What are some of the issues or trends that came out of the conference? At ThrillerFest, we try to keep innovation foremost in our minds. We included panels that explored the different methods of publication, and we kicked off our very first CareerFest, which focused more on the business aspects of the publishing industry. ITW's mandate is to support all thriller writers, so we try to reach out to everyone from aspiring authors to debut authors to established authors, offering something to each group of writers to help promote their careers. We want our ITW writers to reach their personal goals.
Do you think you could tell the difference between a thriller written 30 years ago and one today? Why? Yes, I believe there is a distinct difference between modern thriller writers and authors who created their novels 30 years ago. In today's world, people have more demands on their time as well as other entertainment options available, like TV, video games, computers. Whereas writers in the past could slowly develop a story and their characters, today's thriller writers need to dive into the action and hook the reader straight away. There are just too many distractions, and thriller writers can't afford to lollygag about when they write stories. That said, I find it fascinating how there are some themes resurging in thrillers that were common 30 years ago. For example, the Cold War had disappeared from thrillers for years, but thanks to Putin, it's back on the forefront again. History is mirroring itself, but in a different form.
What do you love most about helping authors and working in the publishing industry? I have the great privilege of witnessing dreams coming true. Every year, our PitchFest event results in a few writers meeting top agents, signing with a publisher, and becoming a debut ITW author, celebrated at our annual breakfast. It's incredible.
What advice do you have for thriller writers? Put aside your ego and listen to good advice. Be as stubborn as Wiley Coyote. Never quit chasing that Roadrunner, if you want it badly enough. Perseverance will pay off.