Tag Archive for: brenda novak

Conferences for Writers—Part II, ThrillerFest

By Kay Kendall

differences make ThrillerFest stand out from other conferences that are offered
to crime authors. This annual conference of International Thriller Writers is
held at the same time every year and in the same hotel. It begins right after
Independence Day at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York City and includes a full
six days of activities, each one priced separately. If you attend everything
that is offered, then your conference fee will be much higher than any other in
your whole year.
Rambo’s creator, David Morrell

ThrillerFest stands out because of its cost, it is also worth every one of your
hard-earned dollars. You will see more star power on one stage or at just one
of the many cocktail parties than you will ever hope to see in your whole life.
The literary energy and brilliance just zing. What’s more, all those big-name
authors are helpful and supportive to hopeful writers.
If you
are a debut author and get published by a press on the approved list, then you
can join the ITW Debut Author program in that year and receive even more
support and applause. I was urged to participate in 2013 when my first book Desolation Row launched. I figured I’d
go once and be done with such a pricey gathering. I was wrong. I returned in
2014 and again this year. Here are just a few of the reasons why—bestselling
authors who participated in this year’s programs.

Spy novelist Gayle Lynds

  • 2015 ThrillerMaster Nelson DeMille plus
    2015 Silver Bullet Recipient 
    Kathy Reichs
  • 2015 Spotlight Guests Mark Billingham, Charlaine Harris, and Greg Iles
  • 2014 ThrillerMaster Scott Turow and
    2014 Silver Bullet Award recipient 
    Brenda Novak
  •  Lee Child interviewed Billingham–they both grew up in Birmingham, England.
  • Rambo’s creator David Morrell interviewed DeMille—they
    both have long and stellar careers.
  • Gayle Lynds introduced her newest thriller THE ASSASSINS
  • Anne Perry flew over from the UK to talk about her historical mysteries.
  • Steve Berry moderated several panels.

Other favorites were Catherine Coulter, Clive Cussler, Jeffery Deaver, Joseph Finder, Heather
Graham, Laurie R. King,  CJ Lyons, Daniel Palmer, Chris Pavone, Hank
Phillippi Ryan, MJ Rose, Karin Slaughter,
and RL Stine. Each has at least one huge bestseller, and most have many more.
This conference is only ten years old. The genesis came from successful authors
who wanted to help budding writers learn the ropes and get ahead. Co-founders David
Morrell and Gayle Lynds both attended this year as usual and remain always
supportive to other writers. The learning opportunities at ThrillerFest are
endless. If you are an aspiring or newly published crime writer and have not
yet attended this magnificent event, I encourage you to save up so that you too
can attend in 2016. I hope to see you there!


Kay Kendall is a long-time fan of historical novels and writes atmospheric mysteries that capture the spirit and turbulence of the sixties. She is a reformed PR executive who lives in Texas with her husband, three house rabbits, and spaniel Wills. Terribly allergic to her bunnies, she loves them anyway! Her book titles show she’s a Bob Dylan buff too. RAINY DAY WOMEN published on July 7–the second in her Austin Starr Mystery series. The audio-book will be out soon. 


Cramming a Ton into One Weekend

What a whirlwind weekend. First, I have to say, I LOVE CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA!!! There’s something about that city that speaks to me. I have city lust, big time. Don’t know if I’ll ever live there, though one of my dreams is to own a pretty house near the water.

Tonya Kappes, fellow Goddess at The Naked Hero, and I were invited to give a workshop at the Lowcountry RWA chapter meeting. Any excuse to visit Charleston! We flew in Friday, did our workshop Saturday–followed by a book signing set up by the fantabulous Amy Fagley of the Lowcountry chapter. Shout out to Amy, Sharon, Sharon Marie, Tina–who’s not actually a Lowcountry member, but who is awesome!!–Florina, Nina, Dorothy, and the rest of you fun gals!

Tonya did a running blog about our adventure (which you can see here and here). Our workshop was on Stripping Down the Hero Archetypes. A totally interactive, mutli-learning modality experience which everyone LOVED (you can see snippets of the workshop videos here).

I wrote so much on the plane ride there and back that I want to take a plane trip every week just to up my word count.

Then, icing on the cake, Tonya, who used to own a bead company (sold it for beaucoup $$$$ so she could write… OMG!) taught me how to bead! Got home, took my daughter to the bead shop in a nearby city which was closed, headed to Hobby Lobby, which was also closed (they don’t care to do business on Sundays apparently), and ended up at Michael’s spending WAY TOO MUCH $$$ on beads.

BUT we each made our first bracelets yesterday and we’re hooked on beading. Or should I say toggled on beading? Strung on beading? Whatever. WE LOVE IT!

To top off the weekend, I finished the chapters of my cozy proposal! That is to say, I finished the first draft of said chapters. Still have to revise, but that’s okay. I love revisions. I can dig into revisions. The meat is there, and it’s all gravy now.

Icing on the cake was record numbers of people visiting and entering to win FREE BOOKS over at Books on the House (and the kids/teen site). This week, Brenda Novak, gearing up for her online auction which begins MAY 1st (to benefit diabetes research) is giving away totes of books and gift certificates for the auction. My son has the disease and I’m thrilled to help Brenda however I can. The Stiletto Gang has donated signed books, too!

All in all, it was a great weekend (minus the hour+ I spend unsubscribing from all these email lists I somehow managed to get on…no, for the last time, I DO NOT NEED VIAGRA, and I’m a writer and DO NOT WANT A CAREER CHANGE TO MEDICAL TRANSCRIBING!!!

Food for thought: How do we get ON these email lists in the first place? Are you a beader? Been to and love Charleston? Have great productivity on an airplane? Enjoy interactive workshops?

Let’s hear it!