Thrillerfest 2017 – Part 2

The Saturday panels started of with a series of great presentation about the influence of geography on thrillers. The panelists included E. A. Aymar, John Connell, Elena Hartwell, Barry Lancet, Jenny Milchman and Wendy Tyson. Each panelist highlighted how the region in which their thrillers are set is an important character. Whether the Pacific Northwest, Baltimore, Japan, or upstate New York, the geographic and cultural features of each place exerts a unique and important quality on the story taking place there.  Read more

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Thrillerfest 2017 – Part 1

I just attended my first Thrillerfest and it was quite an experience. I skipped the preliminary events, Craftfest, Pitchfest, etc., because I visited old friends in Hartford, just a couple of hours northeast of New York City. One of these years, I might participate in the day-long FBI workshop. But that’s a plan for the future.

Thrillerfest started with a nice reception on Thursday night. I met up with Elena Hartwell, fellow Coffeetown Press author and fearless blogger. We grabbed a table near the entrance and gave out “Fearless Blogger” buttons. The fearless bloggers are an informal blog tour that grew from the debut class of ITW a few years back.

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Blog Tour: Skin of Tattoos by Christina Hoag

What’s it about?

Magdaleno is paroled from prison after serving time on a gun possession frameup. Rico, the rival who framed him, has taken over as gang shotcaller in Mags’s absence.

Back in Los Angeles, Mags promises himself and his Salvadoran immigrant family a fresh start. But he can’t find a decent job. His parents and his firefighter brother look at him as a disappointment. And Rico, needing to raise cash to bail out Cyco Lokos’ top leader, and eager to exert his authority, isn’t about to let Mags get away.

Mags’s desire for revenge and respect pushes him to make a decision that ensnares him in a world of deceit and betrayal, where the only escape from the deadly rules is the sacrifice of everything—and everyone—he loves.

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Literary Ashland with Victor Lodato

Victor LodatoOur June guest was Victor Lodato, a novelist, playwright, and poet. His first novel, Mathilda Savitch, was called “a Salingeresque wonder” by The New York Times and was on the “Best Book” lists of The Christian Science Monitor, Booklist, and The Globe and Mail. Mathilda Savitch won the PEN USA Award for Fiction and the Barnes & Noble Discover Prize.

Victor’s second novel, Edgar and Lucy, was published in March by (St. Martin’s Press). Lena Dunham calls Edgar and Lucy “profoundly spiritual and hilariously specific,” and Sophie McManus lauds the “tender, funny, living immediacy of its characters.”

Victor is a Guggenheim Fellow and the recipient of fellowships from The National Endowment for the Arts, The Princess Grace Foundation, The Camargo Foundation in France, and The Bogliasco Foundation in Italy.  His work has been published in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Granta, and Best American Short Stories. A recent essay was published in the “Modern Love” column of The New York Times.

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