During the second half of day two of ThrillerFest was AgentFest, which is best described as speed dating between aspiring authors and agents. Hundreds of authors looking to get published lined up in four or five rooms waiting to have five minutes or less to pitch a book to a variety of agents. The agents were very nice to the authors, and they had timers to make sure each person was given a fair shot. This went on for three and a half hours. In the end, some authors were asked to email the agents a few chapters or an entire manuscript, while others were kindly rejected. The rooms were filled with so much hope and anxiety it was palpable. In case you’re curious, I didn’t pitch anything; my books aren’t far enough along to warrant a review, but next year, who knows.
This July I’m attending my first ThrillerFest, and I can’t wait! What is ThrillerFest, you ask? According to the website, it’s “a four-day celebration of thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them.” This year’s event features an endless list of bestselling authors, including Anne Rice, Michael Connelly, R.L. Stine, Lee Child, and, Andrew Gross, just to name a few.
The conference is broken into different parts. The first day-and-a-half is CraftFest, which is essentially a writing school featuring top authors, agents and editors. These individuals lead educational panels and workshops about almost any topic a writer could be interested in when it comes to writing fiction. Whether you’re looking to learn about blogging as a novelist or what point of view you should write from, CraftFest has you covered. Since I’m working on a novel of my own, I’m looking forward to soaking up all sorts of good information during CraftFest.
Starting Thursday afternoon (July 11), AgentFest begins, which is best described as speed dating for agents and authors looking for representation. While my novel is nowhere near being finished, I still look forward to observing these interactions and speaking with a few agents and authors about their experiences during this event.
Thursday night, once AgentFest has come to a close, the ThrillerFest opening reception takes place. Then the following two days (July 12 and 13) are filled with panels from bestselling authors about a variety of interesting subjects. Last year some of the topics covered included:
- Writing Opposite Sex Characters
- Is Indie Publishing For You?
- How Do You Build A Thriller Brand?
- What Makes Them Scream?
- Is It Really That Hard To Be Funny?
I’ll also be attending the first-ever FanFest on Friday, July 12. It’s a two-hour portion of the conference where fans can drink and chat with a roomful of bestselling authors. I look forward to speaking with many authors whom I’ll be meeting for the first time, including Andrew Gross, who I recently interviewed for my blog.
ThrillerFest is bound to be a terrific experience that will yield fascinating stories, photos and advice. Stay tuned to my blog for extensive coverage of the event. It’s going to be something special.