Monday, May 16, 2022

First Signing at Malice Domestic

by Paula Gail Benson

For many of us, a return to an in-person Malice Domestic this year was truly a reason for celebration. Having the opportunity to greet and spend time with folks who have become like family was completely joyous (even though an outbreak of Covid marred the occasion at the end).

Elizabeth Crowens, Kaye George, Marilyn Levinson, Leslie Karst, me, and Kathryn O’Sullivan

Alan Orloff, Art Taylor, and Janet Laubgross
I’ll remember this Malice for many terrific experiences: (1) a blurring genres panel with a group of terrific authors (marvelous moderator Elizabeth Crowens, and fellow panelists Kaye George, Leslie Karst, Marilyn Levinson, and Kathryn O’Sullivan); (2) being at the Agatha banquet table with wonderful authors and dear friends Alan Orloff, who won for Best Young Adult Novel for his I Play One on TV, his wife Janet Laubgross, Art Taylor and Tara Laskowski, John Copenhaver, Julie Hastrup, and Marco Carocari; (3) enjoying a few quick meals with excellent cozy authors Dorothy McFalls and Victoria Gilbert; (4) having a group photo with my super blogging partners for Writers Who Kill; (5) spending some time with Art and Tara’s talented son Dash; and (6) getting to tour Washington with a delightful guide, Aziz Rakla, and the charming Michael Bracken and lovely Temple Walker (who would leave the next day to celebrate the Edgar best short story nomination for “Blindsided” written by Michael and James A. Hearn).

Tara Laskowski and John Copenhaver

Even with all of those and many other memorable moments (like hugs from Edith Maxwell and Dru Ann Love and great conversations with Charlaine Harris, Toni Kelner, Terrie Farley Moran, and Jeanne Dams), this Malice will always stand out in my mind as the one when my short story “Reputation or Soul” was published in Malice Domestic’s 16th anthology Mystery Most Diabolical and, for the first time, I participated in a Malice signing. Following the live charity auction, from 9:30 until 10:30 pm on Friday, April 22, 2022, the contributors from both Malice Domestic 15: Mystery Most Theatrical and Malice Domestic 16: Mystery Most Diabolical who were at the conference gathered at tables in the hallway outside the ballrooms and became part of a conveyor style signing process.


I’m proud not only to be in a Malice Domestic anthology, but also to have my story with the works of other authors I greatly admire. For the signing itself, I got to meet Lori Robbins who shared a table with me. And, I’m very grateful that a kind soul offered to take my copy of the anthology around to get signatures while I participated in the signing.

At signing with Lori Robbins

Thank you to all the Malice planners. You always make the event a wonderful occasion. And, particular thanks for my signing experience, a dream come true.



  1. Yay! Such great memories and so glad to have been there with you—and to have gotten a signature at your first Malice signing!!

    1. Thank you so much, Art. It was wonderful to get to spend time with you, Tara, and Dash. And, I'll always remember that you came to my first Malice signing.

  2. Congrats on your first signing! Very nice! Thanks for bringing good luck to the banquet table!

    1. I think maybe I'm reflecting the good luck you've brought to me. Thank you and many congratulations!

  3. Congratulations on your first signing. I was there, too. A good time!


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