Wow! I attended Thrillerfest V in NYC last week and it was fantastic! It doesn't get much better than meeting Harlan Coben and sitting in on interviews with Ken Follett, Sandra Brown, Lisa Scottoline, and David Morrell! Plus many more.
Panels discussed everything from how to avoid cliches to the best/worst advice you've ever gotten. The most inspiring part for me was the Debut Author breakfast where the people of Thrillerfest spotlight all the new authors from the past year. Each one was given a moment to stand up, talk about their book, and tell a little about their journey to publication. Every one had the same message. Don't give up! I hope to be sitting at that table some day inspiring others.
But nothing was more inspiring than NY Times Bestselling Author Brad Meltzer tell the story of Harper Lee having doubts about To Kill A Mockingbird and throwing the manuscript out the window. It's okay to doubt, but never give up.
I met some wonderful people and saw a few familiar faces. Everyone there was so welcoming no matter where they are in their publishing journey. I highly recommend, if you write thrillers, becoming a member of this organization. Thank you to the people of the International Thriller Writers for coordinating such an event. And as a past events planner I know how hard it was. I'll definitely be back next year.