My husband, our nephew, and me in New York City
I just got back from four days at ThrillerFest XII in New York City, where I got to learn from--and in many cases talk with--some of the biggest names in the thriller field: David Morrell (who wrote First Blood, on which Rambo was based), Charlaine Harris (mastermind behind True Blood), Val McDermid (best known for her psychologist character Tony Hill), Gayle Lynd (one of the few highly successful women in the spy thriller genre), and this year's ThrillerMaster honoree, Lee Child (creator of Jack Reacher), to name a few. (When signing a copy of a book for me, Lee noticed my nametag and asked, in his wonderful British baritone, "Is that your real name?" When I told him it was, he said, "That is a fantastic name." I told him he should feel free to use it in an upcoming Jack Reacher novel.)
I got to chat briefly with the always-gracious C. J. (Chuck) Box, author of the Joe Pickett novels. (Detective Joe Booth in THE SENSE OF DEATH and THE SENSE OF RECKONING is an homage to Joe Pickett.) Chuck retained his graciousness throughout one panel discussion during which the moderator repeatedly referred to him as "Joe."
I also had the pleasure of speaking with Lisa Scottoline, the most generous author I've ever met in terms of reader engagement, and (my fan girl moment) with Michael Koryta, author of psychological suspense novels like So Cold the River. My buddy Sherry Knowlton got to sit next to Michael at the author signing. I'm jealous.