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.

On Friday, I attended a number of panels ranging from “Getting Fight Scenes Right” to “Pacing Yourself for Thrills.” The latter was one of the Matchup Panels celebrating this years ITW anthology. It featured Lee Child, Kathy Reichs and Steve Berry, all contributors. Their insights on how to collaborate on a story weren’t necessarily deep, but I enjoyed learning how Temperance Brennan and Jack Reacher worked together. For those of you curious about fight scenes, the general advice was not to get caught up in technique, unless your character has a black belt or something similar. The whole point of a fight scene is to show what your protagonist is made of, not to demonstrate your knowledge of arcane self-defense traditions.

The 2017 debut class dinner on Friday night was a real treat. So many talented authors celebrating the publication of their first book. Programs like this set ITW apart from similar organizations. ITW puts real resources into nurturing new talent. Elena Hartwell did a wonderful job coordinating the debut class for 2017. I’m looking forward to seeing what will happen in future years. I gave a little plug for the fearless bloggers and a number of debut authors are considering joining the group.

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