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

Friday, June 11, 2010

Sample the Thrill: Blood Song by Cat Adams

One of many great articles that you can find each month in The Big Thrill!

C.E. Lawrence recently chatted with Cathy Clamp, one half of the writing team of Cat Adams about their new thriller BLOOD SONG.

Your website says you write "as a team." How did you meet and when did you realize you'd work well together?

Cie Adams and I met while we both worked at a law office in Denver, Colorado. Cie was the writer. I wasn't. Actually, I had no inclination to write when we met, but we would walk for exercise at lunch and talk about her book plots. It turned out I was pretty good at spotting logic gaps or suggesting subplots. She suggested I try my hand at writing and it seemed like something fun. I started with an X-Files tie-in (I call it a tie-in rather than fanfic because at the time they really were publishing X-Files novels.) Once I discovered no agent alive would take on a tie-in as a debut novel, I tried an original novel---an historical novel about an event in Colorado history. She told me it was accurate, but . . . well, sort of dry and lifeless. She suggested a feel-good, emotional subplot that was a lot of fun. When it got accepted for publication by a niche Colorado press, I felt sort of guilty. The editor had specifically mentioned the subplot she helped me with. What do you do about that? Say "Thanks"? Buy her dinner? Give her money? We decided that we were offering so many suggestions on each other's books we might as well co-author and share the money and the work. And "a team" was born!

What are some of the pros and cons of collaboration?

The pros are you can do twice as much work in half as much time. And you get to earn money when you haven't actually done any work. Yay! The cons are you have to share your world and accept input even when you like what you wrote, and have to share money when you've done ALL the work. But it evens out, and once you accept that the co-author is equally talented and wants to create a BETTER book, it's all good.

Why do you think vampires are so hot right now?

I think the biggest reason vampires are hot is that they're NOT real. There's so much pain and fear and sadness in much of the world that readers can revel in a world where the stakes are higher, the baddies are evil and the good guys have an edge. But the best part is when the book is over, you can close the cover and it doesn't affect your real life. Nothing changes, nobody is undead and the world goes on. How much better can fiction get?

Who do you see as the target audience for your books?

Well, most of our prior books are paranormal romance which are most definitely for adults. But our upcoming June release, BLOOD SONG, the first book of the Blood Singer series, is very different. Not only are we moving to the Science Fiction and Fantasy shelves (from romance) but the book will appeal to Young Adult readers. That's not to say it's shelved in YA, or the protagonist is--but the books are YA-friendly. The heroine is just out of college but still attending classes, there's romance IN the book, but nothing overtly sexual and the characters are real and deal with many of the same emotions and situations that other YA books out there are. Early readers are comparing the new series to the House of Night and Morganville Vampires series, and we agree that those same readers will enjoy this new series.

I see you belong to a number of organizations, including ITW and RWA, among others. What do you see as the main attraction of membership for a writer in these groups?

The main attraction of organizations like ITW, RWA and SFWA is comraderie and industry knowledge. Yes, there are plenty of "writer websites" out there. I'm a member of several. But it's nice to have a place where you can ask stupid questions about the next level of publishing from people who have been there and meet people who enjoy writing the same things as you. While I was at the RT BOOKlovers convention, I ran into another thriller writer (RT isn't just for romances anymore! There were plenty of thriller writers there) and we got to talking about morgues. I mean, how often do you run into someone who works at a morgue? It's not something that comes up in casual conversation anywhere else. Very fun!

What's the most surprising or unusual thing that >ever happened to you while writing (these books or any of >your previously published work)?

Probably the most surprising thing was when I first started writing and was foolish enough to make the mistake of submitting the manuscript for the historical fiction when I had only three chapters written. I had it in my mind that NO publisher ever responded before six months went by, and by then I'd have the book completed. WRONG! Oh so wrong. I got a letter the next week, saying he loved the samples and had a slot just open up in his spring line because another author pulled a book. If I could get it to him by the end of the month, it would hit the shelf in a mere six months. Except . . . um, I wasn't done. LOL! I had eighteen days to get the manuscript into his hands. And yes, I did it. But it was an UGLY eighteen days--just ask my husband.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers in your field or genre?

Don't repeat my mistake. Finish the book, edit the book, polish the book and THEN submit. You don't want to be in a position to disappoint an editor if you just happen to get a lucky break.

C.E. Lawrence's debut thriller, Silent Screams, recounts NYPD criminal profiler Lee' Campbell's dark journey into the mind of a serial killer. (Kensington Press). She has just completed the sequel, Scorned, to be released in 2010.

Find out more about great authors at ThrillerFest 2010!

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