Thrillerfest IX: Sights, Sounds, and Sweepstakes

Authors prepare to sign books.
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 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.


  1. Gordon Bingham

    Unteresting concept, difficult to pull off successfully. But if any group of writers can do it…

  2. James P. Pope

    Interesting book.

  3. Rachel Christian

    Certainly sounds interesting.

    And I feel I should point out that the offical rules page leads to a 404 error.

  4. G S Moch

    Sounds great. Count me in.

  5. lasvegasnv

    Sounds interesting

  6. iris sachs

    Interesting idea. This is already on my to be read list.

  7. Angela Dyrcz

    I have been dying to read this book!

  8. fritter

    What a great idea for a book!

  9. Sally Kohlenberg

    always looking for new authors

  10. Karl Stenger

    I would love to read this book

  11. Rena

    I would love this book. Can’t wait to read it!

  12. Kim Akers

    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!

  13. Laura McLendon

    FACEOFF, 22 characters, 11 stories, and lots of Author power……..what more could you ask for?! 🙂

  14. Karen Terry

    Those are all my favorite authors. Count me in.

  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.

  16. Laurie Nutter

    so many good authors. would love to read the book!
    i love mysteries and thrillers.

  17. Andrew Kuligowski

    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??

  18. Jane Schwarz

    Love to read this, sounds like fun. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy.

  19. Allison Moyer

    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.

  22. Diane Grantier

    I will be reading this book. It sure would be nice to win it! Thanks for the opportunity!

  23. Susan Meek

    Oh, please pick me!

  24. pearl berger

    Thanks for this great giveaway.

  25. Chuck Aeschbacher Jr

    Looks like a fun book.

  26. jayne Wessels

    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.

  28. paul sproul

    Beach Read!

  29. Cheryl English

    I Love It! The Best of the Best. Need I say anything else!

  30. Anita Yancey

    This book sounds wonderful and I love that it is written by so many great authors. Thanks for this chance to win it.

  31. Joanne Mielczarski

    Can’t wait to read thi book.

  32. Susan Pertierra

    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!

  34. Crystal Blackburn

    I would love to read Faceoff.

  35. Anastasia

    I’d love to check this out 🙂

  36. NicB83

    Thanks much for the oppurtunity! 🙂

  37. Janice

    sounds intere3sting. Would love to read. Hope I win.

  38. Emily Bronstein

    Fingers crossed!

  39. Donna Badour

    I love alot of these writers. I woukd kove to read this.

  40. Megan Mariner

    Looks like a blast! Love these authors!

  41. Peter W. Horton Jr.

    I need to win! Yes!

  42. Betsy Whitmarsh

    Sounds fabulous!

  43. Michael Carter

    Sounds great!
    Please enter me in the sweeps.
    Thanks and best wishes.

  44. Eva McAvoy

    This looks like a MUST read !

  45. Jennifer Helms

    Ooooohhh… some of my fave authors !!!! My hubby would love this too!

  46. Lori P

    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!

  47. john frost

    Interesting concept. Would love to read it.

  48. Diane Pollock

    Sounds awesome!!

  49. Gena Coggins

    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.

  51. patricia gibby

    I would love to read this book!

  52. BRAD

    Sounds great count me in.

  53. YvonneJ

    A great book for discovering authors I haven’t read and reconnecting with those I have.

  54. Fred Gillis

    Count me in.

  55. Lori Rutherford

    I would love to read this book! Thanks for the chance.

  56. enaj

    This book sounds so exciting. I’m intrigued.

  57. Marie-Louise Molloy

    Gold mine of authors in one place~mother lode!!

  58. Sally

    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?

  59. Steve Stavlo


  60. Desmond Warzel

    Count me in, please!

  61. Trisha Ofstad

    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!!!

  62. Kelley Tackett

    You had me at “a thriller fan’s wet dream.” Shut up and take my money.

  63. kent w. smith

    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.

  64. Jeffrey Malis

    Thanks for the chance!

  65. Gwen Stackler

    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!

  66. Margot Core

    OMGosh! I would just eat up that book!

  67. Eva Moller

    I’d love to read it!

  68. elizabeth findlay

    I like the idea of it can’t wait to see if they pulled it off.

  69. Joshua Atkins

    What a great group of writers. I’d love to read this.

  70. Marcia Hacker

    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!

  72. Jaime Aron

    Terrific concept. Can’t wait to see how my favorites stack up to the competition.

  73. Kate Lyons

    I’m planning to read this anyway, but would *love* to have my own copy!

  74. Doris C. Losey

    I would like to read this book.

  75. Linda Kujaca

    This sounds like a very cool book.

  76. Suz Reads

    Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book sounds great and I would love to win it!

  77. Jean Delaney

    Wish I had been there but a book would be a consolation prize. Thanks for the chance.

  78. vicki wurgler

    great writers love to red this book

  79. Rosemary Krejsa

    An interesting concept. I look forward to reading it.

  80. Linda Kish

    this sounds like an interesting book.

  81. Brenda Tucker

    A wonderful concept, can’t wait to read all these authors.

  82. Carl Ginger

    I haven’t read all of these authors, but the book concept is awesome. I would really like to read it!

  83. Carolyn Dileo

    Oh, yes, please! Looks great! Thanks.

  84. Elizabeth A

    I would love a copy of FACEOFF!!!!

  85. Justin Eger

    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.

  87. Patrick Murphy

    What an interesting concept. I would love to win this


    Another great giveaway!!

  89. Sharon Kaminski

    I would any suspense. This would be great, thanks.

  90. Vernon Luckert

    Interesting concept. Would love to win!

  91. Kim Johnston

    This sounds like a bordom buster!

  92. Karen Mikusak

    Would love to win!

  93. Laura McDonald

    How they got paired must be interesting, a lot of very strong writers. Would love it!

  94. Linda Knowles

    Sounds like a blast!

  95. Bee Pierce

    Sounds like fun!

  96. Betty Ramsey

    WOW…what a great contest. Count me in!

  97. khcrissey2011

    I’m ready to win and read!!!!

  98. Kermit Crissey

    I’m ready to win and read!!!!!!

  99. Mary Ann Brady

    Sounds great. Thx for the book.

  100. Lynn Marler

    Hope I win; thanks for the chance!

  101. peter gladue

    looks like a great summer beach read

  102. Sarah Jestings

    This looks Aweome! Thank you so much for the chance.

  103. rickel bart

    i need this for my vacation trip!

  104. Loren Palmer

    all in

  105. galena penrod

    oh yeah

  106. Mike Rogers

    Looks good!

  107. ron frampton

    like to read

  108. Mihaela Day

    I would love to read it 🙂

  109. Karen T Gonyea

    Sounds wonderful – count me in please 🙂

  110. Lisa Garrett

    I would love to check it out. I am intrigued…

  111. vickie dailey

    interesting concept for a book – would love to read

  112. JEAN MESS


  113. Daniel Morrell

    sounds like an interesting one

  114. penney kolb

    what a group of authors – can only be entertaining!

  115. Linda Peters

    I could use these to read on my vacation

  116. Norm Brontman

    Can’t wait to read it!

  117. Debra Kidle

    Want to read!

  118. JULES M.

    sounds great! 🙂

  119. Edd

    I would like to read this compendium by David Baldacci!

  120. Leisa Wooten

    What a great read!!

  121. Christina Gould

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  122. Linda Peters

    this would be a good one to have, thanks

  123. Wendi Dusek

    Looks like the book would be a good read! Would love to have a copy.

  124. Karen Koziczkowski

    I would love to Read this book! Please Let Me WIN! Thanks for the chance!

  125. Lisa Pecora

    I would love this!

  126. Joanne Mielczarski

    I expect to be winning this!

  127. Melanie Johnson

    Some of my favorite authors all in one book? I want to read this!

  128. Patrice Gottfried

    Fantastic lineup!

  129. Sand Lopez

    Sounds good!

  130. Tawney Mazek

    Put my name in the hat – this sounds very interesting.

  131. Rickie Hinrichs

    Only in a court room please.

Comments are closed.