Looking back at last year's Malice Domestic 34 and how much I am excited for this year's! It was a great weekend of meeting authors and chatting with readers near Bethesda MD and I can't wait to see what this one has in store, Malice Domestic 35.
To start off, it was the first time I had ever been in a conference hotel, let alone a five star one. The place was MASSIVE! I clocked that it took me four minutes to get from our hotel room to the designated vendor's room while power-walking. And that was with the assistance of elevators and escalators.
Our room was devoid of all unnecessary items, including a large enough trashcan for any practical trash, but I do applaud them for having a recycle container! (that was not meant as a mockery, I really do think the recycle bins were neat and the rooms functional) The hotel was nicely organized and beautifully decorated. Though we didn't have much time to explore, work first, we managed to get lost a time or two.
The place was ALIVE with authors and readers from all over the states, including a few from our neighboring country of Canada. Wow, and I thought our drive was long!
After finding a parking space for the van, the next thing to do was to locate the vendor's room and start unloading! We had enough books to take over six tables and then some with various titles of the different authors. Now, not all of the author's books were at our table. If the author was deemed self-published, meaning not published through a traditional publisher, then their books were handled by another vendor. And let's just say that I was
really happy we rented the dolly!
All the books were laid out in alphabetical
order according to the author's last name. Luckily we had some awesome organizing skills in place before heading down to make the task more manageable. It took us about four trips in and out of the building to transport them all there, with the help of multiple carts. So when we finally got checked in, and hauled our luggage up to the rooms, we were bushed to say the least.
The event lasted the entire weekend, so we were down on Thursday and came back Sunday. Over the course of the conference, themed panels were scheduled that both readers and authors could attend. It was interesting for use to visually see when a panel session was over because a wave of people would be coming in for the books the authors had just been talking about.
Book signings also took place in the same room, which might not have always been the case from prior accounts. This was the first time I had been there, so I cannot say for certainty. What I can vouch for is how long the lines were for the author's signatures! Some lines wove their way into others but everyone was polite and no book throwing was witnessed.
While the days were long, they were also a lot of fun and the time moved quickly while readers made their purchases. And the authors are wonderful to meet. Many of them stopped by our table to check out the book selection, including their own, and chatted with us for a spell.
From left to right: Myself, Deb Beamer, Maureen Jennings, Sherry Ickes
From Left to Right: Sherry Ickes, Myself, Louise Penny, and Deb Beamer
Because this event occurs in the spring, not only were the authors and readers happy to finally be mingling with others after COVID, but the cherry blossoms were also in their prime and glory just outside the hotel's patio. Their sweet smell was refreshing and their soft, pink coloring appeared gentle and new.
But the weekend was not over for us as we traveled home with the rental van, in fact, we had another event to attend to at the shop once we returned. However, that is for another time to dive into. If you would like to read about that event, you can go to the blog post at the Mechanicsburg Mystery Bookshop's website to find out more.
The conference was a blast last year and I do look forward to seeing what is going to happen this month. Hope to see you there.
The opinions and viewpoints expressed in this blog are of my own person and are not reflective of any other individual, or business entity, picture or mentioned in the above post. #malicedomestic #authors #author #mystery #murdermystery #mysterybooks #reading #books #readers #tbr #booksigning #maryland #bookshop