I’m just back from Thrillerfest where my bunny slippers with teeth were again a hit–and one of my fav authors was honored in a Michael Palmer Tribute (scroll down for the video). As always, feeling revitalized, energized and writer-ized (is that a word?) for the future. Kathleen Antrim calls the event “Summer camp for thriller writers” and this year, the week-long event boasted Craftfest (for aspiring writers) including a Master Craftfest and insights from FBI experts; Pitchfest (where writers could “pitch” their book to agents); and culminated in Thrillerfest with still more panels for fans and authors to meet and greet, get books signed, and more.
After getting up at 4 a.m. Thursday to catch my plane, I was delighted to pick up my registration materials and discover no less than FOUR free books in the bag as a give-away. Wow. Then I attended a great add-on session and learned more about Apple and the iBookStore. You’ll notice I’m now an Affiliate and there’s even a nifty widget on my book page listing iBooks available. Or you can just click here and go directly to the iBookstore.
Thursday evening at the opening reception is a terrific time to reconnect with friends and meet new ones, and I had a lovely time. Much of networking takes place in the bar (ahem!) even if one doesn’t indulge in beverages.
Now, I planned for this trip for a year, plotted which sessions to attend, and prepared to “stalk” (in a good way!) all my favorite writers and readers. I got to meet Aubrey Hamilton from an online readers list when we decided to share room expenses (hey, she loves cats, too!). And then all my plans went sideways–and I was sick all day Friday, able to only attend one session, URK! Oh, how frustrating! I found out later that I wasn’t the only one afflicted with this–whatever it was. I even had to bail early during a meeting with my awesome editor Jen Talty–but we did have a great conversation then and later as well, and I’m eager to get plans ramped up.
Fortunately by the end of Friday, I’d finally recovered enough to go out to dinner with my thriller-gal-pal Paula Lanier, and new friend Stefanie Stolinsky at the Beach Cafe. Seriously, this is a fantastic restaurant and owner Dave Goodside makes everyone feel so welcome.
Saturday morning I felt great! The 8 a.m. Debut Breakfast was inspiring, this year with 24 new authors (and that many more in the program present in spirit). Just last year it was me up there in the dais, wearing my bunny slippers, and scared to death I’d never get my second book done. Steve Berry’s “second-book-itis” talk got me over the hump–check out the new review on HIDE AND SEEK!–and now I’m working on my third thriller, whoda-thunk-it? This year, Brenda Novak was the Silver Bullet Award Winner and speaker at the breakfast.
I had to slip out early to prepare as Panel Master for my 9:30 talk, WHAT MAKES AN ENDING UNFORGETABLE? Check out the picture, above, with the best possible lineup of author speakers ever! Wow, they made the time go fast, with great discussions and comments. Incidentally, those unable to attend can purchase audios of the presentation and I have to say this is one panel you won’t want to miss. 🙂
The author signings have to be one of the highlight of the event. Literally hundreds of authors sit elbow to elbow and sign books together, with Barnes and Nobel host bookstore providing the support. The one downside is the crowds at this time but it’s worth it to actually get to speak with your fav author, meet new ones, and share the love of reading with fans. I ended up with so many purchased and donated books that I had to ship them home, to keep the plane from being too heavy.
The final Saturday evening reception leads to the Awards Banquet where the Thriller Awards are presented. I was honored this year to be on a preliminary panel to help choose the best Ebook original and urge you to make a point of reading ALL these winners! What a lineup! Read the list of winners here.
And the AFTER party goes on for hours and hours–and yep, that’s where I re-introduced the bunny slippers.
But the most moving event of the weekend for me was Daniel Palmer’s funny and poignant tribute to his father, Michael Palmer–authors and readers everywhere miss him, too, and we ALL want to be like him. I missed getting the first few seconds of the song, but here’s the rest of the tribute.
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Amy Shojai, CABC is a certified cat & dog behavior consultant, a consultant to the pet industry, and the award-winning author of 35+ pet-centric books and Thrillers with Bite! Oh, and she loves bling!