Sunday, July 13, 2008

25 Things I Learned at ThrillerFest 2008

1. The debut author class of 2007 is now a group of cagey veterans, savvy about the publishing process, with none of the concerns or neuroses commonly associated with writers (ok, that might not be true).

2. Thriller writers get some pretty wretched Amazon reviews. And to the person who wanted to "un-read" Lee Child's PERSUADER (my favorite Reacher novel, actually), allow me to offer a giant raspberry for your troubles.

3. Barry Eisler's hair still rocks.

4. I'm still looking for the one truly horrific debut author road story, like being kidnapped by a tribe of cannibals or something.

5. My publisher seems to only release books from authors who are incredibly nice, almost scarily so. Shout outs to Thrillerfest attendees Carla Neggers, Rick Mofina, J.T. Ellison (and hubby), Laura Caldwell, Heather Graham, Kat Martin and Michelle Gagnon.

6. My publisher only seems to publish authors who are much better dressers than I am. Thanks a lot, guys. Can't you find good writer who's also a hobo?

7. Jonathan Maberry's PATIENT ZERO is going to flat out blow people away. Put it on your "Must Read" list for 2009.

8. James Rollins has officially been tapped to replace Jay Leno. I don't think I'm going out on a limb by saying he could be the best emcee in crime writer history (if only that Al Roker wasn't such a potty mouth).

9. My fanboy geek moment of the conference? Riding alone in an elevator with Robert Crais. I think my exact words were "bhalehanfnbsha askdhad ebudbndii."

10. If you turn into a lemming and blindly follow people after a party, you end up having dinner with Steve Martini and Andrew Gross. (note: your experience may differ from mine)

11. Steve Berry apparently did some very unsavory things to become president of ITW...

12. For some reason, I'm very photogenic in Ireland. Special thanks to Pat Mullan who really made my Thrillerfest by bringing the piece in Ireland's Sunday Business Post on me all the way from Dublin.

13. Thriller writers love jokes about the New York Times bestseller list. I believe lawyers also love jokes about depositions.

14. It's really tacky to set up a gigantic easel featuring your book poster at a panel with five other people.

15. Don't know what to do with your extra galleys that are taking up too much space in your apartment? Put them on the freebie table!!!

16. Lots of publishers are kicking themselves over not offering more money for Stephenie Meyer's first novel. 

17. The plus side of buying two banquet passes yet going solo: extra drink tickets!

18. You could make a down payment on a beach home for the same price of a beer at the Grand Hyatt.

19. There are rumblings about a second Killer Year anthology (wait, that might be my stomach).

20. People will do anything (have a wedding anniversary, undergo dental surgery) to forgo accepting their Thriller award.

21. David Baldacci has singlehandedly done more to combat illiteracy in this country than pretty much anybody. What he's done cannot be praised enough. Visit the Wish You Well Foundation website to find out more.

22. Nicholas Pekearo was a talented writer and a hero, and his loss is one for all of us.

23. Sandra Brown proves that great success does not have to come at the expense of humor and humility.

24. The judges for "Best Novel" had to read three hundred books in one year. So if you don't see the next Joseph Finder novel until 2013, that's why.

25. Once again, crime writers are the most generous, supportive and fun bunch of folks on the planet. Congrats to all the deserving winners, Robert Harris, Tom Piccirilli and Joe Hill, as well as the nominees. See you in NYC in 2009. Next year, BYOB.

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Blogger Kendra said...

How can you have one favorite Reacher novel? Impossible.

You were more coherent than I would have been with Mr. Crais. Joe Pike. (sigh)

This is the second blog to mention Barry Eisler's hair. What's the deal?

12:55 PM  
Blogger David J. Montgomery said...

PERSUADER is the favorite Reacher novel of every discerning reader -- so I'm glad you know that.

Speaking of the prices at the Hyatt... I was standing around at a reception talking to two multi-NY Times bestselling millionaire authors. And what did we talk about? How damn expensive everything in the Hyatt is.

1:44 PM  
Blogger Seth Harwood said...

Damn. Now I REALLY wish I'd gone to this.
Next year!!

2:55 PM  
Blogger Michelle Gagnon said...

OK, I'm dying to know who set up the easel...

3:47 PM  
Blogger Michelle Gagnon said...

And of course Barry does have magnificent hair.

4:25 PM  
Blogger Laura Benedict said...

Personally, I think Robert Gregory Browne was hiding some tour drama about which he dare not speak....

1:12 PM  
Blogger Laura Benedict said...

Wait--I think I can match your Robert Crais moment!

Me, at the registration table: "I'm sorry sir, what did you say your name was?"

Robert Crais: "Robert Crais."

12:43 AM  
Blogger Jason Pinter said...

Ooh, Laura, that's a good one.

Michelle - If you look at J.T.s photos on facebook, you can figure it out...

8:18 AM  
Blogger Unknown said...

I subscribe to Robert Crais's newsletter just so I can drool over his photo.

I had a similar fangirl moment last year when I rode in an elevator alone with Jeffery Deaver, and I believe I made the exact same comment!

Yeah, T-Fest is da bomb! (And I never use that phrase, so there you go.) Start saving your pennies now, and go!

11:11 AM  

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