Jul 15 2014 7:45am

Thrillerfest IX: Sights, Sounds, and Sweepstakes

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!


This Sweepstakes has ended. Thank you for entering.

To enter, make sure you're a registered member of the site and simply leave a comment below.

TIP: Since only comments from registered users will be tabulated, if your user name appears in red above your comment—STOP—go log in, then try commenting again. If your user name appears in black above your comment, You’re In!

FACEOFF Comment Sweepstakes: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.  A purchase does not improve your chances of winning.  Sweepstakes open to legal residents of 50 United States, D.C., and Canada (excluding Quebec), who are 18 years or older as of the date of entry.  To enter, complete the “Post a Comment” entry at www.criminalelement.com/blogs/2014/07/thrillerfest-ix-sights-sounds-and-sweepstakes beginning at 08:45 a.m. Eastern Time (ET) July 15, 2014. Sweepstakes ends 08:44 a.m. ET July 21, 2014. Void outside the United States and Canada and where prohibited by law.  Please see full details and official rules here. Sponsor: Macmillan, 175 Fifth Ave., New York, NY 10010.

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
Gordon Bingham
1. gordonbingham
Unteresting concept, difficult to pull off successfully. But if any group of writers can do it...
Rachel Christian
3. R_Christian
Certainly sounds interesting.

And I feel I should point out that the offical rules page leads to a 404 error.
iris sachs
6. iris
Interesting idea. This is already on my to be read list.
8. fritter
What a great idea for a book!
Rena Sollish
11. Rena
I would love this book. Can't wait to read it!
Kim Akers
12. kakers
I read this book. It was great! The combination of authors with their specific characters partnering on stories made for very interesting reading. I would love to have a copy!
Laura McLendon
13. LMcLendon
FACEOFF, 22 characters, 11 stories, and lots of Author power........what more could you ask for?! :-)
Karen Terry
14. bblol65
Those are all my favorite authors. Count me in.
Anna Mills
15. Anna Mills
It's hot here. I am slick with sweat and I need this badly. I am not kidding here.....It would really help.
Laurie Nutter
16. curtandlaurie
so many good authors. would love to read the book!
i love mysteries and thrillers.
Andrew Kuligowski
17. KuligowskiAndrew
I got in line for our library's audio copy of FaceOff. But having my own copy would be better ...
P.S. uh, Joe? How did the late Elmore Leonard manage to take part in one of the panels you attended??
Jane Schwarz
18. Janeschwarz
Love to read this, sounds like fun. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.
Allison Moyer
19. The Loopy Librarian
I bought a copy for myself, but I would love to win this for a friend. It's fantastic!
20. techeditor
I wish they had Thrillerfest around where I live.
21. MrRudolph
I'm pulling for Reacher.
Diane Grantier
22. dcg4us
I will be reading this book. It sure would be nice to win it! Thanks for the opportunity!
jayne Wessels
26. jisaw
What a great idea. Hope there are subsequent volumes.
27. RCO
I love the idea of the book. So naturally I'd like to win one.
Cheryl English
29. RoyalCheryl
I Love It! The Best of the Best. Need I say anything else!
Anita Yancey
30. rosewood780
This book sounds wonderful and I love that it is written by so many great authors. Thanks for this chance to win it.
Susan Pertierra
32. orchidlady01
These are some of my favorite authors and I've had this on my list as a future purchase or win. Count me in!
33. PhillipThomasDuck
Sounds like a great event and book!
36. NicB83
Thanks much for the oppurtunity! :)
Janice Santillo
37. themommazie
sounds intere3sting. Would love to read. Hope I win.
Donna Badour
39. dbadour
I love alot of these writers. I woukd kove to read this.
Michael Carter
43. rubydog
Sounds great!
Please enter me in the sweeps.
Thanks and best wishes.
Jennifer Helms
45. jenbibi
Ooooohhh... some of my fave authors !!!! My hubby would love this too!
Lori Provenzano
46. Mountainesque
I really like the occasional 'crossover' episode (remember Law & Order and Homicide?) that finds its way onto TV. The head-to-head concept for this book sounds like the crossover on steroids!
john frost
47. jackfro
Interesting concept. Would love to read it.
Gena Coggins
49. cogginsfam
Wow, what a great lineup of authors. Would love to see how the concept plays itself out on the page.
50. maryc
Borrowed from the library - would love to own a copy.
53. YvonneJ
A great book for discovering authors I haven't read and reconnecting with those I have.
Lori Rutherford
55. keirma
I would love to read this book! Thanks for the chance.
56. enaj
This book sounds so exciting. I'm intrigued.
Marie-Louise Molloy
57. Wezzie
Gold mine of authors in one place~mother lode!!
Sally Winkleblech
58. sallyw
I love the concept of this book, also see many of my favorite authors listed. Although you mentioned Elmore Leonard, did you mean his son, Peter?
Trisha Ofstad
61. Tjnavrn
Interesting concept. I don't know that I'd call it a competition as much as an amazing compilation of great crime writers. Crying to be in my library!!!
Kelley Tackett
62. tackettfamilyky
You had me at "a thriller fan's wet dream." Shut up and take my money.
kent w. smith
63. bodacious
This is a terrific idea! I've read all these authors so it will be very interesting to see how the stories develop.

Thank you.
Gwen Stackler
65. ChewDigestBooks
The Demonologist was great, but I thought it was more head gamey than a number one. (Does tht make sense?)

Anywho, Denis Lehane vs, Michael Connelly? I am so there!
Margot Core
66. AnnaZed
OMGosh! I would just eat up that book!
elizabeth findlay
68. eafindlay
I like the idea of it can't wait to see if they pulled it off.
Joshua Atkins
69. atkinsj
What a great group of writers. I'd love to read this.
Marcia Hacker
70. marciahac
Always good to have you recommend new books
71. Kimberly M
It will be fun to read what happens when all those characters come together!
Jaime Aron
72. jaimearon
Terrific concept. Can't wait to see how my favorites stack up to the competition.
Kate Lyons
73. KML
I'm planning to read this anyway, but would *love* to have my own copy!
Suz Reads
76. susanw28
Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it!
Jean Delaney
Wish I had been there but a book would be a consolation prize. Thanks for the chance.
Rosemary Krejsa
79. grandpa5
An interesting concept. I look forward to reading it.
Linda Kish
80. ljkish
this sounds like an interesting book.
Brenda Tucker
81. rango3
A wonderful concept, can't wait to read all these authors.
Carl Ginger
82. cgin56
I haven't read all of these authors, but the book concept is awesome. I would really like to read it!
Carolyn Dileo
83. cbdileo
Oh, yes, please! Looks great! Thanks.
84. Elizabeth A
I would love a copy of FACEOFF!!!!
Justin Eger
85. justineger
Lots of potential here. Looking forward to the F. Paul Wilson and Lee Child stories, in particular. Also love the idea that it supports the International Thriller Writers Association, which is something we all should get behind.
86. Roger Duffey
some of my favorite authors, would love to win this.
Patrick Murphy
87. Ditch
What an interesting concept. I would love to win this
Sharon Kaminski
89. casaflamingos
I would any suspense. This would be great, thanks.
Vernon Luckert
90. vl4095
Interesting concept. Would love to win!
Laura McDonald
93. bonnieclyde
How they got paired must be interesting, a lot of very strong writers. Would love it!
Betty Ramsey
96. beedyr
WOW...what a great contest. Count me in!
97. khcrissey2011
I'm ready to win and read!!!!
102. Sarah Jestings
This looks Aweome! Thank you so much for the chance.
105. galena penrod
oh yeah
108. ron frampton
like to read
110. Karen T Gonyea
Sounds wonderful - count me in please :)
Lisa Garrett
111. lag123
I would love to check it out. I am intrigued...
vickie dailey
112. kidcurry
interesting concept for a book - would love to read
113. MESS
penney kolb
115. mkolb
what a group of authors - can only be entertaining!
Linda Peters
116. linnett
I could use these to read on my vacation
120. Edd
I would like to read this compendium by David Baldacci!
Linda Peters
123. linnett
this would be a good one to have, thanks
Wendi Dusek
124. wendi1104
Looks like the book would be a good read! Would love to have a copy.
Karen Koziczkowski
125. zoom38
I would love to Read this book! Please Let Me WIN! Thanks for the chance!
Melanie Johnson
128. kappadeemom
Some of my favorite authors all in one book? I want to read this!
Tawney Mazek
131. tmaze
Put my name in the hat - this sounds very interesting.
132. Rickie Hinrichs
Only in a court room please.
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