I am a big believer in the power of personal contact, and really agree with Woody Allen that showing up is 80% of the battle. I also am a writer and overcoming my basic desire to stay inside and write is the real war that I fight. Once I actually get off my chair and get there, I am fine, and can even enjoy myself.
I recently forced myself to attend the ASJA conference in New York City, and ended finding the publicist I am going to use for my new novel, The Book of Zev, and the photographer who took the photo for the back cover, Mark Bennington (http://www.benningtonphotography.com/)
So Why Thrillerfest?
Since it seems that BoZ is a thriller, and my new publicist pointed out that since I had never been a thriller writer before, I should get my butt over there and check it out, so that’s what I am doing. But as I said, it’s hard for me, especially if I am not teaching at the event. I have taught at many conferences, mostly screenwriting ones, so at least I have something specific to do. This time I am attending as a student to see what I can learn.
After thinking about all the reasons not to go, I decided after all that it would be foolish not to, and so I am attending for several reasons:
- To get a sense of the playing field in this new world.
- To pitch my book as a possible movie.
- To pitch my upcoming book to try to find a better situation.
- To see if I can find some new colleagues to network with – writing is such a lonely business.
- To take classes with masters of the genre.
Another reason I am going is to support one of my private students who is writing her first thriller. I convinced her to go in order to pitch her story to the agents and publishers who will be there to see if we can get enough interest to put together a book proposal (look for future blogs on this topic) and maybe get her a deal and an advance before the book is written. While the book is not yet finished, she has a compelling concept and a few chapters that are already written and in decent shape.
Should Screenwriters Attend?
I asked myself, why I as a screenwriter might attend?
Here are a few reasons:
- Some of the most successful movies have been adapted from books.
- To see if they can hire me to adapt some writer’s thriller into a screenplay.
- To learn about the craft of this genre from the best. Suspense transfers to the screenplay form.
- Access to literary and film agents who might read a screenplay in this genre.
While Thrillerfest is not cheap, I always feel that investing in your career can never be a mistake. Hope to see you there!
Here’s to your successful and happy writing,
Copyright(c)2014 Marilyn Horowitz