Cait Morgan mystery series, the titles of which all contain the word “Corpse.”
Carolyn is the author of the “Show Me” series, as in Show Me the Murder. She is Missouri native, and sets her series in a small Missouri town (in case you haven’t made the “show me” connection). I was schmoozing, and quite proud of myself for stepping outside my comfort zone by being sociable, when one of the ladies asked if I was attending the SinC breakfast in the morning.
“Thanks for the reminder,” I said. “I signed up for it. What time is it?”
Holy Cow. I was still coping with the time change. Seven am in Maryland is five am in Colorado. Which meant I would be setting my alarm for four am. Ugh.
I managed to arrive at the breakfast in time to nab a seat next to author Catriona McPherson http://catrionamcpherson.com/ , also vice president of SinC. This was Fan Moment Number Two as I told Catriona how much I love her Dandy Gilver series.
SinC is Sisters in Crime, a professional writers’ group geared toward women. I am strictly an on-line member of SinC, with no local chapter to attend. The buffet breakfast was great, and getting to see other members in person was an even better treat.
Our president and Colorado resident Laura DiSilverio kept the meeting lively. Dozens of attendees wore feather boas designating the wearers as Guppies – the great unpublished. Some Guppies never leave the pond, even after being published. I highly recommend Guppies to any aspiring mystery novelist.
After the meeting, I attended more panels, interviews, and book signings. One highlight was the Midlist Writers Anonymous presentation by Parnell Hall, Dorothy Cannell, Susan Rogers Cooper, and Joan Hess. There was even a song.
Fan Moment Number Three was attending a panel on unusual settings with Elaine Viets, author of the Dead-End Job series. The most recent book in the series is set at a cat show.
Day Two of Malice Domestic was winding down. One more day to go, and it would be a momentous one for me. Now if I could just get adjusted to the time change…
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