"A writer's conference...well, sort of..."
I've never been a huge fan of organized travel tours.
You know, eat when you're told, sleep when you're told, get off the bus and shop when you're told, use the bathroom when you're told.
For me, most of the fun and adventure of travel is getting lost and emersing yourself in the customs and lifestyles of the foreign destination you've landed in.
The same can be said of writers conferences.
I generally avoid them because it's one of those things where you have to be "on" all the time and subject to a schedule. You know, kind of like hanging out at the in-laws for the weekend. Anyone who's ever been married or close to me knows that I abhor schedules. I haven't had a proper job in almost two decades and when it comes to being on-time or one of the go-with-the-flow guys during the weekend college buddy get-together-on-the-golf-course, I can be relied upon about as much as the location of the next funnel cloud. I don't golf. It's too boring.
Ok, that said, I am however looking forward to this year's Thrillerfest in NYC, ITW's featured annual event of some pretty heavy hitting thriller writers. Naturally some of the attraction is NYC itself. The concrete jungle is one of my homes. I'm going to be speaking on the panel for "Foreign Destinations" at 3:00PM on Saturday, and I have a lunch set up with an editor on Friday, plus my publisher will be there, but otherwise, I will look forward to hanging at the bar with a bunch of other cool writers, and taking in some awesome restaurants, like Deux Amis on 51st street and second ave tonight.
This is a great year of change not only for writers but publishers, agents and marketing people also. So no doubt there will be some pretty lively discussions about our future. Things are so hot right now in the industry I wouldn't doubt it if some tempers begin to flair. But I would imagine all arguments will be friendly. Unlike visual artists, writers always seem to be in competition with one another, but organizations like ITW (and believe me, I usually stay away from organizations or any kind, including religious, academic and political) have a real benign way of bringing everyone together for a good cause and good time.
So "solidarity" is the word of the weekend at this year's ThrillerFest!!!!
More to come tomorrow when I will no doubt be nursing one of several anticipated hangovers!
Ciao Ciao for now!