Almost a week since I flew back from Malice Domestic, and I'm still ambivalent about the experience. I enjoyed myself on the whole, although the fact that the hotel managed to lose a carton of my books till Sunday morning didn't help. But I came back somewhat drained and disspirited, wondering if it was even possible to make a dent in the mystery community. All those hundreds of authors and thousands of books!
On the Myers-Briggs, I'm an introvert, meaning that I'm more energized by the solitary creative experience than by intensive socializing. I suspect the same is true of many writers. Yet this conference seemed to favor the extroverts. At least from my perspective, those who could toss off witty one-liners and keep people laughing during their panels sold the most books.
To some extent, this is a learned skill; to some extent, it's dependent on things like sleep deprivation and levels of caffeine in the blood.
This was my first major conference as a published mystery writer, and it taught me several valuable lessons, among them: Don't hang out so late in the hotel bar on Saturday night when your panel is bright and early Sunday morning. What do others think? What lessons have you learned at conferences?