There are a few things I regret from my weekend at Thrillerfest . . .
1) I didn’t get to spend more time with Jake, Deb and Natalie, though at least Nat and I got a chance to talk some in the lobby our last night there.
2) I didn’t bring a camera. Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid . . .
3) That I didn’t buy Sandra Brown’s CHILL FACTOR when there were a gazillion copies available, waiting for my mom to call back to tell me whether she already had it (she doesn’t) and therefore missing an opportunity to not only buy it, but get it autographed.
4) Missing the Backspace lunch because I was listening to the special ops presentation (okay, okay, they were really hunky . . . and knowledgeable, of course.)
5) Scheduling my flight to leave at 1 pm and thereby missing the 11:30 brunch with John Lescroart, who I didn’t realize was so incredibly multi-talented.
6) Not meeting Lee Child though he seemed to be everywhere I was, just a few steps away . . .
7) Not dodging James Rollins fast enough when he made a bee-line for me and asked if I would judge next years Thriller Awards. (“We’d like you to be more involved with ITW”) Right. Like I bought that line. I just didn’t run fast enough.
Yes, I had some regrets, but overall I can honestly say I haven’t had more fun than Thrillerfest in a long, long time. Thrillerfest was right up there with my wedding reception (where our entire wedding party left the reception hall and came back with another wedding party . . . ) and my book launch party where over a hundred of my friends and family came out to support my first book. Everyone I talked to agreed that TF was not only well organized, but just plain fun.
Big time authors didn’t have egos. They schmoozed and chatted and drank with everyone else. The atmosphere was supportive and friendly and helpful. Naysayers all stayed home or kept their mouth shut, for the most part. I liked that. I really enjoyed talking to people who love writing, love books, and love the business, warts and all.
There were too many fabulous moments to mention in this blog, and I did give a generally “what I loved” overview at my personal blog on Monday, but here a few tidbits:
1) Killer Year folks are simply killer. I met them all on-line over the last few months and in person they are just as friendly and wonderful as they are on-line. Buy their debut novels.
2) Toni McGee Causey is Very (very very very) Funny. If her book is half as funny as she is, it’ll be a bestseller big time. Better than funny, she’s just as wonderful off-line as on.
3) Deborah LeBlanc is gorgeous. The picture in her book doesn’t do her justice (and it’s a great pic!)
4) Tess Gerritsen is as gracious and classy and nice and smart as she appears on her blog. And I had dinner with her and her equally fabulous husband (yes, I’m name dropping, but rarely do you get the chance to meet and dine with one of your all-time favorite authors!)
5) Big-time authors are as neurotic as new authors. I can’t tell you how many NYT bestselling authors don’t take their career for granted. They are thankful for each bestselling book, appreciate their fans, and always fear that the next book will show that they’re unworthy. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to know people far better than me suffer. (Okay, and I was a little teeny-tiny bit happy about it too 🙂 )
6) There are writers who come up with more twisted and bizarre and sick ideas than me. Law enforcement will definitely go after them before me (whew!)
7) Thrillerfest is just as much about readers as writers. There was a slew of readers, reporters, bloggers and assorted others loosely affiliated with publishing. I thought that was fabulous. I hope the 20% or so who don’t write will grow next year because one of the coolest things about TF was that I could sit in the bar or wander down the hall and talk to someone who just loves to read. And for readers, there are very few other places where so many authors congregate in one place!
8) Special Ops guys are hot. (But you all knew that, right?)
Next year Thrillerfest will be in New York. I’m planning on being there. Are you?