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.
THY KINGDOM COME
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