I just returned home a couple of days ago from a trip east–to two wonderful writersâ€™ events.
One was Malice Domestic, in Bethesda, Maryland. Itâ€™s themed around traditional mysteries, and both authors and fans attend. There are dinners and panels and Agatha Awards and more! I was on a panel called Must Love Dogs–obviously featuring authors with pet mysteries. My wonderful co-panelists were Sparkle Abbey (two delightful women who write under one pseudonym that is–what else?–the names of their pets!), Esri Allbritten, and Neil S. Plakcy. It was really fun and we got to talk about not only our books but our dogs, too.
That was followed by the Festival of Mystery in Oakmont, Pennsylvania, which was presented by the Mystery Lovers Bookshop. It began with a library tea, followed by a massive book sales event where authors are introduced and lots of mysteries are sold. A highlight this year was the introduction of the storeâ€™s new owner. The current owners, a wonderful and dedicated couple, had gone public a couple of months ago about looking for a buyer. In these days when so many bookstores, both independents and major chains, are going out of business, I feared the worst–possibly the end of that store. But, no–they found a buyer who seems perfect! Sheâ€™s a former Texas librarian and bookseller with family ties to the Pittsburgh area. She was at both the tea and the Festival meeting authors and seeing how the current owners ran the event. That makes me hopeful that not only the store, but the Festival of Mystery, will continue in the future.
For the moment, I have some time to breathe–and to write–before my next major conference, the Romance Writers of America National Conference. More minor events–well, they never stop. In fact, Iâ€™m looking forward to the Pasadena LitFest next weekend. Unfortunately it conflicts with the OCC meeting. It was rescheduled after being rained out (!) in March.
Oh, and I canâ€™t resist mentioning that itâ€™s May–and Iâ€™m part of Read Humaneâ„¢ this month! A new version of my first Pet Rescue Mystery BEAGLEMANIA has recently been printed with the Read Humane seal on it. Read Humane is a special program created by Penguin Group (USA) Inc., parent of Berkley Prime Crime. Penguin has made a substantial donation to the Humane Society of The United StatesÂ® in support of its Animal Rescue Team, and is also shipping 50,000 books starring furry friends, both dogs and cats, which encourage readers to learn more and donate to the Humane Society and its Animal Rescue Team. Participating authors besides me include Rebecca M. Hale, Alison Pace, Miranda James and Sofie Kelly–and Iâ€™m especially excited to report that the Read Humane spokesperson is Nora Roberts.
How about you–any conferences or other exciting events in your recent past or future? Will you be attending RWA National?