When someone asks you what you did the week of the Fourth of July, can you tell them you
spent it with the top authors in the suspense/mystery/thriller/horror genre? If you can’t,
then you didn’t attend ThrillerFest 2014 in New York City, hosted by the International
Thriller Writers Organization.
This was the tenth ThrillerFest, with the Thriller Master Award going to bestselling
author Scott Turow. Fellow author Brenda Novak won the Silver Bullet Award, for her
work outside of writing in raising over $2.5 million for diabetes research.
Now if you are asking yourself “What is ThrillerFest?” you might want to go outside
and get hit over the head with a hammer, because if you read or write in the genre,
you have to climb aboard the ThrillerFest train. ThrillerFest is where the industry’s top
authors get together and for four days, split into two parts, and teach classes, talk on
panels about certain topics, autograph their books, and generally hang around talking to
fans and other authors.
The first half of the week was dubbed CraftFest. This year, some of the highlights
included: Steve Berry putting on two classes called “The Six C’s of Story Structure”
and “Who’s Telling the Story and What are They Saying.” John Gilstrap taught “Broken
Bones, Ballistics, and Backdrafts.” David Morrell led the “Should the First Person be Your
Choice?” workshop, along with D.P. Lyle, Steven James, Gayle Lynds, Peter James, Lee
Child, Joseph Finder, and many more.
The second half is ThrillerFest. It’s two days in which your favorite authors sit on
panels and talk about different subjects. Some of the highlights included: “The AHA
Moment: How Important is High Concept and Where do you Find it?” On that panel
was Jon Land with Steve Berry, Boyd Morrison, Douglas Preston, Ian Rankin, and John
Sandford. We could go on and on, but check out the website for a full list of the events,
so you know what to expect when you go next year. For authors, writing is a business. The
only way to have a successful business is to invest in it. If you don’t take the time
and money to invest in your writing to make it better, stick to writing blogs. But
if you’d like to write novels and make a little money while entertaining people,
attend ThrillerFest. You won’t find a more professional organization in the world.
For more information, check out www.thrillerfest.com and www.thrillerwriters.org.