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, May 21, 2009

TWF seeks PWM

Thriller Writing Female seeks Published Writer Mentor.

For this match, Craigslist simply won’t do. ThrillerFest 2009 is the pickup joint for me!

Fear not, fellow writers. I’m happily married and emotionally stable, not a predatory cougar on the prowl. But I do have an unmet relationship need. I’m an aspiring author—an unpublished novelist—and I could really benefit from a friendship with a more experienced writer. The Internet and bookstores are loaded with wonderful information about the business and craft of writing, and I’ve made good use of this material. But just as textbooks will never replace good teachers in the classroom, no amount of study can replace the role of a good mentor in a new career.

Thus one of my goals for ThrillerFest is to make connections with published writers who will give me the kind of advice that only a mentor can. A year and a half ago when I attended my first writers’ conference in San Francisco, I had the single-minded agenda of an eager beginner: get an agent. That was my only goal, but at the conference I learned so much that I was not only content to leave without an agent, I ditched most of my manuscript and started a massive rewrite.

Since then my writing, and my perspective, have changed. I still want to sell my book—so meeting an agent is important—but I’m thinking beyond that first book to my career as a whole. A published writer mentor may be the greatest asset I could have.

With that in mind, to prepare for my first ThrillerFest I’m reading as many books as possible. My choices come from a list I made of thriller writers who are currently publishing novels with a scientific or medical angle. I’m trying to read at least one book from each author to get a feel for their style. Then I’ll try to memorize the names and titles to give me instant conversation starters.

In a perfect ThrillerFest, I’d find myself seated at a table next to James Rollins, the bestselling writer who (like me) uses real science in his fantastic stories. We’d share a bottle of wine, and I’d tell him about all the remarkable things we have in common: we both live in Sacramento, we’re both doctors who trained in Missouri, and we both have secret Polish surnames. Given that such an occurrence is about as likely as some of the events in one of his Sigma Force novels, I hope to at least run into him in the hotel lobby or something. My one-second self-pitch still needs a lot of polishing: “Excuse me, Mr. Rollins, would you be my friend?” “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Dr. Czajkowski,” (horribly mangling the pronunciation, of course). “Howdy, Jim, I’m your biggest fan!”

Barring the perfect Rollins Encounter, I’ll take advantage of whatever networking opportunities come my way. My mentor doesn’t have to be famous, just knowledgeable and willing to share. My attitude for the week will match the tourism ads I’ve recently seen for Aruba: ThrillerFest. Hundreds of friends you haven’t met yet.

Dr. Amy Rogers, author of The Han Agent

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