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

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

WIV Positive

My name is Amy, and I’m WIV positive.

Do you know your status?

Visitors to the ThrillerFest blog are not a random sample of the population. Voluntarily reading these words is itself a simple test with a positive predictive value of greater than 90%.

In other words, you too probably have WIV, or Writing Impulse Virus (subtype: thriller).

For years, I tried to conceal my desire to write fantastic tales under the veneer of a respectable career as a biology professor. It worked for a while; the demands of teaching and family made it easy to resist the temptations of Microsoft Word. But I didn’t do enough to protect myself. Late-night trysts with a thesaurus, flash drives filled with secret back-up files, and hushed references to “my book” could only lead to one thing. I became WIV+, afflicted by a disease for which there’s no cure, only lifelong keyboard therapy.

At first I was ashamed. How could I tell my husband that the scientist he married was really a writer at heart? How would my children manage the stigma of answering the question, “What does your mommy do?” (“Oh, she sits at a computer a lot and doesn’t make any money.”)

I’m in the early stages of the disease, and I have the classic symptoms:a completed manuscript, a decent pitch, a few requests for partials, and a growing stack of rejection letters. What I need (besides an agent) is a support group. Luckily I learned about an organization dedicated to serving the needs of the WIV+ community—International Thriller Writers.I registered for ThrillerFest at once.

Why am I, an unpublished writer, going to ThrillerFest? Because today, I may be just an author wannabe, lost among the unwashed masses of query composers filling the slush piles of the world. But I aspire to be much more. I have accepted my WIV positivity and embraced the writing bug. I’m going to ThrillerFest because I need to go. I need information and advice for living with WIV. I need the fellowship of others who share my condition. I need hope and inspiration.

I want to meet debut authors who recently crossed the magic threshold into publication and tell myself, that could be me next year. I want to listen to authors who have more experience and say, I can apply their knowledge in my work. And of course, I want to meet an agent who will fall in love with my manuscript and tie the contractual knot on the spot (hey, it doesn’t cost anything to dream!).

It does cost something—rather a lot, in fact—to register for ThrillerFest, to fly from California, and to stay almost a week in New York. But I believe it’s worth it, because one day, I’m going to see my name on a bookshelf, and then I’ll say WIV is the best thing that ever happened to me.

Dr. Amy Rogers, (unpublished) author of The Han Agent

1 comment:

  1. Wonderful post, Amy. I look forward to meeting you at TFest!