Monday, May 7, 2007

Report from Malice Domestic XIX

If you love mysteries—and who doesn’t?—you’d love Malice Domestic XIX in Washington, D.C. Held annually, Malice celebrates mysteries in the style of Agatha Christie. In fact, their awards are called the Agathas.

This year for best new novel Sandra Parshall won for The Heat of the Moon; for best novel was Nancy Picard for The Virgin of High Plains; and for best non-fiction book Chris Roerden won with Don’t Murder Your Mystery.

Malice is a “fan conference.” That means the activities are geared for the enjoyment and edification of mystery fans. Fans can hear authors talk about their books, then buy the books and have them autographed.

Malice is a great place for readers to get to know new authors. Malice Go Round is a book-lovers’ version of speed dating. Readers plunk down at a table, and after the moderator gives the signal, new authors come by to pitch their books. Writers are allowed two to three minutes each. For a reader, it’s pure heaven—a surfeit of interesting ideas. And bookmarks? Did I mention bookmarks? Most authors bring bookmarks and postcards, perfect for holding your place in your current read and for reminding you of new items to put on your TBR (to be read) pile beside your bed.

I lucked out. I was invited to be on the “Undaunted Sleuths” panel. Usually you don’t get to participate unless you have your book in hand. (Over Exposed isn’t out until Fall 2008.) I was delighted to have the opportunity. First, I got to practice being on a panel. As a motivational speaker I'm used to speaking in front of a group, but that’s different from having just a few minutes and sharing the microphone with others. As a motivational speaker, it’s all up to you. In a panel, it’s a teamwork situation.

I needed something memorable to offer any audience members. You all have seen my business card. I wanted something equally “fun” that said “scrapbooking."

I came up with the bookmarks shown above. What you can’t tell is that the flower on bottom is individually hand-punched and secured with a brad. (Uh, I'll be replacing the flower punch. It pooped out on me. And my poor hand got sore from pressing down.) On the back is this compliment by Shirley Damsgaard, author of Witch Way to Murder: “Even if you passion isn’t scrapbooking, you’ll love Kiki Lowenstein! A spunky, down-on-her-luck widow with a young daughter to raise, she’s not going to let a murderer get away with---well…MURDER!” ISBN: 0-7387-1250-7

I have a few bookmarks left over. If you’d like one, email me at Be sure to put BOOKMARK in the subject line. In the body of the email include your name and postal address, and I’ll pop a bookmark in the mail to you. Supplies are limited.

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