Good Company

I’m just back from Malice Domestic with some major news to announce, but first let me share the list of those who have been guests of honor at this annual mystery fan convention over the last twenty-five years, from 1989 right through this past weekend. If you read traditional mysteries, you’re going to find some favorites here, starting with:

Elizabeth Peters (aka Barbara Mertz/Barbara Michaels)

Patricia Moyes

Charlotte MacLeod

Aaron Elkins

Anne Perry

Dorothy Salisbury Davis

Ellis Peters

Peter Lovesey

Carolyn G. Hart

Robert Barnard

Mary Higgins Clark

Simon Brett

Margaret Maron

Edward Marston

Barbara D’Amato

Dorothy Cannell

Joan Hess

Katherine Hall Page

Rochelle Krich

Charlaine Harris (and international guest of honor Lindsey Davis)

Nancy Pickard

Parnell Hall

Carole Nelson Douglas

Jan Burke

Laurie R. King (and international guest of honor Peter Robinson)

Pretty impressive, huh?

Which made it all the more stunning when, just about a year ago, I received an email from conference chair Verena Rose to ask if I’d agree to be guest of honor in 2014.

Me. Kathy Lynn Emerson, aka Kaitlyn Dunnett.

The first thing I did was ask if she was serious.

Then I said yes. Of course I said yes. How could I not agree to be the next name on that incredible list?

There was one (slight) downside. I couldn’t tell anyone (except my husband, of course) until the official announcement at the conclusion of the 2013 awards banquet. Do you have any idea how hard it is to keep a secret like that for the better part of twelve long months???? Good thing I don’t see many other people in the course of a year. That cut way down on the temptation.

I did come close to slipping up a couple of times, once with our own MCW’s Kate Flora at last fall’s New England Crime Bake. She’s much too quick on the uptake. Gotta watch that with people who solve crimes for a living! She’ll have to tell me how well I did at quelling her suspicions. Fortunately, a couple of other projects where I use my real name came up recently to give me an excuse to say that “Kathy Lynn Emerson” is about to resurface after a five-year hiatus. As Kathy I recently sold a new Lady Appleton short story to Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine and I’ve also been doing some joint publicity with Chris Roerden and Leslie Budewitz, two other writers who have won the Agatha award for mystery nonfiction for how-to books. My How to Write Killer Historical Mysteries (2008) is the most recent book to be published under my real name.

I’m hoping that’s about to change, too, but in the meantime, Kathy and Kaitlyn are in very good company. And although I always look forward to attending Malice Domestic, I think I can safely say that Malice 2014 is going to be something special. I found out just how very special Saturday evening when I learned, along with everyone else, the identity of the other honorees. I don’t think the new information is up yet at the Malice site, but here’s the lineup.

That’s me, of course, and Earlene Fowler as toastmaster, Reginald Hill as Ghost of Honor, and then three (count ’em–three!) lifetime achievement award winners: Dorothy Cannell, Joan Hess, and Margaret Maron. And Dorothy is a fellow Mainer.

I can hardly wait!!

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15 Responses to Good Company

  1. Barb Ross says:

    Congratulations, Kaitlyn! I was thrilled beyond measure when they announced your (real) name! What a tremendous, and very well-deserved honor. This year’s Malice was terrific, and I can’t wait for next year.

  2. Deanna says:

    Congratulations….enjoy every minute. Dee

  3. Gerry Boyle says:

    Congrats! That’s a big deal. Enjoy the ride!

  4. Lea Wait says:

    I was sitting two seats at Malice Saturday night whern they announced this. I’d taken the same plane down from Maine with Kathy. She hadn’t breathed a word. What an honor! And for Maine to have two of the top honorees at Malice next year! Kathy, I was (and am) sooo thrilled for you. You’re the one I called when I first heard abot Malice and needed someone to show me the ropes, and you’re still showing me what they are. Congratulations on being a role model for us all!

  5. John Clark says:

    This is awesome and absolutely well deserved. Congratulations!

  6. Huge congratulations!

  7. Maddy Hunter says:

    This is not only exciting for *you*, it’s exciting for all of us who *know* you! I’m absolutely thrilled about your upcoming honor. You kept it under your hat so well. Not a peep at dinner on Friday. Perhaps you’d consider a dual career as a spy. I’ll be there next year to lend moral support or anything else you might need. (Started KILT DEAD at the airport yesterday and am intrigued already.) Yeah!!!

    • Barb Ross says:

      Maddy–it was so great to meet you in person at Malice.

      • Maddy Hunter says:

        I just wish we could have carved out some time to chat! Maybe next year. Lea had such delightful stories to tell about you. I gobbled down your gummy lobster. Decided to do it without the drawn butter. 🙂

  8. Thanks, everyone. As several speakers reminded us during the weekend, the Malice Domestic community is one big family. Think of it as a friendly, outgoing group that holds an annual reunion under a big tent and is always ready to welcome newly discovered kinfolk to the fold. And the best part is that all you have to do to be “kin” is love mysteries.

    Not to send you away from this blog, but over at Jungle Red Kaye Barley has posted a wonderful assortment of photos taken during the first part of the weekend. If you’d like a peek at some of the “family” it’s well worth a look. Just scroll down to Sunday’s post.

    And I also have to mention that two of my long-time Malice friends, Dana Cameron and Penny Warner, went home with Agatha awards this year, Dana (a fellow New Englander) for best short story and Penny for children’s/young adult mystery. There’s another connection to Penny, too. She and I and Lea Wait have all had mysteries published by Perseverance Press.

  9. Congrats, Kaitlyn. What a wonderful honor.

  10. Judy D says:

    May I add my congrats also, Kathy/Kaitlyn.
    And, Maddy, I’ve just discovered your books as well as Kaitlyn’s.
    Keep them comin’! 🙂

  11. Coco Ihle says:

    Congratulations, Kathy!!! It couldn’t have happened to a nicer gal!!! I’m so thrilled for you!!!

  12. Congratulations! Well deserved!

  13. Pingback: What Have I Been Up To? | Maine Crime Writers

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