You may be wondering why I haven’t blogged lately.Â Well, the photos below explain my silence!Â Â Late last night I got home from the second annual Thrillerfest event, which was held in NYC.Â I spent the week before that preparingÂ for myÂ one-hour workshop on thriller writing, as well as forÂ my onstage interview of bestselling writer Lisa Gardner (below), which was the opening event that kicked off the weekend.Â Lisa was the world’s easiest interview — she’s so bright and well-spoken that all I had to do was pitch a question and she took over from there.
So what isÂ Thrillerfest?Â Simply the best writers’ party of the year!Â It was four days of workshops, interviews, dinners and luncheons.Â But I didn’t really go for the workshops — I went to hang out with people I hadn’t seen since last year in Arizona.Â It’s still small enough so that it feels intimate, and you can find the time for conversations in the bar, in the lobby, in the hallway.Â
This year, having it in NYC had its pros and cons.Â The pros: we were in publishing central, so agents and editors were available to scoop us off to dinner.Â There were plenty of good restaurants to choose from, the city was a great place to keep family members entertained, and it was easy to drop into publishing houses.Â
The great locationÂ was also, strangely enough,Â one of the cons. Easy access to publishers meant that we writers didn’t get as much time to just hang out with each other.Â We were too busy doing business with our editors and agents.Â Another problem was that Romance Writers of America was also having its annual conference the very same weekend, in Dallas, and that conflict meant a lot of people had to choose which meeting to go to.Â (Rest assured, THAT won’t be happening again.)
On Sunday, IÂ was lucky enough to beÂ one of the panelists onÂ a workshop about how publishers sellÂ books, moderated byÂ Neil Nyren, one of the true authorities on the subject.Â Â It was so well-attended thatÂ people were standing in the aisles and they had to propÂ open the doors so people could hear while standing out in the hallway.Â (Note toÂ workshop organizers: we need a bigger room next year for this topic!)Â By the hour’s end, audience hands were still raised with questions, we’d barely touched the subject, and we still had enough material to go another two hours.
Of course, the big event at Thrillerfest is the awards banquet.Â Appearing onstage was theÂ Thriller band (below, with Gayle Lynds, Michael Palmer, Harley Jane Kozak, and Alex Sokoloff.Â Â The winners this year included Joe Finder for best novel, PJ Parrish for best Paperback original, and Nick Stone for best debut.Â
My only regret?Â I didn’t get to wear my glamorous black and white ballgown (a surpriseÂ Goodwill find!) because the suggested attire was “cocktail” and I was too chicken to be the onlyÂ gal to show up with a floor-length gown. Oh, well.Â Next year, can I get my sister thriller writers toÂ join me in dressing to kill?