Jennifer Hillier

ThrillerFest 2011 – Day 2

Jul 15, 2011 | Uncategorized

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.

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