on July 7, 2014

I’m off to Thrillerfest on the Red Eye. Yes, I’m crazy. Yes, I swore I’d never take the Red Eye again. But there were several factors that went into the decision. 1) I refused to spend $70 more for a room because I didn’t reserve Monday night at the conference rate. 2) My daughter who lives in Arizona is leaving Tuesday morning, and I’d like to spend one more day with her. (Of course, we’ll be clearing out her room — she’s taking more stuff to her new townhouse and my making room for my 11 year old to move into her room so that for the first time my boys will be able to have their own room.)

I have a book (ORANGE IS THE NEW BLACK) and an debut romantic suspense ARC to keep me company in case I can’t sleep. Plus, I have PERCEPTION and CONTINUUM on my iPad to watch. I doubt I’ll be able to write because of the cramped seats, but I’ll be bringing my lap top and my current WIP just in case. I will be writing during the conference because I’ve given myself an August 10 deadline to finish MORTAL SIN … otherwise I’m going to have to put it on the back burner until next year. My contracted novels come first, because they pay in advance for those. But I had a small window of time and decided to seize it. And the book is coming along better than I thought, so I’m 60% certain I’ll be done by August 10.

Sunday I cleaned and rearranged my office. Okay, half-assed cleaned, but I did rearrange the couches in front of the television and moved my treadmill to the opposite side of the room (where I can still watch TV, but where it’s not looking awkward and out of place.) And I swept the floor, collected empty water bottles and about 19 pairs of socks under the couches, and paid bills. I started cleaning out my closet, getting rid of clothes I haven’t been able to fit in or haven’t worn for five or more years. I would love to lose 40 pounds, and I know HOW to lose it, I’m just not that motivated right now. At least I haven’t gained, and I’ve been (pretty) good about walking on my treadmill.

10 years! I've been to every Thrillerfest except one.

10 years! I’ve been to every Thrillerfest except one.

But now it’s time for Thrillerfest, which is one of my favorite conferences, even if it’s the second most expensive (behind RT.) I like Thrillerfest for a lot of reasons — and I hope to have a detailed blog about it on Thursday or Friday — but one of the main reasons is because it’s the chance to not only catch up with a lot of my friends, but to meet with my agent and editor. The yearly meetings are a good way to make sure that we’re all on the same page and there’s no mis-communication.

Next year, I’ll have at least two new books out … COMPULSION, the second book in the Max Revere series; and Lucy Kincaid #9. Two Lucy’s may be out next year as well … that’s one thing that we’re going to be talking about.

So, what are my plans for Thrillerfest?

Eating. I have several meals scheduled with friends. They are always fun.

Teaching. I have a Craftfest workshop “The Villain’s Journey” on Thursday.

Panels. I have a panel on Friday and a panel on Saturday. I don’t think anyone will show up to the last Saturday panel. They are usually burned out by then. If we get 10 people, I’d be stunned. But still, I’ll be there!

COLD SNAP is the 7th book in the Lucy Kincaid series, is up for a Thriller Award!

COLD SNAP is the 7th book in the Lucy Kincaid series, is up for a Thriller Award!

Awards banquet. COLD SNAP was nominated for a thriller award. I was very surprised, and very happy, and while I don’t think this year is my year (I’ve read several of the other books — they rock, including Kendra Elliot’s), I am so happy to get the nomination. Now next year … well let’s just say I think DEAD HEAT is the best book I’ve ever written. I hope others think so do. Including judges! LOL.

There’s a Giants bar in NYC and I’m going to try to sneak down there to watch a game Wednesday or Thursday nights … they start late, but the subway lets out right by the bar, and it goes right to Grand Central. Maybe I can convince someone to come with me! LOL.

And one day, weather permitting, I’m going to walk across the Brooklyn Bridge. I’ve wanted to do it for years, but never had the time or the weather was way too hot (and one year I’d planned to do it with Toni McGee Causey … and the day we planned it started raining!) That will probably be on Wednesday or Sunday … my flight leaves late Sunday. The rest of my days are kinda packed … but that’s okay.

I’m also planning on going around Manhattan following in the footsteps of Maxine Revere … from her story in COMPULSION. That will be LOTS of fun, I think … I hope … I’ll take pictures 🙂

I’ve set aside three-3 hour blocks of time for writing. I believe in writing every day, but travel days are hard to do that, so I look at my schedule and wherever I have holes, I mark up the time with WRITING. That way I can make sure I get the time in. Not as much as in a normal week, but enough where I won’t be so behind when I get home.

I liked the Hyatt bar before their remodel, but this is okay, too.

I liked the Hyatt bar before their remodel, but this is okay, too.

Thrillerfest is fun, for me, because it’s far more relaxed than most conferences I’ve attended. The bar is relaxing, it’s fun, it’s filled with the energy of fellow writers. They also make a point of having several receptions so people can talk and mingle and get a free drink or two (or more, if you have a friend who doesn’t drink and gives you their drink tickets!) The panels are always interesting, and I always end up wishing I could go to more … but realizing it’s not worth giving me a headache to rush around. And that’s okay … because there are always buying the recordings!

I try to take in a Broadway show every year, but didn’t plan it this time. I may … there’s Wednesday and Sunday matinees that I could do. It’s one of those up in the air things. I might try and get discounted tickets when the box offices open (I’m being frugal this year!) And if it doesn’t happen, it doesn’t happen! That’s okay too. Because one of the worst things anyone can do at any conference is over-commit or rigidly plan. It makes the week stressful and exhausting, and come Monday I’ll be back to my writing schedule and don’t want to be stressed out.

So tomorrow I have a super special guest blogger (you’ll have to come back tomorrow to find out who!), on Wednesday I have a Writer Wednesday post scheduled, and on Thursday I hope to have the first “what I did” post. Until then … happy reading!