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  • Melissa Westemeier

malice domestic 2024

In writing news, I took a 2 month hiatus from writing murder mysteries to work on a different project. I completed 75,000 words in this new project before hitting "save" and boarding a flight to Maryland to attend Malice Domestic at the end of April. Now I'm back at my desk with my brain switched to "Murder Mode." This conference, my first official "Murder Mystery" type of event, introduced me to a wealth of new writers, information, and a supportive network of readers and writers.

Highlights for this lifetime mystery reader included: I heard Sujata Massey talk THREE DIFFERENT TIMES and SHE SMILED AT ME WHILE PASSING ME THE CORRIDOR! I stopped to say hi to Allison Montclair (who is a man named Alan Gordon) and blurted to him how much I love his writing and his books. (I think he's shy, he seemed startled by my adoration, like it embarrassed him.) Maddie Day AKA Edith Maxwell ASKED TO SEE MY PROGRAM! I sat beside Anne Hillerman at the auction and got to talk to J.C. Kenney. I ate dinner Bruce Robert Coffin and Dana King (and their amazing wives), I got to tell Daphne Silver how excited I was for her to win the Agatha for her book Crime and Parchment and how much I enjoyed hearing her panel discussion. My friend MK Graff (who has a new book out here!) introduced me to Gabriel Valjan and Dru Ann Love and we drank wine with Sarah Melnyk who is LOUISE PENNY'S PUBLICIST and is super-nice and fun to talk to.

There were panels about conducting research for historical fiction, how to determine a setting, the ethics of fictional detectives--a smorgasbord of offerings for writers and readers. I soaked it all in and even had the privilege of moderating a panel discussion titled Women Solving Crimes, where Eileen Watkins, Teresa Inge, Rose Kerr, and Sheryl Jordan discussed their fictional heroines and women detectives they admire in other people's writing.

Naturally, I returned home with a backpack full of new books to read and a list of writers whose work I want to check out. My notebook is full of what I learned, tidbits to remember, and references to books and websites to use as resources.

Malice Domestic is...not everyone's cup of tea, but in my opinion, it SLAYED. I've re-entered "Murder Mode" with fresh ideas and insights. You could say I'm ready to kill it and I look forward to returning to this conference next April when my first book in my new series comes out!

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6 days ago

And next year no doubt you’ll do a panel and can highlight and sign your new release! Proud of you and your writing journey~

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