The Weekend Retreat wins the Agatha Award! Plus other Malice Moments…

Malice Domestic, held every year in North Bethesda, Maryland, is one of my very favorite conventions. It feels like a giant family reunion, in the best way, because these are all my chosen family. This year was particularly special for many reasons, one being that The Weekend Retreat took home the Agatha Award teapot for Best Contemporary Novel! I was stunned, I will tell you. And enormously grateful.

During one of her toastmaster speeches, Lori Rader-Day was talking about how special Malice was to her, and how she often talks to people about “Malice Moments.” I love that term, because I do always feel as though I experience those kinds of magical interactions, happenings, serendipitous times that make the conference so special.

This year, my favorite Malice Moment might’ve been the live auction. I donated a signed copy of The Weekend Retreat, a bottle of wine from the Finger Lakes region (TWR is set in the Finger Lakes), and signed copies of the maps that my son Dash drew for my novel. As I was coming back from dinner on Friday night, I started getting text messages from people about how the bidding for my item was going–very well, it turns out! Let’s just say there was a VERY GENEROUS donation to KEEN, the charity that benefited from the auction. And that donation was all because of Dash’s drawings. (No one likes me that much.)

But it was so fun to see how excited Dash was to have his drawings be so popular, and lovely to be able to help send funds toward a great cause. Truly a Malice Moment!

I enjoyed catching up with many friends and attending some wonderful panels. I was also excited to be the moderator of an excellent panel based on my What Scares You Q&A series, and my panelists Carol Goodman, Tracy Clark, Lori Rader-Day, and Alexia Gordon made it all worthwhile.

Now, back to reality. Sigh. But looking forward already to next year’s Malice!