I'm back from New York, my suitcases heavier with dozens of books and some ridiculously fly tumblers that Friends of the Blog Kipp and Kylie got me to celebrate my nominatedness.
In fact, we were all set to toast my shiny new trophy... except someone else won it. That someone was Joe Hill, son of an obscure 20th-Century writer named Stephen King. It was OK, though: I got two free drinks (thanks, Oceanview Press!), met a bunch of fascinating people and heard David Baldacci tell a Dick Cheney joke. And that was just the awards banquet.
I went to several breakout sessions at the convention, and although they were all useful and interesting, only one of them featured body armor, a bomb-sniffing dog and a grenade launcher. Andrew Peterson deserves all the credit in the world for making the photo below possible:
Moving from cool stuff to cool people, I met pillars of the writing community like Karen Dionne, discovered that both Sean Chercover and I are useless without coffee in the morning, and learned a vital state secret while having cocktails with Brent Ghelfi. Hell, Shane Gericke took the picture above. If that doesn't underscore the sheer badassery of Thrillerfest, I don't know what does.
I learned a lot. I drank a lot. I had a lot of fun.
And hey--that's what writing is all about, with or without the trophies.