At the end of April, I attended the Malice Domestic mystery fan convention in Bethesda. It’s a mecca for fans and writers of the traditional mystery, and it was so much fun to connect with this community. Ahhh… attending inspiring–and often humorous–panels of some of my favorite mystery authors–Ann Cleeves, Louise Penny, Elaine Viets, Lori Rader-Day, just to name a few. (Hey, a writer can also be a fan!) Bonus: meeting more members of my terrific Minotaur publishing team. Extra Bonus: enjoying coffee on the hotel’s veranda and gazing upon this lovely cherry tree in full bloom.

Plus, I got to hang out with long-time friends such as Jeff Marks (the new Crippen & Landru publisher!), who debuted Elaine’s new short story collection, and make new friends such as Ashley Weaver, also published by Minotaur. AND, as we got to know each other, we realized we have the same editor, so we declared ourselves editor-siblings. Add to that, we discovered we have the same Myers-Briggs personality type (INFJ). So, basically, we’re twins—if it’s possible to have one twin (me) be much older than the other twin (Ashley).

I also enjoyed moderating a panel called “Out in the Country,” about mysteries set in rural settings, with authors Gloria Alden, Sandra Bretting, Terry Shames and Teresa Trent. They were all bright and savvy, and I hope you’ll check out their work!

I find it ever-inspiring to go to book events and see how many passionate readers are in the world! Do you like to go to book signings, author events, conferences? Share some of your favorites on my Jess Montgomery Author Page.