Sunday, July 02, 2006

Dry Heat, My Ass

I learned a lot of things this past weekend at Thrillerfest. I learned some valuable techniques for writing dialogue from David Morrell. From James O. Born, I learned what cops really say when they draw weapons on a suspect (contrary to what you may think from the movies, it is not "FREEZE MOTHERFUCKER!") I learned that Lee Child really is as cool and laid back as everyone says. I learned how to pronounce John Lescroart's last name. But the biggest thing I learned is that I apparently spend WAAAAY too much time on the Internet. At least a dozen people came up to me, read my nametag, and said "hey, I know you from (blog name)." And it was all different blogs.

But at least that's how I got to meet face to face with the extremely funny Stephen Blackmoore, Mike MacLean, Lee Goldberg, Ali Karim, Toni McGee Causey, Elaine Flinn (who totally kicks ass, BTW), Janine Wilson from Seattle Mystery Bookstore, the Divine Miss Sarah (Weinman), and many many more.

I also had a great time hanging out with Irish thriller writer Pat Mullan, who shared a wealth of one-liners, funny stories and fascinating information about the new Ireland.

My nomination for Best Panel has to be the one moderated by Steve Berry on "Sex and Booze in Thrillers" which featured Barry Eisler, M.J. Rose, and the aforementioned John Lescroart. Not only was it a fun and informative panel, they provided Screaming Orgasms for everyone (that's a drink, in case you didn't know). In fact, that may be my nomination for Best. Panel. Ever.

A major thanks to all the volunteers who helped make the conference run so smoothly, including my buddy Chris Everheart, who I met at Mayhem in Omaha and who's got a hell of a future ahead of him as a writer.

Thanks as well to Blake "Ringo" Crouch, J.J. and Bette Lamb, Louise Ure, and David "It's An Honor Just to Be Nominated" Terrenoire for making our Sunday morning panel a success. And thanks, of course, to the fans and fellow authors who turned up at that ungodly hour to hear us.

On the subject of fans, Lee Goldberg talks on his blog about how it seemed more of a writers' convention than a fan con. I'll grant that there was a smaller fan to author ratio than you see at some others. Since everything was so well run and so professsional, it's easy to forget that this was, after all, a new organization putting on its first con. Give the word of mouth time to spread. And I did get to meet and/or hang out with some great fans, such as the incomparable Annie Chernow, Rae Helmsworth, and my newest buddy from Charlotte, Ruth Castleberry.

The Arizona Biltmore, where the conference was held, is a wonderful place. The architecture by Frank Lloyd Wright combines the familiar with the slightly strange.The end effect, however, is very peaceful and subdued, sort of like a monastery on Mars. At least till I got to the bar. The service was impeccable and the food was great, if insanely overpriced. I mean, really...$12.75 for a Reuben? It was a helluva good Reuben, don't get me wrong, but dayum.

I've been to a lot of conventions this year, and my credit card balance shows it. I may have to cut back some in 2007 unless I start making Dan Brown money. Even so, I'm keeping Thrillerfest on the short list.


23 comments:

Rae said...

It was worlds of fun hanging out with you, too. (And with Mr. Terrenoire ;-) Great setting, great people, great conference. The memory that's sticking with me is how ready everyone was to just relax and have a good time. The organizers did a fabulous job, and I can't wait for next year.....

Kim said...

Ok you son of a bitch...you don't mention me at all!! You know better than to get a Texas girl pissed off now. Seriously, had a blast hanging out with you, hope to see you again,

JD Rhoades said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

I found several of the talks fascinating. The Special Ops section was terrific.

James O. Born's talk was easily the most entertaining but also very informative. He should take that act on the road.

Doug Preston is a very interesting guy.

Lee Child is cool.

C.L.

Janine said...

Great meeting you & the "It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated" Terrenoire. Loved the Sunday morning revival feel of your panel, too....

JD Rhoades said...

Can I get one more A-men!?

David Terrenoire said...

I will give you an a-men just as soon as I get a-nap.

It'll take a day or two to recuperate from the weekend which means I had great fun.

I'll be posting pictures as soon as I can figure out how to get the darn film out of this fancy new camera.

JD Rhoades said...

Ummm...dude, I think it's a digital.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Had a great time hanging out with you over the weekend.

I swear, between you and Terrenoire it felt like walking the dark side of the Andy Griffith show. Mayberry: CSI.

My only regret, and I never thought I would say this in a million years, is that North Carolina is so goddamn far from California.

Hope to see you again soon. Glad you made it home in one piece.

JD Rhoades said...

Ok you son of a bitch...you don't mention me at all!!

Permit me to introduce our newest Hellion, the Texas Spitfire Kim Mizar-Stem.

Now don't hurt me, Kim. Please. At least not till you've bought me dinner first.

Kim said...

Of course I would buy you dinner first....what kind of a girl do you think I am?? (Never mind, don't answer that!)

Stephen Blackmoore said...

I think it's not a question of what kind of girl he thinks you are, but rather what kind of girl he hopes you are.

Toni McGee Causey said...

(Still stalking you...)

It was great fun meeting you... gives me a better idea of who my target is. (heh)

(hey, next time, I'll buy a round and we'll actually sit and have a conversation for longer than five minutes)

Mike MacLean said...

I seriously think the “Sunday Morning Service” gave the “Sex in Thrillers” panel a run for its money. TESTIFY! If you guys served drinks you might’ve been able to edge them out. But drinking at 9 am is a little hard core.
Thanks for the laughs JD you and Terrenoire should go on the road. If anyone out there didn’t catch them at Thriller Fest try to do so at the next conference.

There are a few pictures on my temporary blog for anyone who was interested

Lee Goldberg said...

Don't get me wrong -- I thought it was a great convention. One of the best I've been to. The bikini babe sorority girls were a big plus. I think all future Thrillerfest organizers should coordinate things so the fest coincides with sorority girl gatherings in hot, sunny places.

JD Rhoades said...

Tell it, Brother Lee!

donna kuyper said...

You were so good Sunday morning I was about to call The Fellowship in.

I had so much fun Sat night - you are one great dancer.

Annie said...

Hey, Dusty.. It was great seeing you again! And since no one has ever referred to me as 'incomparable' before, as far as I'm aware, I just might have to pre-order a coupla half dozen of your next book. :)

Loved Thrillerfest and it would not have been nearly such a grand weekend without the excellent company of yourself, Stephen B, David T, and Pat M. You guys rock...

Annie
xo

Elizabeth said...

J.D., my only regret about Thrillerfest? i didn't get to talk to you more!!

Louise Ure said...

Okay, I'm now and for the rest of my life a dyed-in-the-wool follower of the Dusty Church of Rhoades. Thank you for your able (and wonderfully laughable) spiritual guidance at the Sunday morning panel.

Stephen's reference to the Terrenoire-Rhoades duo as the "dark side of the Andy Griffith show" says it all.

Pat Mullan said...

Dusty,

At the risk of pissing off all my Yankee friends, hanging out with you convinced me that the South should have won the war!

I had a hell of a time with you and David (otherwise known as the 'fucking nominee' and Stephen and Annie ) - and then there was Kim (see I mentioned you! How could one forget a Real Live Texas Girl - seeing that so many of us Irishmen died at the Alamo for you all!)

I'm still here -in New York, off to Boston tomorrow - back to Ireland by the 18th ...

Great conference, good fun, and the best of 'craic'!

Slan, Pat.

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