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)
Dorothy Salisbury Davis
Carolyn G. Hart
Mary Higgins Clark
Katherine Hall Page
Charlaine Harris (and international guest of honor Lindsey Davis)
Carole Nelson Douglas
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!!