Day 1 Thrillerfest

I attended a class today on how to pitch my book, taught by the charismatic Jon Land. Afterwards, I parked my ass on a bench in the hall as the crowd of desperate aspiring authors drowned him in questions.

I watched. I listened. I read his lips over the noise.

He met my eyes. I stared right back.

“Did you want to ask me something?” he asked over the ebb and flow of voices.

Shit. I probably shouldn’t have been staring. “Umm. Maybe, when the crowd clears.” I replied.

“It’s clear now,” he said and waved the hoverers away.

“Oh.” I stood and walked over. “I’d like to pitch my book to you,” I said.

He nodded. The hoverers hovered. I pitched.

“Whoa,” he replied. A heartbeart. Two. “Whoa.”

I narrowed my eyes. “Is that whoa good? Or whoa bad?”

“No, no,” he said. “It’s good. Give it to me again.”

I did.

“Feels like I Am Legend meets Children of Men.”

I sighed. Yeah, heard that before. “Inspirations maybe,” I said. “But it’s more.”

“Well, you have ghost children,” he said. “Give it to me again.”

I did. Two more times.

“Your pitch is perfect,” he finally said. “Don’t change it. And what you’re selling is a Paranormal Thriller. Make sure you pitch that up front. And find me if you have any questions.”

That night, my CC buddy and I cozied up to the hotel bar.

“You with the conference?” a voice asked from behind us.

“Yes,” we replied.

“Where’s your badge?” the curly haired man asked. I’d never seen him before and he was asking me. My buddy was still donning hers.

I shrugged. “Conference is over.”

“You should wear it,” he said, “and mingle.”

I turned back to my gin and tonic, shoulders aching with the weight of the day. “Sounds like a good job for you.”

Out of the corner of my eye, I glimpsed my buddy shaking her head, pointing to his badge and mouthing, “Michael Palmer.”

Shit. I probably should’ve done my research on attending authors, huh?

I smiled and fell back on what I was good at. I gave him shit for the next thirty minutes (ie I teased him about his obsession with rhinos of all things and suggested a tattoo design for his bicep). Very funny, personable guy. He’s got stories to tell. By the end of the conversation, I was asking him for parental advice.

Someone he was traveling with tapped him on the shoulder.

“I’ve got this private party thing down the street,” he said. “Come with.”

I nodded and my buddy shook her head. We followed him out.

One cigarette later and my senses came to. I shook his hand. “Thanks for the invite, Michael Palmer. It was really nice to meet you.”

I lit another cigarette and watched him walk away.

Next to me, Heather Graham lit one too. I’d met her earlier in the day. Very cool chick.

So, what my writer friends want to know is: Are these cons worthwhile? Well, the classes taught things I’d already learned from CC. But the networking could be invaluable if you’re willing to stare someone down in the hallway, make an ass of yourself in a bar, or acquire a nicotine addiction. I can’t imagine a better way to spend my time.

10 Replies to “Day 1 Thrillerfest”

    • I’m going to suggest that they move agent day to the cocktail party. Aren’t we all more ourselves when under the influence?

  • Heather Graham…not who I was thinking…but, wow. Sounds like fun instead of scary like it might be. Let us know about your when it happens. This is exciting!

  • Sounds like fun. Checked out some of the links. Someone needs to tell Michael Palmer that having an audio widget on your website that:

    A. starts automatically without warning, and
    B. does not appear to have a way to shut it off

    Are both traffic killers. As soon as the voice started I searched for the stop button. Since there was none, I quickly hit one of the menu items on top to get to a different page. That page had *2* of the widgets, so it started playing in reverb! I killed the tab. I have no plans on going back, which might be sad. I don’t know though, as I didn’t spend any amount of time on the site.

    My favorite line: “I turned back to my gin and tonic, shoulders aching with the weight of the day. ‘Sounds like a good job for you.’ ”

    Hilarious! Glad you’re having fun.


    • Leave it to Joe to nitpick the site. I admit I wrestled with my mute button when I launched it. I assure you, Michael Palmer did not create this site himself. He carried on about his brass rhino so often that I asked him why he wasn’t carrying a pic of it in his wallet.
      His brows pinched. “How would I do that?”
      “Digital camera, perhaps?”
      “You lost me at the first word,” he said.

  • All I have to say is the look on his face was priceless!! Read this on the train ride home and laughed the whole way!

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