Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Post Morten--Malice

Back from the Malice Domestic mystery conference in Arlington, Virginia, and thinking about the last blog I posted. In it, I advised anyone going to a conference to go with a plan. I went to Malice with a plan. The question, of course, is did I accomplish what I wanted to?

Well, I did get a chance to talk to readers. The best opportunity to do that at Malice is an event called Malice Go ‘Round. It’s kind of like speed dating for authors. Bright and early Friday morning, forty authors went to the ballroom where round tables were set up. Two authors to a table and at a certain time, readers were let in. Each author had two minutes to talk up his/her books.

Then we were given the signal to switch tables.

To another table and another set of readers. Another two-minute chance to talk about my Pepper Martin mysteries, and give them a Reader’s Digest condensed version of the plot of the newest, and show them the cover of the one coming out in July, and hand around bookmarks.

Then we were given the signal to switch tables.

And it started all over again.

The good news is that there’s no better way to get one-on-one time with so many readers, to watch their reactions as you explain your story and your characters and to see so many of them smile and nod, and some of them say, "I’ve read every one. I love your books."

The bad news?

After an hour-and-a-half, you’ve never seen so many wiped out authors! In fact, I went to lunch right after with another of the authors and we spent the first few minutes simply staring at each other, too exhausted to put two words together.

Malice also gave me chance to meet my new editor, re-connect with an editor I used to work with, talk to my publicist, and meet with my agent. I chatted with readers who are always so wonderful and enthusiastic, and I met new authors and saw many old friends.

There’s never enough time at any conference to do everything you want to do, but I think in the great scheme of things, I stuck to my plan pretty well. Conferences are a mixture of business and pleasure (emphasis on the business side) and for me, this one was a rousing success.

Forgot to mention this Saturday's Ohioana Book Festival. If you're in the Columbus, Ohio area, stop by. Lots of authors. Lots of books. Lots of fun. Festival info:

10 am - 4:30pm

274 E. First Avenue
Columbus, OH 43201

See you there!


Sharon said...

Maybe they could break it up for you guys. Do 30 minutes, take a break, do 30 minutes...That would give the authors time to wet their whistles and the fans time to digest what they have heard before moving on to more information.

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin said...

That sounds both productive and exhausting! I hope you're now enjoying recuperating from the whole conference. {Smile}

Anne Elizabeth Baldwin

Casey said...

Hmm...this keeps happening...I post replies to comments and they never show up. Going to try again.

Casey said...

OK, it worked that time. Let's see if it will again. My original comment (now lost in cyberspace) was that getting through the Malice Go Round is something of a badge of honor for authors. I'd do it again in a heartbeat!