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One thing you can count on is that the team at ThrillerFest will find a way to keep things interesting. This year, the annual ITW conference will include a cocktail party called FanFest that will allow authors to give back to their readers in a unique way.  ITW’s VP of Marketing, M.J. Rose, created the event, and shares her thoughts about the premiere,

“ThrillerFest is a great conference, but how could we make it greater?  How could we fashion an event that would make our members look like heroes to their fans?  That members could use as a marketing tool?  Our idea—FanFest, the prize authors could offer in contests on their blogs, newsletters, Facebook pages, and Twitter.  A way to get attention in the best way—by rewarding our most ardent fans.”

Scheduled for Friday, July 12, 2013 from 6:00-8:00pm, FanFest offers authors a chance to invite their readers to a signing and cocktail party that features not only their favorite thriller writers, but some of the most recognized names in the Thriller world. Look for Steve Berry, Lee Child, Joe Finder, Heather Graham, Andrew Gross, John Lescroart, and R.L. Stine, just to name a few.

Co-President Kathleen Antrim comments, “At ThrillerFest, we’re all about having a wonderful time with our readers, and the addition of FanFest takes fun to a whole new level!  It’s going to be a fantastic party.”

If you’ve attended writing conferences before, then you know that finding a group of authors together in one area is often tough to do. Well, the hotel bar is one place you might catch more than usual, but by no means is a “sighting” guaranteed. At FanFest, it will be.

The joy of Thrillerfest is that it’s located in New York City and because a big chunk of the publishing industry is also there, the conference is packed with agents, editors, publishers, and authors. While this is one of the best aspects of the conference, it also can lead to lots of appointments for the authors. I know that after the panels for the day are done, I’m often off-site at dinners with my agent or editor, and I suspect so are a lot of the other authors. By creating FanFest, ITW will keep the buzz going.

Avery Ames (The Cheese Shop Mysteries) shares,

“It’s a great way to offer my readers an opportunity to mingle with some of their favorite authors in a relaxed setting.“

Hank Philippi Ryan, (THE OTHER WOMAN) agrees,

“I see it as a way to give something back to my readers. It’s rare, or even impossible, to get this many thriller writers in one room under other circumstances.”

Richard Bard began his career as an indie author and his third novel (BRAINRUSH) will launch with the Thomas and Mercer imprint just a week before the ITW conference, so he’ll have a lot to celebrate. Contacted by email, he said,“I can’t wait to share a toast with them at the party. Fun!”

Andrew Gross (NO WAY BACK) echoed a lot of the comments when he said I’m local, and it’s a nice way to both reward fans who will be thrilled to be in such favorite author company, and also open Thrillerfest to a broader audience.”

And as Vincent Zandri (MURDER BY MOONLIGHT) notes:

“Authors rely (on) readers. Loyal readers…the relationship between author and reader is one of the most special and precious ever devised, and now with FanFest, we have a chance to give back just a little.”

In addition to the cocktails and mingling, there will be a signing and specially created swag bags for the attendees.  We’re also excited that SIRIUS radio hosts Kim Alexander and Maggie Linton and their fans will be joining us.

Because a host has a limited number of readers they can invite, I asked the participating authors how they were intending to offer their available spaces.  Most are looking to do a combination of Facebook sweepstakes and email contests, but the funniest answer had to be from Daniel Palmer, (STOLEN) son of Michael Palmer and a fine thriller writer in his own right.

I was going to host a gladiatorial type competition—the last five people standing could come. Surprisingly, that idea didn’t get a very large response. So, I was thinking about asking my social media followers to email me if they want to come, and then I’d pick the winners using a random number generator. Not very creative, I know.

Maybe not as electrifying as a fight to the finish, but definitely safer!


Kimberley Howe has the honor of winning three Daphne du Maurier awards for Excellence in Mystery and Suspense and numerous other writing awards. She works as a medical, health, and fitness writer, excellent training ground for research and answers to countless Jeopardy questions.

Travel and adventure are her passions. She has had the pleasure of riding racing camels in Jordan, learning how to surf in Hawaii, hanging upside down on the zipline in the Costa Rican jungle, swimming with Great White Sharks in South Africa, and working with elephants in Botswana. Home is in Toronto, Canada, but she is often missing in action!

To learn more about Kimberley, please visit her website.


Jamie Freveletti is the internationally bestselling and ITW and Barry award winning author of four thrillers in her Emma Caldridge series and her latest, DEAD ASLEEP, hit #1 on Amazon. She also writes for Robert Ludlum’s Covert One series, titled THE JANUS REPRISAL. She lives in Chicago.

To learn more about Jamie, please visit her website.


Participating Authors:

Avery Ames

Kim Alexander

Axel Avian

Richard Bard

Steve Berry

Diane Capri

Joseph Finder

Heather Graham

Andrew Gross

Peter James

John Lescroart

Maggie Linton

D. P. Lyle

Daniel Palmer

Michael Palmer

Brad Parks

W. Craig Reed

W. Craig Reed

M.J. Rose

Hank Phillippi Ryan

R.L. Stine

Simon Toyne

Larry D. Thompson

F. Paul Wilson

Jeff Wilson

Vincent Zandri


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