Thrillerfest 2014: Fun and Done

Until last week I hadn’t been to Thrillerfest, the annual gathering of International Thriller Writers, in several years. Many of my friends refuse to miss it, and I understand why: it’s great fun. Plus, it’s always held in New York City at The Grand Hyatt at Grand Central Terminal, so there are endless things to do if you’re not attending panels or getting books signed. This year was the conference’s 10th anniversary, so there was lots to celebrate.

I could spend hours telling you about all the amazing writers I heard speak and new friends I made. But I think pictures tell the story best.

Here’s the central hall in Grand Central Terminal. I spent a lot of time in the station staring, eating, shopping, wondering. What a magnificent place it is.


I snuck away for a solo dinner in the saloon at The Oyster Bar cafe. I had oysters and champagne. Wouldn’t you? (I was reading All Quiet on the Western Front on my Kindle. It was a surreal combination, but it worked.)


Friday was my panel on tapping into creativity. Author Sandra Brannan was pretty much the best panel master I’ve ever worked with–funny, really knowledgeable about her panelists, organized, and just plain sweet. My fellow panelists (right to left): Linwood Barclay, Linda Fairstein, T. Jefferson Parker, and Reavis Z. Wortham. I’m there, too. But, seriously, it’s the most tragic image of me I’ve ever seen. Not ugly, but just…grim. I look as though I’m not quite all there. If you want to break my heart and see it for yourself, it’s on Julie Kramer’s Facebook page. (She took the pic.) But this is my blog, darn it! : )

Tfest14panel - Version 2

Here’s our wonderful crowd:


After the morning’s panels, all the authors went to their assigned tables to sign books for fans that would come by. I was lucky enough to be seated two seats away from one of my favorite Scottish writers, Ian Rankin–and the two authors between us didn’t show up. Lucky me! (But I was too shy to ask for a photo with him. See, it happens to writers, too!)


Here are fellow writers Rebecca Cantrell, Keith Raffel, and Allison Brennan at the iBooks presentation. We learned secret stuff.


Along the way I took myself on an Artist’s Date to the International Center of Photography. In one of my next lives, I want to spent years and years composing, taking, developing, showing photographs. (See what I did here? It’s all artsy and b & w. Cool, huh?)


Here’s a fun picture of my author friend, Shane Gericke. We’ve known each other since my first Thrillerfest in 2007. I love hanging out with him at conferences. This was at our big dinner (10 writers) at UVA, on the upper east side. (He said he was going to share his cheese with me, but everyone else got to it first. I did get a substantial cheese fix at my next foodie stop, The Bryant Park Cafe. Also a rather decent selection at the Sam Adams bar in the American concourse at LaGuardia, oddly enough.)


Allison Brennan and I took time out for a nice long lunch at the Bryant Park Cafe.


Yet another meal with friends (are you sensing a theme, here?), this time in the Grand Hyatt’s restaurant. Brad Parks, Carla Buckley, Rebecca Cantrell (who won a Thriller Award for best ebook original!), and Kelli Stanley.


My dear friend, Jen Talty, and I spent lots of time together, catching up. She’s good people.


I know. More food. What can I say? I couldn’t leave Manhattan without some decent sushi. Hatsuhana certainly fit the bill.


Geek-out moment that made my whole trip to NYC. I spied Andy Levy at the closing Thrillerfest 2014 party, and he was kind enough to suffer my blushing fangirl phantods for a few minutes. What a sweetheart.  (With special thanks to J.T. Ellison for above-and-beyond introduction efforts.)

Andy Levy1

And how crazy is this? On our long walk from dinner on Friday night, Keith Raffel, Jen Talty and I saw fireworks over Central Park. Thanks, New York! Love and love!




One thought on “Thrillerfest 2014: Fun and Done”

  1. LOVE this summary! Yes, the theme this year was FRIENDSHIP. I am so glad we had a chance to sit down and talk. Thank you for listening!

Join the conversation!