Monday, May 14, 2007

Charmed and Dangerous with Malice

Patty here…

Malice Domestic

First, I want to thank James Grippando for filling in for me on Monday with his always wise and pithy comments. I wasn’t here, because last Thursday I flew to Arlington, Virginia to attend the Malice Domestic mystery fan convention. I ‘d never been before, so I wanted to check it out. My friend Rochelle Krich was Guest of Honor and our own Jacqueline Winspear was nominated for the Best Novel award, so I had to be there.

Rochelle and Our J

Three of the Best Novel Nominees Nancy Pickard, Our J, and Julia Spencer-Fleming

After two and a half years of being a published author I finally know a few people. In fact, Malice seemed like old home week not to mention an opportunity to renew acquaintances and traipse from one party to another. I had lunch with my editor, the brilliant Kristen Weber. I attended a dinner hosted by NAL/Penguin for all of its authors. I spent way too much time in the cocktail lounge. My liver is still drying out. After the banquet on Saturday night, Our J and I sat at the bar and toasted the cosmos with a glass of champagne.

Kate Flora, Sandra Balzo, Marcia Talley

A few other California writers were there, including Linda O. Johnston, Gay Toltl Kinman, Sheila Lowe, and Susan Kandel. I also spent some time with Alex Sokoloff who ran the Malice Go Round gauntlet with me. Alex blogs over at Murderati with our good friend Louise Ure. And I finally got to meet the lovely and talented Nancy Martin from The Lipstick Chronicles.

Julia Spencer-Fleming, Nancy Martin, and Moi

I was on a panel on Sunday morning called “Don’t give Up Your Day Job: Suitable Jobs for a Sleuth?” moderated by Kate Grilley with fellow panelists JoAnna Carl (Eve Sandstrom), Sharon Short, Linda O. Johnston, Jess Lourey, and John Lamb, our token male, a former homicide detective who is man enough to admit he collects Teddy bears. Naturally, we were all charming and witty.

And guess who else was there?!!!! Heidi Vornbrock Roosa. Here we are looking overexposed but very sassy.

Charmed and Dangerous

On Sunday afternoon I hitched a ride with Sue Ann Jaffarian and Diana James to Annapolis, Maryland to do a book signing at the Barnes & Noble store with a group of women dubbed “Charmed and Dangerous.” The event is the brainchild of Marcia Talley and included Sue Ann, Sharon Short, Kate Flora, Denise Swanson, and me. Elaine Viets was supposed to sign with us, but as many of you know she had a stroke several weeks and is still recuperating. Nonetheless, her books were on the table and she was with us in spirit.

Left to right: Kate Flora (off camera), Sue Ann Jaffarian, Marcia Talley,
Patricia Smiley, Sharon Short, and Denise Swanson

12th Annual Festival of Mystery

That night Kate, Sharon, and I had a slumber party at Marcia’s house. The next morning we set off for Oakmont, Pennsylvania to attend a library tea, followed by the 12th Annual Festival of Mystery sponsored by Mystery Lovers Bookshop. Imagine this—four women on the road for six hours, each of whom has a quirky sense of humor and a vivid imagination. Be afraid. Be very afraid. And when you meet Sharon Short ask her about the walleye.

Here we are at in front of the gift shop at the Jean Bonnet Tavern in Bedford, PA
Marcia, Kate, Sharon, and me

When we arrived at the Festival, which was held in the Greek Orthodox Church Social Hall, fans were already snaking along the sidewalk to buy books from the 50 participating authors. Thanks to the fabulous Mary Alice Gorman and Richard Goldman, owners of the Mystery Lovers Bookshop, the event ran like a fine Swiss clock. Twelve hundred books were sold in four hours. Richard introduced all of the authors to the audience and did an in depth interview of newbies like me. One of the highlights of the evening was having the opportunity to chat with my friend Karen Olson who blogs over at First Offenders. I also met the fabulous Diane who admitted to being a regular lurker on Naked Authors. Go Diane! If you want autographed copies of any of the books wrttien by attending authors, you can order them here.

The following morning I got up at 4 AM to catch my flight back to the US of CA to do a library event in Pasadena with the charming and funny Harley Jane Kozak. So move over Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Paris Hilton, and Mel Gibson. I’m ready for rehab.

Friends of NakedAuthors New Blog

James Lincoln Warren, a friend and frequent commenter on NakedAuthors has just joined the blogosphere. Last Monday he launched Criminal Brief. The line up of authors is as follows: James writing Mondays, Tuesdays belong to Melodie Johnson Howe, Wednesdays will feature Robert Lopresti, Thursdays we'll hear from Deborah Elliott-Upton, Fridays from Steve Steinbock, Saturdays will feature a guest blogger, and Sundays will be the soapbox of new author Leigh Lundin. Congratulations to all of these fine writers and welcome to the madness!

Happy Monday!


  1. Patty, I'm tired just reading about your schedule. But it does sound like fun. And the photos are fab.

  2. It WAS fun. Next year you should think about coming to Oakmont with us. What a party that would be!

  3. Patty--

    As always, it was great to see you. And to thank you. And keep thanking you.

    Love the photos.

    Hope you plan to scrapbook them!

  4. I agree with Louise.

    Patty, you're indefatigable. (Note to Jim Born: That's a word meaning "slim and fast moving").

    Way to spread your wings.

  5. Thanks for the plug, Patty. There's a discussion going on over at Criminal Brief right now about the idea of subgenre is being abused as a merketing ploy. Hot on the heels of Malice Domestic, the "Cozy" convention, I think I may have chosen too sensitive a subject.

    I'm sorry I missed it. Malice is the most fun convention of them all.

  6. Patty, it was great seeing you in Oakmont! You definitely have to come again next year, and bring Louise with you!

  7. Joanna, great seeing you again. Alas, my scrapbooking is on hiatus. Hope to get back to it some day.

    James, I don't care for any of the terms because it's just another way of segregating writers. We all write crime fiction. So what's the big deal?

  8. Finally, a PattyPost, just as I was going into withdrawal. Welcome back, Patty! Have you recovered yet? And, what a plethora of Patty we get, as well...

  9. Hey Jeff. Welcome back! I'm still catching my breath. More later.

  10. Such a great post, as always--and I'm exhausted too just reading it all! Plus you guys all look gorgeous in the photos (no surprise considering how gorgeous you look IRL...)

    Welcome home!

  11. Hey, sorry I'm late, Patty! Didn't we have fun at Malice? It was lovely to be able to sit down for a good old chin-wag or two, and that glass of champagne was particularly good!

  12. After a day to reflect on the myriad, dazzling and gorgeous mystery writers with whom you so gracefully posed, Patty, I am painfully forced to point out that this is, after all, Naked Authors, and I hope that you will recall that salient fact at your next convention stop. :)

  13. I am somewhat put out that I don't see an invitation TO ME to join you at Oakmont next year. Now THAT would be a party--you, Louise, Jackie, Jim Born--no--scratch Jim!


  14. Okay, let's all go to Oakmont and pardy hardy. Whee!!!!