ThrillerFest 2011 - Day 1

Before I get to the details of the conference, I need to say a big THANK YOU to Alexia Chamberlynn, who took the cutest photos of CREEP on the beach! Go look! So cute! And I won her contest. Sigh. It doesn't get much better than that.

And yesterday's random winner of a signed hardcover of Creep is... drumroll, please...

(So weird. Yesterday came up with #1, and today it came up with #2. Will tomorrow be #3?)

Ricky, please email me at jennifer (at) jenniferhillier (dot) ca and I'll send your book out ASAP!

So it's no secret that I love ThrillerFest. Know why? Because these are my peeps. Nobody thinks it's weird that I write what I write. They just know... because they write the same stuff I do.

Friday, the first day of ThrillerFest, was a bit of a blur. I volunteered to help ITW out with a bunch of different things over the course of the day, which kept me busy, and in between I slipped into a few of the panels.

I got to watch my former-Twitter-buddy-now-Real-Life-buddy Dan Friedman speak on his panel called  How Do You Thicken the Plot: Subplots and How to Make Them Shine. It's always so interesting to hear published authors talk about their process – that never gets old for me.

Afterward, I saw a bit of the Scalpel Please: How Do You Find the Heart of Your Story? panel. The panel master was D.P. Lyle, MD (who has a seriously fascinating blog, if you haven't visited it yet), and this one was really fun. There was a lot of discussion about forensics and cool ways to kill people. (Like I said, these are my peeps.)

I volunteered at the "bookstore" (which is a room at the Grand Hyatt on the Conference floor reserved for selling books and hosting author signings), and got to help out with the Robert Crais lineup. I was the girl writing people's names on a sticky note so that Robert wouldn't have to worry about spelling. This was a pretty cool gig, because I got to have conversations with everybody who lined up (and it was a very long line).

And while I was volunteering, Dan was being interviewed on camera, so I snapped a pic:

They had two big bonus sessions at noon. One was called Revolutionary Products in Publishing: A Demonstration of Virtual Signing Products, hosted by Margaret Atwood and Tom Waters. Since I already learned quite a bit about how ebooks are signed at dinner the previous night direct from Margaret Atwood herself (insert SQUEE here!), I thought I'd pop into the other bonus session, Ask the CIA: Insights from the Undercover Life. It did not disappoint.

Volunteering at the bookstore later that day, I got to meet Joseph Finder. He's written one of my favorite thrillers of all time (and no, I'm not exaggerating – Paranoia is a great book!). He just released Buried Secrets, and he signed my copy (and psst... that's Lisa Gardner sitting right beside him). What a nice guy!

Thanks to Dan for snapping this pic for me with my iPhone.
I don't remember doing anything particularly interesting on Friday night, because I was too nervous about my panel speech, which was scheduled for 8 a.m. in the Grand Hyatt ballroom the following morning. Did it go well or did I faint? Stay tuned...

In the meantime, comment on this post to be entered to win a hardcover of Creep!

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  1. Sounds like a fun conference! Isn't it great meeting other writers, and authors that you're a fan of?

  2. Ask the CIA?!? Oh, I wish I had been there. I looove stuff like that! I'm so glad you had a great time!

  3. Wow! So much fun! Can't wait to hear about what happened during your panel speech! I'm sure you rocked it! :D

  4. The Ask the CIA panel definitely sounds interesting!

  5. Oh pick me, pick me!!! lol

    That's the awesome thing about conferences--it really is being surrounded by your peeps. How fun working the bookstore! :)

  6. Sounds awesome! I'd love to write thrillers, but I don't think I have the skills. :-)

  7. Does an expression of extreme envy count as a comment?

  8. I've already got a creep....errr...I mean, I already have a copy of Creep, so exclude me from the contest. I just wanted to pop in and say thanks again for taking us through this! So much fun!

  9. I bet it was a ton of fun. Can't wait to start reading your book on the plane tomorrow!

  10. So awesome! I can't wait to read more about your adventures at ThrillerFest! And writing the names on sticky notes to get spelling right is a great idea.

  11. This is so cool. I love how you're doing the day by day so it feels like we were there with you! And you don't have to enter me in this contest, because nothing could top my signed arc!lol

  12. Jennifer - You're such a cutie. I'm sure your speech went well.

  13. Ooh, ooh, I'll take Bryce's entry!

    I'm so jealous you got to go...and be a participant! WOW! Maybe I'll have the cash to make it next year. In the meantime, thanks for sharing!!

  14. Awesome! Sounds like a great event.

    I'm sure your speech went perfectly. Looking forward to hearing about it!

  15. You're in the big leagues, doing a panel discussion! I hope it went well. :)

  16. Sounds awesome! I feel the same way when I go to SCBWI conferences - it's great to be surrounded by writers who get what you're writing. Looking forward to hearing how your panel discussion went!

    (I have a book already so no need to include me in your giveaway :)

  17. Congrats to Ricky.

    Ha, if it is #3, the random number generator may be ready for an annual tune-up.

    Have a good weekend Jennifer.

  18. Aww, thanks for the shout out! I have loved reading all about your trip! My husband's ears are bleeding from me talking about it, and blabbing about "one day when I get published"...