Sunday, July 15, 2012

Photos From Thrillerfest!

What a fantastic time I had in NYC at Thrillerfest! If you are a novelist, of any genre, I suggest you attend next year. The quality of speakers and the chance to pitch your novel to more than 50 literary agents makes it well worth the investment.

I plan to attend all four days next year (couldn't attend Sat this time), and volunteer even though I don't write thrillers! I pitched my middle grade historical fiction to eight very interested agents, so I better get to work on my final draft, especially after learning tips from the masters of the craft.

Top:  Lee Child signs his book for me. He gave a presentation during Craftfest and also was interviewed.
2nd: One of the panels during Thrillerfest; The lady speaking is Amy Shojai, a writer of non-fiction dog books and a novel coming out later this year.
3rd: Kathleen Antrim (along with author Jon Land) gave excellent advice about pitching to agents; they even gave one on one chats with us - for more than two hours afterwards! So gracious, and inspiring.
4th: Austin Camacho I met many years ago, so it was great to catch up on news.
5th: Steve Berry is a wonderful speaker and writer.

Top: Robert Dugoni and I have something in common - we both are the middle child of eleven! And we both can recite the sibs name very quickly! He was my favorite speaker because his content will help me with my final draft of my novel, "The Wildcat Orphan." The Dugoni family has Appaloosas and his daughter would like to have me include her horse in my next Beloved Horses!
2nd: R.L. Stine signed his book for my great-granddaughter, an aspiring writer in high school!
3rd: I bought several books by Shane Gericke. He's a great guy (missed his presentation as I left early) and helped me understand about the event before and during it.
Last: John Sanford is one of my favorite authors, even before I attended Thrillerfest!

The yearly event, held in NYC, is a conference hosted by International Thriller Writers and sponsors include Writer's Digest magazine. I won a contest held by WD, and so glad I attended!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Thrillerfest in NYC!

I won a contest from Writer's Digest magazine to attend one of the biggest writing conferences in NYC! I'm so excited to be attending and meeting best selling authors.

The masters will be teaching classes during Craftfest (Wed and Thu morn) - John Sandford, Steve Berry and Lee Child, just to name a few. There will be 30 workshops to choose from, but since three are held at the same time, I can sit in to the ones I want and even switch in between. There will also be presentations and a cocktail hour to attend, as well as the authors who teach the classes will be doing book signings

On Thursday afternoon, more than 50 agents will be available for attendees to pitch their manuscripts, for all genrres. I've researched and selected about a dozen for my American Oliver Twist novel, "The Wildcat Orphan." I've been working on it for about five years and finally finished it, so now is the time to pitch it!

Unlike my other books that are in a niche market and therefore I self publish, this one will have broader appeal. Here's my pitch; let me know what you think!

In 1897, George “Mac” McDill is a ten-year-old orphan who’s banished from his first foster home in New York and sent by train to Colorado. No one is there to meet him, so the town drunk takes him home. The horse-loving boy longs for a permanent family but realizes he must learn to control his temper if he is to be accepted. 

I was inspired to write this historical fiction story when I learned about my grandfather's childhood. He was an Orphan Train rider at the turn of the 19th Century, all because he lost his temper at his first foster home in New York. (He hit his violin teacher over the head with his fiddle!) The Orphan Train Program (coined many decades later) set up by the Children's Aid Society sent hundred of thousands of orphans and street children from the east to the Midwest and West to new homes. Many had better lives, but many were used for child labor. It was considered the beginning of foster care and ran for 75 years.

On Friday and Saturday, there will be sessions all day with panels of several authors discussing a variety of topics. Friday's Spotlight Guest is the renowned thriller author, Lee Child - one of my faves! I won't be able to stay for Saturday, but will soak up as much info as I can during my three days there.

To learn more about Thrillerfest, visit