I'm really looking forward to attending Thrillerfest this year. Several of my favorite authors will be there including Anne Rice, Scott Turow, Brenda Novak and so many more. There will be great fiction writing seminars offered including a special seminar given by the F.B.I. for more accurate portrayals in novels. The conference also offers fantastic opportunities to network with agents, editors and other writers and to get autographed copies of books published by your favorite writers. Last year, I had dinner with one of my idols, Jon Land, whose books I used to practically inhale.
I agreed to serve as a volunteer at Thrillerfest this year as I did last year. Volunteering at writers conferences can be really beneficial. It gives you the inside track, affords you more opportunities to meet and interact with the presenting authors, and provides you with a sense of belonging. I enjoyed volunteering last year and am sure I'll enjoy it again this year.
I usually stay at the Thrillerfest host hotel – the Grand Central Hyatt – but this year I'm trying something different. I elected to save $100 plus a night by staying at Pod39. The place has gotten great reviews on Tripadvisor and is not far at all from the conference venue. It's a more modern and trendy hotel with three bars including a swanky rooftop bar that has received a lot of recognition. My sister and I plan to check that out tomorrow.
I checked in a couple of days early intending to lock myself in my room and edit my book “Just Dreams” which is coming out in two weeks. The rooms are tiny even for New York City. They're more like single dorm rooms in size and shape and are certainly not made for two. My father, who dropped me off, said he would feel claustrophobic if he stayed in a room that small. I think he was a little worried about leaving me there because he called later to check up on me. His call found me in one of the bars having a nice glass of Rioja wine. I had gone looking for coffee and ended up having a nightcap.
I sent pictures of my room to my boyfriend. He compared it to a jail cell in terms of size. But jail cells are presumably not as clean and colorful and well-designed. They probably don't have queen-sized beds, flat screen TV's, free Wi-Fi, or private bathrooms with frosted sliding glass doors. The frosted sliding glass bathroom doors are another feature that made me glad not to have company. Who wants an audience in there?
The room actually feels cozy to me. I wish I had a little more desk space to spread out on while I work, but the chair is comfortable and the desk is the right height and the wi-fi signal is great. I also lucked out in the food arena as the hotel is near some very decent reasonably priced restaurants. I picked up a delicious roasted turkey breast, cheese and cranberry sauce sandwich on Italian bread and a cup of split pea soup for lunch for less than $8.00 from Melange Green & Gourmet. For dinner, I had rotisserie chicken, sautéed spinach and roasted potatoes from a small French place called Provence Chicken. The meal was great but the carrot cake was out of this world – perfectly spiced, not too sweet and without the cloying cream cheese frosting it traditionally comes with.
I can't wait until tomorrow. There's a bagel spot around the corner that's gotten some great reviews. Nothing like bagels in New York. Or pizza or Chinese food. Huh. So many experiences, so little time . . . I'll keep you posted.