Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart here, reporting in after an extended absence. Mme. Moreno and I have recently returned home from a delightful weekend in the company of people who commit murder for a living.
MM: You may wish to clarify that, Amadé, lest readers get the wrong impression.
WAM: From what I could gather, between visits to the lobby bar, my dear, Malice Domestic is an annual gathering of writers dedicated to partying and creating general mayhem, am I not correct?
MM: Maybe I'd better take over from here.
WAM: Please! Must you always interrupt me? You are not the only writer in the room, Madame!
MM: True, but I'm the writer who purchased this computer, so I'll interrupt as I see fit, especially when I catch you straying from the truth, Amadé. Malice Domestic is an annual event that celebrates the traditional mystery, and it brings together both the authors and their fans.
WAM: Now, fans are something I understand, although in my day we referred to them as audiences. Thousands of people from all over the Continent celebrated my music and attended my concerts and operas.
MM: They still do today, and their numbers have swelled to millions. I am, perhaps, your biggest fan, Amadé, striving as I am to bring you into the 21st Century with your very own series of murder mysteries.
WAM: Merci, Madame. I am looking forward to that event with great anticipation.
MM: So that's why I decided to attend my first Malice and get a better grasp of how this business works.
On the social side, I got to spend quality brainstorming time with my fabulous agent, Christine Witthohn, and to party with her extraordinary group of writers whom I'd previously met only online - Liz Lipperman, Kari Lee Townsend, Joni Sauer-Folger and Barbie Mahoney.
In a surprising moment of synchronicity, I sat next to a New York neighbor and multi-published author, Elizabeth Zelvin, at Saturday morning's Sisters In Crime breakfast.
I got to meet published authors whose work I've admired for years - Harlan Coben, Hank Phillippi Ryan, Louise Penny. (Why didn't I think to get my picture taken with them??? Oh, well, maybe next year.)
I attended panels on how to negotiate the rocky road to joining their ranks. And I got to meet editors who may or may not publish our book one day.
MM: But best of all, I came home fired up with enthusiasm, full of ideas for new projects, and renewed commitment to daily writing.
WAM: If you do not mind my asking, what was the most important thing you learned?
MM: I learned from Harlan Coben that even multi-published, successful authors are terrified of not being able to produce another book. And that the only way to overcome this fear is to sit down and write! So that's where I'm headed now. Back to MS Word to work on the new novel.
WAM: Mind if I tag along?
MM: I wouldn't have it any other way!