Welcome to the Thrillerfest V Blog!

We hope you'll bookmark us, just as you bookmark so many of the hundreds of the International Thriller Writers that participate in our annual conference, held in New York City in July.

ITW is a youthful organization, always ready for a new way of looking at things. You'll find that dynamism here, in blog posts from authors, agents, editors and Thrillerfest attendees, past and present.

And that same excitement you feel from your favorite reads is evident in everything ITW does, and no wonder--the organization, staffing and publicity for ThrillerFest--including this new blog--is undertaken by volunteers, most of whom are ITW authors themselves.

So pull up a chair and stay awhile ... discover the latest news on what Thrillerfest V--the fifth anniversary of the conference--has to offer. Visit old friends, make new ones, ask questions, and hear about the remarkable things in store for the conference.

Whether or not you can come see us in New York--and we hope that you can!--please join us here. It's gonna be ... a thriller!

Kelli Stanley, Thrillerfest Publicity Committee Chair

Thrillerfest Publicity Committee:
Jeannie Holmes
CJ Lyons
Carla Buckley
Grant McKenzie

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Debut Author at ThrillerFest

I attended my first ThrillerFest in July 2007. When I arrived in New York, I was the new guy on the block, having only recently signed a contract with Medallion Press for my debut novel, Thy Kingdom Come.

Over the next three days, I met authors who were household names, and others who were new to the publishing game, or still waiting to be discovered. During ThrillerFest, I heard informative presentations from some of the best—Lee Child, James Rollins, Lisa Gardner, and Tess Gerritsen, for example. Where else could one hear presentations from and ask questions of these pros? And they took plenty of time to answer questions.

During the year between ThrillerFest 2007 and ThrillerFest 2008, I became active with the International Thriller Writers Debut Author Program. In our mentor program, we heard from best-selling authors like Lee Child, MJ Rose, David Hewson, Sharon Linnea and Hank Phillipi Ryan. They covered issues such as guerilla marketing, developing a series character, and career building. Their honest and straight-forward answers to our many questions were helpful and so refreshing.

At ThrillerFest 2008, I now belonged to a group with common interests. During the Debut Authors Breakfast, I watched my fellow authors have the opportunity to summarize their novels for the audience, then do a signing. The maiden voyage of AgentFest gave many of us an opportunity to meet and talk to a number of agents. Nowhere else could one find this large group of experts from the publishing industry gathered in one place.

It soon will be time for ThrillerFest 2009. My own book, Thy Kingdom Come, was published in March. I’m using many of the suggestions from our mentors as well as my fellow debut authors to work with my publisher to market my novel.

During the Debut Authors Breakfast at ThrillerFest 2009, I’ll be on the podium with the other members of the 2008/2009 Debut Authors Class. While there, I’ll be thinking of all the information I’ve accumulated at ThrillerFest, and the friends I’ve made.

Thanks to the leaders of International Thriller Writers for starting ThrillerFest to make these opportunities available for all of us.

See you at ThrillerFest.

Don Helin

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