Thursday, May 06, 2010

My Week Back East - Part One

My trip back east was a whirlwind tour with four major stops. I flew into the Newport News airport on Tuesday to spend two lovely days with my parents in Hampton, VA (Mom cooked my favorite dinner of hers--crab cakes. Yum!). On Thursday, I drove my rental car up to Arlington, VA, to dump my luggage at the home of friends. Then I picked up L.C. Hayden at the Crystal City Marriott to drive to the Columbia, MD, Library for a Women of Mystery panel. After that came the Malice Domestic conference Friday - Sunday and the Festival of Mystery on Monday. Tuesday I flew home and put my camera in my husband's hands to process my photos. We were booted out of the house twice yesterday for real estate agent showings, so it wasn't until today that he could finish the photos and I could write up my thoughts about the trip. I'll blog about the second half of the trip tomorrow.

After a two hour drive on Thursday afternoon through rush hour, and including a couple of wrong turns, L.C. Hayden and I arrived at the Columbia, MD library to meet up with the rest of our panel (Meredith Cole, Debbi Mack, Kris Neri, Joanna Campbell Slan, and Elaine Viets) and our lovely moderator, librarian and Mystery Babe, Jacquelynn Morris. We had an early dinner of sandwiches, took a short tour of the library, then settled in for our panel. The first two photos show the panel in action and the third photo shows the appreciative audience. We talked from 7 - 8:30 pm, then signed books for a half hour, then hit the road for the return trip at 9 pm. After dropping off L.C., I stumbled in to my friends' house around 10:30 pm. In hindsight, starting off the Malice Domestic weekend already tired was probably not a good idea!

Friday morning at the Malice Domestic Conference, I checked in and said hello to the booksellers, Tom & Enid Schantz at Rue Morgue Press, Kathy Harig at Mystery Loves Company, and Don & Jenn Longmuir at Scene of the Crime Books. Then I ran the gauntlet of Malice-go-Round, pitching my books with partner Barbara Graham to 21 tables of attendees. It took awhile to recover from that experience, but I really enjoyed the You've Got Fan Mail panel in the afternoon, the Opening Ceremonies Reception, the panel of Agatha Best Novel Nominees and Parnell Hall's interview of Mary Higgins Clark before heading to my friends' house for the evening.

After sitting at Lisa Bork's table for the New Author's Breakfast Saturday morning, I served on my panel, Into the Wild: Mysteries Set in the Great Outdoors, with Suzanne Arruda, Rachel Brady, and Deborah Sharp, moderated by the delightful Caroline Craig. Barb Goffman, the Malice Domestic Program Chair, told me later that she could hear our audience laughing through the walls as we regaled them with tales of things-gone-wrong during research expeditions into the great outdoors. After that came my signing period, and I took some photos of fellow signers, shown below, after the photo of the panel. The second photo shows Rachel Brady, Dana Cameron, and Joanna Carl. The third photo shows me with my table mate, Barb Goffman. The fourth shows me with Hank Phillippi Ryan, Maggie Sefton, and Deborah Sharp. The last photo shows Alan Orloff and Stephanie Pintoff.

Next came the much-awaited Sisters in Crime Guppies lunch, with 33 of us crammed into tables at Sbarro in the Underground. This is such a fun group, and I love getting together with fellow Guppies at Malice every year. Quite a few photos of the lunch follow this paragraph. I'll blog about the rest of the conference and the Festival of Mystery tomorrow.


Sandra Parshall said...

Great photos, Beth. I enjoyed seeing you at Malice and Oakmont.

Beth Groundwater said...

You were the photo meister, Sandy! It was hard to get a photo of you without a camera in front of your face, but I like the one of you holding your camera.

jenny milchman said...

Wow, what a spectacular several days you had, Beth! That sounds just terrific from every perspective--getting your name/work out there, meeting inspiring people, and those responsible for a large chunk of what keeps this going--the booksellers.

By the way, Stefanie Pintoff whom you picture here came by my blog and did a similar re-cap of the Edgars. Please come say hello to her there!