Tag Archive for: ITW

The Thrilling Lee Child

By Kay Kendall

When my
first mystery was months away from publication, other writers suggested I
should attend ThrillerFest, the high powered writers’ conference held every July
in New York City. I protested that a) I don’t write thrillers, and b) that
conference was pricy. Then I was told that International Thriller Writers, the
group that holds the annual meeting, has a special program for debut authors
that helps put newbies on the map. I was persuaded to attend, thinking I would
go only once in order to participate in that program.

Janet Maslin of the NY Times interviews ThrillerMaster Lee Child.

That was
back in 2013, and I have just returned from my fifth ThrillerFest in a row. Yes,
I got hooked, pure and simple. The authorial fire power at ThrillerFest can’t
be equaled, and contrary to its name, the International Thriller Writers do welcome
authors across the full spectrum of crime writing. Whether you write cozy
mysteries, true thrillers, traditionals, historicals, suspense, or whatever. It
does not matter. All are welcome.
An awards
banquet concludes each conference. Besides handing out six book awards, ITW
honors one author who is deemed the year’s ThrillerMaster. Beginning in 2006
when the conference debuted, in chronological order the honorees were Clive
Cussler, James Patterson, Sandra Brown, David Morrell, Ken Follett, R.L. Stine,
Jack Higgins, Anne Rice, Scott Turow, Nelson DeMille, Heather Graham, and—this year—Lee
Child. Also part of the hoopla centering on the ThrillerMaster is an hour-long
interview by another notable person. This year Lee Child was interviewed by
Janet Maslin, long-time film critic (1977-1999) and book reviewer (1999 on) for
the New York Times 
If you aren’t
up on your thrillers, here is some background about the suave and ever-genial
Lee Child, who hails from Coventry, England. Although a resident of New York
since 1998, he has not lost his gorgeous British accent—or his elegant manners
either, for that matter. Within the thriller/mystery writing community, his
name is a watchword for bestseller-dom. In fact, his twenty-one novels starring
the tall, sexy drifter Jack Reacher are so popular that I was shocked that Lee
Child had not been named an ITW ThrillerMaster years earlier.
Near the
beginning of his interview with Janet Maslin, Child announced that he had
become eligible for the award only three months previously. There was a
twenty-year rule that explained everything, one I had not known about. His
twenty-second Reacher novel is due out in the fall, and two popular films
featuring actor Tom Cruise as the legendarily tall Jack Reacher have been produced.
I will never forget when the news first broke that Cruise would play Reacher.
Much consternation ensued. Cruise is known to be well under six feet tall. Reacher
is described in book after book as six feet five, weighing 220 pounds, with a
chest expanse of 50 inches. To note: Child himself is six feet five, but his
frame is rail-thin.
Lee Child
says he tires of being asked about the choice of Cruise, but his ire is never
evident.  Which is a good thing. At the
awards banquet, two thriller authors performed a mashup of Beatles songs with
lyrics restyled to fit known events in the life and career of Child. The medley
opened with “Tiny Jack Reacher” sung to the tune of “Paperback Writer.” This
performance brought down the house. And Lee Child smiled through it all. He
also gave everyone in attendance a hardback of collected Jack Reacher short
stories that debuted just this month. Now that’s what I call class.

Read the first 20
pages of Kay Kendall’s second mystery,
won two awards at the Killer Nashville
in August 2016—for best mystery/crime and also for best book. 
first novel about Austin Starr‘s sleuthing,
ROW, was a finalist for best mystery
Killer Nashville in 2014. 

Stepping into the Big Leagues

by Marjorie Brody

When I imagined becoming an author, I visualized book signings, travel, interviews and photo shoots, writing on deadlines, searching for fresh ideas,
juggling personal and professional tasks, influencing book cover concepts and designing stickers for book plates, giving presentations, answering
readers’ emails, teaching craft and encouraging new writers, and even creating a new genre, but I don’t think I ever thought I’d be on a panel with
heavy hitters. Oh sure, I envisioned having friends who are best selling authors—and in fact, I do—but to be sitting next to a Hollywood screenwriter
and TV staff writer, attorneys with legal thriller series, and a host of a crime and science radio show, well, I guess my imagination didn’t stretch
that far.

In July, I’ll be on a panel at the International Thriller Writers conference. The topic is “Ego or Id, Unlock Your Character’s Psychology” and the
Panel Master will be Dennis Palumbo. On the panel will be D.P. Lyle, MD, Katia Lief, Laura Caldwell, Lynne Raimondo, and oh yes, a little known author
whose psychological suspense debuted last year, me.
So how will I not be in tongue-tied awe?

I could remind myself that all of these authors started with a single book. I could remember that they write
about what they know (forensics, or criminals and the legal system, or psychopathology and serial killers—well, they don’t need to know about that
personally, I assure you, although on second thought, maybe they do!), and I write about what I know (resilient yet flawed protagonists, and self-deluded, maladjusted antagonists). Or maybe I
could just see these panelist as colleagues who happen to share with me the same field in our second careers.

Or maybe I could remember why I was
asked to join this panel in the first place; someone thought I’d be a valuable addition to the group. So, I guess it’s time for me to knock the dirt
out of my cleats, pick up the bat, and step up to the plate. Who knows? I may just hit a home run. And even if I don’t, it’ll still be fun to play on the team.

Have suggestions for me based on your experience? I’d love to hear them.

Marjorie Brody is an award-winning author and Pushcart Prize Nominee. Her short stories appear in

literary magazines and the Short Story America Anthology, Vols. I, II and III. Her debut psychological suspense novel, TWISTED, delves into the secrets
that emerge following a sexual assault at a high school dance and features a remarkable teen who risks everything to expose the truth. TWISTED was awarded
an Honorable Mention at the 2013 Great Midwest Book Festival and won the Texas Association of Authors 2014 Best Young Adult Fiction Book Award. TWISTED is
available in digital and print at

http://tinyurl.com/cvl5why or http://tinyurl.com/bqcgywl.
Marjorie invites you to visit her at