ThrillerFest 2011 – Day 2

Warning: this post contains a ridiculous amount of pictures. But before I get to them, yesterday’s winner of a signed hardcover of CREEP is:

Yay! Jenny, please email me at jennifer (at) jenniferhillier (dot) ca with your mailing address and I’ll get your book to you pronto.

And now, day two of ThrillerFest

I woke up on Saturday morning nervous as hell. I mean, my first book had only just been released 4 days before! And there I was, in NYC, at ThrillerFest with some of the greatest thriller writers in the world, and I had to give a speech at the Debut Author’s Breakfast? In the Grand Hyatt ballroom? At 8 a.m.?

I don’t even like being awake at 8 a.m., let alone speaking, let alone speaking in public, let alone speaking in public in front of a ballroom full of people whose opinions I totally care about.

This was my view of the left side of the room from the panel dais:

And here’s the view of the right side from where I was sitting. And the room wasn’t even filled up yet.

And here are a few of my fellow debuts. From closest to farthest: Hilary Davidson, Ethan Cross, Sandra Brannan, and James Barney. Do they look nervous to you? I didn’t think so, either. Cool cats, these guys.

Sitting on my left was the feisty and fabulous Alma Katsu, author of The Taker, and fellow Gallery Books girl. Alma worked for the CIA for 29 years! Oh, yes. Though she be but little, she is fierce. (Neither of my pics with Alma turned out, so I’m stealing one of hers. Thanks, Alma!)

And another pic of the debut panel:

And here’s a vote of encouragement from Carla Buckley, ITW’s Debut Author Chair and also a nominee for ITW’s Best Debut Novel for her book, The Things That Keep Us Here (I’ve borrowed this photo from Hilary’s Facebook – thanks, Hilary!):

Each of the debut authors were introduced by Kathleen Antrim. Here I am giving my speech! Thanks again to Hilary for the photo. Do I look nervous? I was so nervous.

Clearly I survived my debut author’s speech, since I’m sitting here blogging about it. We had one minute to talk about whatever we wanted. While most authors spoke about their books (a smart choice, obviously), I chose to talk about Jeffery Deaver. His endorsement (which appears on the cover of my book) meant the world to me. The sixty seconds went by faster than I thought it would! Thankfully I did not stutter, faint, or vomit. Whew.

After the debut author speeches were over (there were 21 debuts this year), Douglas Preston gave a short speech.

And then he introduced Karin Slaughter, who gave the keynote address. I loved listening to Karin speak. She was so funny and so real. She talked about how she got started, what it’s like to write for an audience with expectations, what it’s like to be a full-time writer.

After the panel, I was volunteering again. And as luck (or fate?) would have it, they assigned me to be a timekeeper for Jeffery Deaver’s panel, What Lies Are Spies Telling? AWESOME! Yes, I got to talk to Jeffery. And this is more or less how the conversation went:

I approached him, my book in my shaking hand. “Hi, Jeffery.”

Jeffery sipped from his coffee cup and said, “Hello.”

Thrusting – yes, thrusting! – the book toward him, I pointed to my name. “This is me.” And then I pointed to his name. “And this is you.”

(Are you cringing at the stupefying lameness of my introduction? Because you should be.)

Luckily, Jeffery Deaver is a gracious, gracious man, and he smiled and said, “Oh yeah! Creep! Great book. Really suspenseful. I’m glad you got the email.”

“ThankyousomuchI’mahugefanofyourworkandyourquotemeanttheworldtome.” Yes. All one word.

“No problem, it was great read. What are you working on now?”

“The sequel,” I said, trying to smile without scaring him.

“That’s good. Readers love series characters. Good for you.”

And then I went back to my seat. And died.

Later that day, all the debut authors plus the authors from the other morning panels signed at the bookstore. Here’s Alma signing my copy of her book:

And me signing my book for Alma:

And signing some more:

And Hilary signed her book for me. Look who she got to sit next to!

I snagged a picture with super nice author Alan Jacobson, who told me that after 19 years and so many bestsellers, he still reads all his reviews… and yes, the bad ones still sting. Grrrrreat.

And finally, pictures with Jeffery Deaver.

And one with my book next to Jeffery’s new 007 James Bond book, Carte Blanche (which, according to my Gallery editor-in-chief, is “selling like f***ing hotcakes!”):

I know this was a long post, but can I just say this one last thing?

Everything I’ve worked for and everything I’ve been through was worth it for this trip to New York.

I still have stars in my eyes.

Comment on this post and be entered to win a copy of CREEP!

* * *

26 thoughts

  1. Hahaha! You're so funny! Loved your introduction. I think I would have done the same thing.
    And wow, it's so awesome that you got many books signed, and even more AWESOME that YOU signed your books! YAY!!!😀
    And Samantha did a great question, I want to know if you have a video, too!!!


  2. My copy of CREEP arrived yesterday!! Yay. It's so pretty and nice. I can't wait to finish what I'm reading so I can crack that sucker open.

    I am so totally jealous of you getting to meet all those awesome writers and being at Thrillerfest and junk. =op But you deserve every nerve-rattling, heart-soaring, pulse-thumping moment of it. Congratulations again.


  3. Oh, man. Jeffery Deaver, Margaret Atwood, listening to Karin Slaughter speak.

    I thought you told us you were going to NYC?
    Cuz this sounds like heaven to me.

    Big congrats, girl. Continue to ride the wave.


  4. Squee!!! YAY! Thank you!!! I sent the email a minute ago! I'm so excited! I LOVE your photos and it looks like you are in author heaven! 😀 (I'm pretty sure the grammar police are going to come after me for using so many exclamation points, but I'm so excited to have won the book and so excited for you that I don't care! And now they can add “run on sentences” to my list of infractions! lol)


  5. WOW! How exciting for you!

    It's nice living the dream vicariously through you. Your Jeffrey Deaver story was hilarious. My friend, Lisa, is probably drooling over the fact that you got to see/meet her idol, Karin Slaughter.

    Thanks for sharing, Jenniferr!


  6. OMG. Awesome. I loved your post and all the pictures. I'm so glad you had such an amazing time. And you got to meet Mr. Deaver himself! Gosh, if that had been me with say, George R R Martin or Brandon Sanderson, I'd totally be the same way. I get so flustered sometimes.

    But you know what's cool? Right now, you're a debut author. But soon, you'll be a seasoned author, and someday you'll write a blurb for another debut author, and you'll be on the other end of that conversation. 🙂

    What a great journey for you it's been. And so much more to come. I hope you continue to share with us all your writing experiences.

    (BTW – finished Creep last night. It was excellent! Loved it! Thank you again for the ARC!)


  7. Ok, first of all I would have thrown up when I saw the crowd of peeps looking back at I have led meetings with a big crowd at dayjob but for some reason it just seems different in front of a writers. Maybe because I actually care?lol

    LOVE the intro to Jeffery Deaver. He looks pretty serious. You look great and so happy you had a good time and got a chance to do all of that.


  8. “ThankyousomuchI'mahugefanofyourworkandyourquotemeanttheworldtome.” Yes. All one word.

    Someday, someone is going to be saying that to you. : ) Congratulations on a successful trip!


  9. I desperately wanted to make myself sound way cooler during my exchange with Deaver, but I couldn't bring myself to lie. Nothing feels better than blurting all over your favorite author.:/

    Thanks for the comments! ThrillerFest really was an amazing experience.


  10. that's so cool you got to meet jeffrey deaver! and ahhhh i would be so nervous if i had to give a speech to a room that big with so many important people. congrats on doing a great job!🙂 not stuttering/ vomiting is a success in itself.


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