The monsoons have come to Phoenix: towering thunder clouds and psychedelic sunsets, dust storms and distant lightning, and thunderclaps so loud I bolted out of bed at 2:30 a.m. last night wondering who dropped the bombs. Somehow, our wild weather seems like the perfect way to end the first ever conference of the International Thriler Writers, Thrillerfest 2006.
I've attended all kinds of conferences in my various and sundry professional positions, but never, EVER, have I attended one where the camaraderie between attendees was so instant and complete; never, EVER, have I talked so much, laughed so much and slept so little; never, EVER, have I met so many industry stars who were so eager to lend a hand to newbies like me; never, EVER, have I attended a closing conference lunch with so many red-rimmed eyes and gigantic smiles; and never, EVER, have I left so fully and completely inspired on so many levels.
I attended because it was cheap, set in my hometown of Phoenix and I knew I'd get to meet Clive Cussler. I left with 350 new best friends and a brain so full of ideas it's about to explode.
To the founders of the International Thriler Writers and the intrepid organizers of Thrillerfest 2006, a giant thank you!!