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
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

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.


5 replies
  1. Art Taylor
    Art Taylor says:

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

    • Paula Gail Benson
      Paula Gail Benson says:

      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.

    • Paula Gail Benson
      Paula Gail Benson says:

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


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