By Molly Weston
I've been a member of Sisters in Crime (as a reader, reviewer and general groupie) for somewhere around 20 years. At the time I joined, there was no internet, very little email — and we relied on print versions of the Sisters in Crime newsletter.
Sometime in Annette Meyers' presidency (1996–97), there was a contest to name the newsletter (which I won) and it became known as inSinC. I always read everything in inSinC because that was the only way I could find out about things that were happening in the mystery world. Since we had no dedicated mystery bookstore in my area, "The Docket" was very important to me because I could learn about new publications by my favorite authors.
During an early perusal of the newsletter, I was surprised to find that there were conferences devoted to the mystery genre. For my birthday, I asked my mother to give me the registration to something called "Malice Domestic" in Bethesda, Maryland. The first year I tried to register, it was already filled, but I persevered.
I entered the ballroom on Friday evening to find it filled with friends — instant friends. Everyone there was as avid a mystery reader as I was — and many of them were writers of my favorite books.
I attended everything, meeting more and more writers and readers everywhere. I was delighted to see pictures of the writers in the program booklets, so I could pick out my favorites in the crowd.
During one event, a tall lady stood in the crowd, and said, "I'm Ruth Cavin with St. Martin's Press." She then explained about the Malice Domestic Best First Novel award sponsored by St. Martin's and asked for volunteer judges. Was I happy to step up! I continued as a judge for several years.
Soon I was inviting authors to visit me in North Carolina. I scheduled venues at bookstores for them and they stayed at our home. It wasn't long before I had authors visiting nearly year-round.
My mailbox overflowed with postcards of book covers, often inscribed with "Hi, Molly" on the backs. Did that ever make me feel important! My phone began ringing with requests to visit. The Sisterhood was busy.
One day I played a message, "I'm Patti Sprinkle. I writer murder mysteries…" I was always glad to hear, "Molly. This is Liz Squire." I knew an exciting visit would soon come my way.
Now, every time I attend a mystery conference anywhere, I find myself surrounded by Sisters. What a group!
How has SinC expanded your world?
Photo 1: Molly (at right) with children's author/illustrator Judy Schachner.
Photo 2: Visiting Sisters — (from left) Rosemary Harris, Donna Andrews, Karen Kiley of the Cary Library (a new Sister), Elaine Viets and Meredith Cole.
Molly Weston is the editor of inSinC, the Sisters in Crime quarterly news bulletin. She is a book reviewer, media escort, blogger and book club maven — when not pondering the intricacies of running a thriving day lily farm.