Fiction Writing and Other Oddities

Monday, May 13, 2013

Malice Domestic 2013

I recently returned from the Malice Domestic 25 conference in Bethesda, MD, and I had a super time. My sister and I both love mysteries, so we can get a chance to visit, do a little sight-seeing around the Virginia, Maryland, DC area, and generally have a good time. One of the best features, of course, is that we each get a bag full of books, many of which are from authors new to us so we get to sample new authors while going to interesting talks and generally schmoozing with the authors. If you haven't gone, I highly recommend this conference as it is on the small side and everyone is fantastically nice.

Harlan Coben and yours truly, Amy Corwin
In fact, during the author signing, Harlan Coben came over and spoke to several of us, which was really sweet of him considering that I (in particular) am generally unknown in the Mystery Author Stars firmament.

Exotic Locales Session with Dina Willner (moderator), Lucy Burdette, Aaron Elkins, Marie Moore, and Michael Stanley
One of the best sessions was about the use of exotic locales in fiction and all four authors were fascinating in their views of how the locale influences the book. I picked up several new books where the stories are set in distant lands since I have always loved to read stores set in other places. One of the authors, Aaron Elkins, really drew in the crowds and I loved to hear him talk about his process. He visits the places where he sets his stories and takes notes on everything, including local eateries (including their menus) and street views. I almost asked him if he had any relatives in NC since we are friends with a family with the last name and there is even a crossroads (Elkton) named after the Elkins. It would be really funny if they were related (I really don't think they are).
Maria Hudgins (Left)

I also got to catch up with several of my friends, including fellow Five Star author, Maria Hudgins, and Sandra Parshall who was the main editor of the Fairfax Audubon Society newsletter where I was a "grunt" typist eons ago.

Sandra Parshall (right)
While at the conference, I got to participate in the fun (but exhausting) Malice-Go-Round, which was like speed dating for authors. There were twenty tables set up with ten or so folks at each table and we authors got to run around to each table and "pitch" our books for 2.5 minutes. Whew. By the time I reached table 18, I was pretty well "voice-less" but I certainly got my pitch for my latest mystery, Whacked!, down-pat. (An overworked gal goes to house-sit for her aunt and uncle, only to find her uncle sharing a smoke with a dead man. It's up to her to prove her uncle is not crazy and did not kill the man at the bottom of the garden. LOL) Right now, Whacked! is only out in hardcover, but there should be an ebook version out next year (crossing fingers).

Liz Lipperman (right)
For fans of my historical mysteries, the second Pru & Knighton book (Second Sons Inquiry Agency mystery series) should be out by the end of June or early July. I still don't have a title for it, but it's coming! If you want to catch up on the first book where Pru Barnard is accused of murdering her host at a seance, you can grab a copy of The Vital Principle.

I hope mystery fans will check out Malice Domestic and maybe make a trip next year for the conference. It really was a lot of fun and there is so much to do in that neck of the woods. It is well worth the trip!

Aaron Elkins at book signing

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