Murder in the Magic City (and on the Menu)

This past weekend, I got to be around other writers again in person for the first time in a long time. My husband Art Taylor, our son Dash, and I traveled to Alabama for back-to-back crime fiction festivals—Murder in the Magic City in Birmingham and Murder on the Menu in Wetumpka, which is an annual fundraiser for the Friends of the Wetumpka Library.

It was good for the soul in many ways—from meeting new writers and seeing some old writer friends to hearing from readers and librarians who read and enjoyed my books. Margaret Fenton, Joan Kennedy, Beverly Leboeuf, and Tammy Lynn, our hosts for the weekend, were warm and welcoming and thoughtful. And everyone involved was so kind to our son Dash, who had a blast.

Some highlights from the weekend included:

  • Getting to interview my husband Art Taylor, and in turn, having him interview me, as guests of honor at Murder in the Magic City. I actually learned some new things about him, believe it or not!
  • All the funny and witty things authors said on their panels, such as Mary Dutta’s tendency to use the name “Carl” for all the bad guys in her stories. (For me, “Jack” tends to be my go-to male name, and I often need to go back and change it.)
  • When the librarians at Wetumpka Public Library introduced themselves and said how much they loved One Night Gone and The Mother Next Door. It was so lovely to hear, and so wonderful to get that support. They are all now official members of The Ivy Five, so if you stop by the library and see everyone wearing green ivy leaf pins, you know why!
  • The Tequila Sunrise drink the bartender at our hotel made me. It. Was. Divine.
  • Seeing Dash interact with everyone, chatting about anything from architecture to haunted houses. I think he was more popular than we were, which is how it should be.
  • Visiting Birmingham’s Museum of Modern Art and browsing a very cool used bookstore, where Dash got to touch a 500-year-old book!

Here are a few photos from the weekend. I hope we get to go back sometime! It was truly a memorable weekend.