Friday, May 07, 2010

My Week Back East - Part Two

And now on to the second half of my very busy week. After the Guppies luncheon at the Malice Domestic conference on Saturday, I sat in on the Tales with Tails: Roles Animals Play in Mysteries panel, did some chatting (networking) in the Hospitality Lounge and Booksellers Room, then changed into a dress for the evening. I met up with some Mystery Babes in the Marriott bar and indulged in a chocolate martini. Yum! The next two photos show the group at the bar (note the empty Margarita glasses and the satisfied grins).



























Next we tried to corral all of the 13 Midnight Ink authors at the conference for a group photo at the reception before the Agatha Awards Banquet. Our editor had asked for one. You can see 10 in the photo below (Alan Orloff and G. M. Malliet are hidden and Jennifer Stanley is missing). The authors shown include (left to right): Vicki Doudera, C.S. Challinor, Lisa Bork, Elizabeth Spann Craig, Joanna Campbell Slan, Elizabeth Kane Buzzelli, Deborah Sharp, me, Sue Ann Jaffarian, and Kathleen Ernst.














On Sunday I went to The Art of Distraction: Using Red Herrings panel, where Joannna Campbell Slan passed out a useful handout on Twenty Types of Misdirection. Next came the Bosom Buddies: Friendships in Mysteries panel, which included Margaret Maron and Nancy Pickard. When I heard Nancy's The Scent of Rain and Lightning was on sale pre-release in the book room, I rushed to buy a copy and have her sign it. The photo below shows Margaret and Nancy at work at their signing following the panel. The last panel I sat in on, Characters We Know and Love:Authors Appear in Character, was a really fun one, especially watching Mary Jane Maffini try to portray multiple characters.













Hank Phillippi Ryan did an excellent job interviewing Rhys Bowen, then came my favorite dining event of the conference, the Agatha Tea. The next photo shows some of the folks at my table, including Luci Zahray, the Poison Lady, and authors Barbara Graham and Peg Herring.










Then L.C. Hayden and I climbed into my rental car and tried to keep each other awake on the drive up to Oakmont, PA. We were both thoroughly exhausted from conferencing, so this was really tough and required a pit stop for more sugar and caffeine. We fell into beds in our hotel and slept like the dead until mid-morning. Just before noon, Linda Randig, who appears as a character in L.C.'s latest book, When Death Intervenes, came by with her husband for a visit. After giving us homemade gifts, she took us to the scrumptious Oakland Bakery for a snack (I took photos and brochures for my pastry-chef-in-training son), then to the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, which puts on the Festival of Mystery. While there, we chatted briefly with co-owner Richard Goldman before heading over to the Author-Librarian Tea at the Oakmont Carnegie Library. The crowded room soon heated up as authors pitched their books to the attending librarians and the book club leaders and members they brought along. The next photo shows a librarian sandwiched between me and thriller author Kevin O'Brien.
















When we arrived at the Greek Orthodox Church for the festival itself, readers were lined up under sun umbrellas outside the door, a sight that warms any author's heart! Mayhem ensued when the doors opened and the crowd descended on the authors. Just like my first visit in 2007, I sold more books at this event than at the Malice Domestic conference. The first photo below shows me with Kathy Sweeney, who liked my first book A Real Basket Case so much that she bought two copies of the second one, To Hell in a Handbasket. Thanks, Kathy!

















The next four photos show authors at the festival. In the first one are L.C. Hayden and Sue Ann Jaffarian. The second one shows Leann Sweeney, Marcia Talley, and Elaine Viets. The third one shows me with Casey Daniels and fellow Colorado Springs mystery author Laura DiSilverio/Lila Dare. The fourth one show Hank Phillippi Ryan, Deborah Sharp, and Joanna Campbell Slan. After the festival finished, the authors and bookstore staff trooped over to the store for a pizza party. I chatted with Nancy Martin about cruising, Donna Andrews about bird and animal invasions, and more. What fun! All in all it was a great trip, but I was glad to finally be home again by Tuesday evening.




8 comments:

Kathleen Ernst said...

So good to connect in person, Beth! Thanks for sharing.

Maggie Toussaint said...

cool pics, Beth. Enjoyed reading about your conference adventure. You're such a trooper to drive the whole thing.

Beth Solheim said...

Great photos, Beth. Wish I had been there.

Mare F said...

Wonderful pictures, Beth. It looks as though you had a great time.

Beth Groundwater said...

Thanks for the comments, folks! Maggie, I flew into Newport News, VA and out of Pittsburgh, PA, so I didn't drive to/from Colorado, at least! I used to live in Northern Virginia, so I'm somewhat familiar with the roads there.

Rebbie Macintrye said...

Looks great, Beth! Thanks for the posts!

Deborah Sharp said...

thanks for sharing all the great photos (and some not-so-great: on second thought, I should have washed my hair that AM for Oakmont!). It was SUCH a terrific few days, and we all have such nice smiles on our faces. Loved it!

Tea said...

Love the photos.