It's Time to Get Your Thriller on -- at ThrillerFest X

07/10/2015 05:30 pm ET Updated Jul 09, 2016

For many interested in the book publishing industry, conferences are some of the best ways to keep up with the changes occurring in this field, get the latest inside information about new technologies and new upcoming publications, and keep in contact with existing colleagues and meet new ones.

Whether you are an author or a writer who is writing a book or an industry professional involved in some way with publishing a book, industry conferences are the place to be to leverage your time, money and efforts to catch up with everything to do with books.

This week, ThrillerFest X is underway in New York City from July 7 - 11, 2015, at the Grand Hyatt Hotel located at 109 East 42nd Street, New York, NY 10017. This conference in particular captures the attention of various facets of the thriller book writing profession from every perspective.

From MasterCraft classes to CraftFest and a PitchFest, and from publishing and self-publishing a book to publishers, writing peers, agents and best-selling authors, ThrillerFest X has kicked off with a bang.

ThrillerFest is the annual conference of the International Thriller Writers organization, a group that includes over 3,000 members in 28 countries with nearly 3 billion books in print.

"All thriller enthusiasts are welcome at ThrillerFest, a conference that prides itself on both its friendliness and professionalism. Aspiring authors join us to learn from the phenomenal teachers at CraftFest and to pitch their stories to the over 50 top agents we host at PitchFest. We also have best-selling authors from both realms of publishing, indie and traditional. Bottom line is that we support all thriller authors across the globe. As a not-for-profit organization, we're very grateful to all our sponsors, including Writers House, TOR/Forge, Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press, HarperCollins, Kensington Publishing Corp., Oceanview Publishing, Grand Central Publishing, Kindle Direct Publishing, Suspense Magazine, BookTrib, BookCase TV, Barnes & Noble, and many more. We have a large group of people who come back time and again because this 'summer camp for writers' is the highlight of their year, as they are among friends who share a similar passion for all things thrilleresque," said Kimberely Howe, Executive Director of ThrillerFest.

Some writers who are just starting out may feel intimidated at a large conference like this. David Morrell, one of the co-founders of ThrillerFest and the International Thriller Writers organization and the #1 best-selling author of books including First Blood, the inspiration for the Rambo films, thinks you shouldn't be. "When I was starting as a writer, one of my mentors (screenwriter Stirling Silliphant) told me that the secret was to write, write, write, and then write some more. Eventually I'd find other people interested in writing and we'd help one another. In the end, if I had something of worth to offer, I'd meet someone in a position to help me. It's that simple and that terribly difficult, he said. ITW's CraftFest/ThrillerFest makes the latter two opportunities abundantly available, bringing like-minded authors together and at the same time allowing them to meet top agents and editors. It's a rare opportunity of a sort that I wish had been available to me when I began."

When you build a career in any industry, it is important to get into the thick of things and learn as much as you can about the business activities involved so you can become more of an insider as opposed to just a spectator. This is what ThrillerFest X holds in store for you. It iss your way to get into the game of thriller writing.

If you are curious what it is like behind the scenes in this industry, ThrillerFest X is the place to be this week. It provides a space and place for everything related to how to write your book, how to publish it, and book marketing tools, communities and publications that continue to promote and present the platforms of these types of novelists and their books we love to read.

"There is no conference like CraftFest/ThrillerFest! Because it's located in New York City, long considered the heart of publishing, and the genre is such a popular one, ThrillerFest attracts a large number of editors and agents--some of the best in the business. It's a fabulous place to learn about the craft of writing and how to market one's work. It's also the perfect place to make key contacts, not only with agents and editors, but with other authors. The networking at this conference can be invaluable. I just sold a four-book suspense series to an editor I met at ThrillerFest last year, and I honestly believe she might not have been as excited about my work if we hadn't made that connection," said #1 best-selling author Brenda Novak, the Silver Bullet Award recipient at ThrillerFest 2014.

One of the best parts of ThrillerFest for many writers is their access to those novelists they'd love to meet and talk with about how they made it in this often challenging profession. ThrillerFest gives writers this unique opportunity to get that access they're seeking and learn from them. "The writers I met at CraftFest/ThrillerFest regarded it as immensely worthwhile. Obviously, there's some excitement for would-be's in rubbing elbows with people who've succeeded in doing what they hoped to. The reality of it is often an important form of encouragement but there is also a great deal of good discussion about the techniques and marketing of thriller fiction," said Scott Turow, #1 best-selling author and ThrillerFest's 2014 ThrillerMaster.

This year, the International Thriller Writers organization will be honoring Nelson DeMille as their 2015 ThrillerMaster and Kathy Reichs as their 2015 Silver Bullet Award winner. Other spotlight guests include Mark Billingham, Charlaine Harris, Greg Iles as well as many other best-selling authors who come to help fellow writers learn how to master this fun craft.

It is this penchant for thriller books that keeps us coming back for more at ThrillerFest year after year. This year celebrates the tenth year for this popular conference which features sessions and discussions chock full of good advice and great opportunities to connect.

Conferences continue to help you learn how you can use your book as your hook to increase and enhance your larger platform for your ideas and writing career. They also get you in the right place at the right time to meet the right people in your genre.