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Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Malice Domestic 29 - All the panels...volunteering and monitoring them...



Welcome to Day 2 of my adventures at Malice Domestic!  Today, we'll talk about volunteering at a convention and also about the panels that I attended.  There was one thing I learned at the previous mystery convention, Left Coast Crime - as much as you would like it, you won't be able to get to everything or see everything or participate in everything.  Just too many events.  I took that to heart this time and so, I didn't see, experience or attend every panel.  I did spend some unstructured time in the book dealer room, looking for books that I had pre-selected to perhaps buy and get signed.  I also spent some time in the 'Silent Auction' room and a bit of time in the 'Hospitality Room', where one could get refreshments and sit for a bit.

By the way, in this post, the narrative that goes with the picture will be below the picture.  Just to change it up.  Ha!


Volunteer table - envelopes signed out and in again

As the time approached for the convention, attendees got various emails, one of which was an appeal for volunteers.  These conventions are all-volunteer events and so it's important for some of the attendees to help out.  Since I didn't have a 'buddy' this time (and I did miss Cathy from Kittling: Books a lot!!), I decided to tell them I'd be glad to lend a hand.  I sent the volunteer coordinator a list of the panels that I planned to attend on Saturday and Sunday and told them that I was available where there was the most need.  Well, I received an email back that said - 'You got all the panels you requested!'.  Ha!  Yes, I helped at every single panel I attended.  Some back to back and on different floors.  It was a bit of a race.

I was a 'monitor' and it was planned that there be two monitors at each panel.  Most of mine had a partner, but two did not.  All was well though.  The job consisted of picking up and signing out an envelope (see above) filled with nameplates for the authors, signs that said 'Microphone' and '10 minutes' and '5 minutes', and a sheet where the monitor listed the room count.  Another sheet to hand to the 'Moderator' and a further instruction sheet.

The monitor gets to the room as early as feasible, sets out the nameplates, makes sure there is water and cups for the panelists, hands the moderator their sheet, retreats to the back of the room to 'count the house' after 15 or 20 minutes, makes sure the door doesn't bang as people come in and out (which they did a lot), holds up the signs when needed.  Finally, the envelope is signed back in, with all the stuff filled out.  After a couple of rounds of this, I had it down pat.  A big positive was that the 'monitor' gets to meet each and every author on the panels personally, though not for long.  A negative is that with people getting up and down, etc., one might lose the gist of the panel's conversation or some of it.  It was all good though.  I monitored 7 panels and here's the scoop on all of them:



Murder in Foreign Climes

Maria Hudgins - Moderator

I had selected this panel because of Tracee de Hahn's participation.  Her mystery series is set in Switzerland and the first is called Swiss Vendetta.  I also had a copy of Matthew Iden's new book, The Winter Over, on my Kindle to read soon.  It's set in Antarctica, a location that I am fascinated with.    



Just Die Laughing: Humor in Mysteries

Karen Cantwell - Moderator

I love funny mysteries and since Donna Andrews was one of the panelists here, my selection for this time was a given.  I also wanted to meet and greet Nancy West, who lives in San Antonio.  Loved this panel - so, so funny.  They shared many funny stories and at one point, Jessie Chandler got so tickled telling about a mishap that her partner had been involved in, watching her snort and laugh was funnier than her tale.  It made me add her books to my list.  Great panel!!



Rural Murder


I had selected this panel because Anne Hillerman and Shannon Baker were panelists.  Our mystery group had read Hillerman's first book in the series she continued from the one her father, Tony Hillerman, wrote.  We enjoyed it very much and I was anxious to meet her and tell her so.  I also had met Shannon Baker in Phoenix and was excited to relate to her that I had bought the first book in her new series, Stripped Bare, set in the Nebraska Sandhills.  Then I found that Stephanie Jaye Evans was a Texas gal and her series is set in our state too.  



Murder with a Hint of WooWoo: Paranormal Mysteries

Maria Lima - Moderator

I was excited about this panel because all these authors have books that I've planned to read, but have not tried as yet.  I also found that Maria Lima lived in my area of the world, Central Texas, for a long time.  Connie di Marco writes a series using the Zodiac, Gigi Pandian has a treasure hunter and the Accidental Alchemist series (with a gargoyle, no less), and Leigh Perry has Sid, the family skeleton.  Fun, fun, fun!!



Thrilling Suspense

Doris Ann Norris - Moderator

I may have been most interested in this panel, for let's face it, most of what I read would be considered suspense.  Doris Ann Norris is a retired librarian and I remembered her name and her self-given moniker from the DorothyL list that I read years ago.  Doris called herself, 'the 2,000 year old librarian'.  I enjoyed meeting her.  I was already signed up to sit at Lori Rader-Day's table at the Agathas Banquet, but I wanted to hear her talk about her new book, The Day I Died, which I had already read.  Lori and I got to visit several times.  I also had Eileen Rendahl's new book as an advance copy, but I bought a copy for her to sign as well - Cover Me in Darkness.  And I have several of Sarah Shaber's Louise Pearlie historical mysteries too.  I also sat with Judy Penz Sheluk at the 'Malice Go Round' and I was anxious to hear about her books and writing.  Whew!  This was an interesting panel. 



Death for Dessert: Sweet Murder

Dorothy St. James - Moderator

I had picked this panel because of a couple of authors that I was already familiar with too.  Ellie Alexander, who writes the Bakeshop series, set in Oregon, also writes another series that I love.  It's also set in Oregon and involves Meg Reed, who writes about 'extreme' travel adventures, though she's not adventurous at all.  I had met Ellie/Kate in Phoenix and enjoyed catching up with her and telling her that I fully intended to visit 'Bakeshop' land.  JoAnna Carl, whose series has all these lovely chocolate titles, has been a favorite of mine for years and years.  I originally read her Oklahoma series, written under her Eve K. Sandstrom name.  I had a good time talking with her about it.  



Sherlock Lives!

Peter Blau - Moderator

This may have been the most interesting panel that I attended.  I picked it mostly because Vicki Delany would be a panelist and I wanted to hear about her new series, set in a Sherlock Holmes Bookshop.  The first book is Elementary She Read and the book room sellers had sold out of it by noon the first day.  I meant to buy it there and get Vicki to sign it, but had no luck.  I've met Vicki several times and enjoyed catching up with her too.  The rest of the members of this panel are serious Sherlockians - really serious.  Peter Blau, the moderator, is part of The Red Circle of Washington DC and he is 'Black Peter'.  Dana, Carla, and John Gregory are also serious Sherlock scholars.  Dana Cameron, an archaeologist by profession, writes the Emma Fielding series, which has just been picked up by the Hallmark Channel and will be a movie.  Emma will be played by Courtney Thorne-Smith.  Very exciting!  It was fascinating to listen to these panelists discuss Sherlock and company.  A fitting end to my panel experiences.  

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Come back Friday when I'll show all the books that I acquired - so many that I had to ship them home.  Plus, the silent auction and the live auction as well.   

14 comments:

  1. What fun! I love Delany's Molly Smith series, but have not read her new Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series, although I look forward to it. I also really liked de Hahn's Swiss Vendetta! You must have had a great time!

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    1. Yes, I talked to Vicki and said I was all good with the new series she is creating, but wanted to be sure she eventually went back to Molly Smith. Ha! And I enjoyed visiting a bit with Tracee de Hahn.

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  2. I meant to comment on your first "Malice" post--- it is so interesting to read about the behind-the-scenes work of a book convention. This is just wonderful fun to read about and for you to take part in. I know most of the authors. As Jenclair mentioned, I also love Molly Smith and didn't know about her new endeavor. I just read the first in the new series by Annette Dashofy a few months ago, and also 2 by Lori Rader-Day in past while. Many more authors there that are on my to-look-for list. I've considered the Donna Andrews series, since I enjoy the Domestic Diva by Krista Davis... maybe I'd like that one too. And the Antarctica book is prominent on my radar. I love to read stories set in blizzards, frozen worlds and such.

    Thanks, Kay, for sharing all of this. I look forward to the next post about it :)

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    1. You would enjoy this convention, Rita. Maybe now that you're moving to the East Coast, you might be able to attend one year.

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  3. Thank you for all the time and work you put into this post. It is absolutely wonderful. It makes me so happy that you went to MD. Such a great experience!!!

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    1. It was a lot of fun. Glad I went. And, yes, this post did take a while. It's all those links. LOL

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  4. I'm fangirling on all these authors you mention! I've read at least one book from at least one author on every panel. I'm definitely going to try to attend one year. This looks like such fun and so interesting! My only fear would be that I'd lock up around all these authors I love so much.

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    1. You know, I felt the same way last year at Left Coast Crime. So nervous about the authors. However, I think that volunteering this year made it easier. I had a purpose and a 'job'. So, I had a reason to talk to them.

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  5. What fun! It's nice to get a different angle on a conference.

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    1. It was fun and I'd do it again.

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  6. What a great experience you had and I'm glad you shared it with us. You've given me a couple of ideas for authors and books I want to read from your highlighting of these authors. Thanks.

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  7. Kay I'm so sorry I'm behind on reading about your adventures at the conference but this sounds like so much fun. Hard work but fun! Thank you for sharing this.

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  8. Wow! I love that you jumped in and volunteered. Very cool. How is it that I haven't read any of the authors on any of your panels?

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Thanks for stopping by! I am so happy to hear your thoughts and will respond as soon as I can. Happy Reading!