Thrillerfest IX finished up a long weekend of seminars and panels with its annual ITW Thriller Awards, with Andrew Pyper's The Demonologist winning Best Hardcover Novel. But Thrillerfest isn't about awards as much as it is about celebrating the art of writing (and scaring).
Attendees of the event's first two days, called Craftfest and Pitchfest, receive a crash course in the entire pubishing process, from starting your book, to pitching it to an agent, to marketing the final version. And the attendees' newly learned tricks are put right to the test with Pitchfest, an intense 3-1/2 hour block where they can pitch their book to as many agents as possible.
In fact, one of the panels I attended on Friday (The Long Road to Publication) featured Glen Hamilton, a new author who found his agent at last year's Pitchfest.
All in all, the panels offered the rare chance to hear authors speak passionately about their work. And naturally, when you combine a handful of creative people and ask them to speak for an hour, you're bound to yield some motivational and funny moments. Here are a few of the standouts:
“We're all here because we have so many ways of killing people.” — James Hannibal
(On the perks of being an author) “[There's] less socially acceptable binge drinking than I thought there'd be.” — Justin Kramon
“If it sounds like writing, I try to do it over again.” — Douglas Preston quoting Elmore Leonard
“Simple plot can allow for a more complex story.” A. X. Ahmad
(On how he handles a less than successful book debut) “It's not a book, it's a career.” — Douglas Preston
All this is incredibly cool, but perhaps the coolest thing to come out of Thrillerfest IX is Faceoff. Organized by the ITW board, Faceoff features 22 famous characters facing off in 11 stories, each written by famous authors. Dennis Lehane against Michael Connelly. Lee Child versus Joseph Finder. Steve Berry and James Rollins. This book is a thriller fan's wet dream. And it could be yours!
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