Monday, May 4, 2009
Malice Domestic Conference
I just returned from the Malice Domestic mystery conference in Arlington, Virginia. It was a smaller conference this year compared to the last two years but with excellent panels and many chances to speak with readers and other authors. Agatha award winners included Louise Penny for best novel (The Cruelest Month), G.M. Malliet for best first novel (Death of a Cozy Writer), Kathy Lynn Emerson for best non-fiction (How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries), Dana Cameron for best short story (The Night Things Changed) and Chris Grabenstein for best children’s/young adult (The Crossroads). Lifetime Achievement Award winner Anne Perry gave a wonderful interview. She described how when she was a little girl, a bully said he would take her money. She told him how poor she was, and the bully ended up giving her money instead. Anne stated that was the first time she was paid for telling a story. Guest of Honor Nancy Pickard shared an experience from her early journalism career. After reporting on a city council meeting, one of the council members sent a note to the editor saying that Nancy had done a fine job of writing about the topic of discussion but that they actually voted “no” and not “yes” as reported. I had a chance to participate in the Malice-go-round which is like speed dating where I had ninety seconds to pitch to a table of readers before moving on to the next table. After twenty tables some of my voice remained. I also was a member of a senior sleuth panel with Donald Bain, Renee Paley-Bain, Deb Baker and Mary Saums. On the way there I read in the airline magazine a statistic reported by Nielsen Bookscan that 93% of traditionally published books (not electronic published) sold 1000 or fewer copies. A great weekend and the flights both directions were actually on time.