The second day of Craftfest was an abbreviated version of the first day. There were formal presentations in the two morning timeslots. I arrived a little late for the first presentation, so I went for a cup of coffee and a quiet location to prepare my pitch for Pitchfest in the afternoon. I knew from attending a past event that conserving your strength was a good idea. During that interlude I had a chance to chat with some fellow attendees which was probably the most valuable part of the event. As a lifelong introvert, I tend not to engage with others too much, so I was able to let my guard down and enjoy a few really good conversations about thrillers and writing in general. I also had the good fortune to meet the head of the volunteers at Thrillerfest, a gentlemen named Walt Gragg. Walt is a very gregarious and generous individual, and I enjoyed my conversation with him that day. Walt will be the subject of a blog post in future weeks. With no disrespect to the presenters I missed that day, my encounters with Walt and several other attendees that day may have been the best part of the entire conference. As I have said numerous times before in other blog posts, networking is very important to a “developing” writer, and I have to do a much better job of practicing what I preach.
I would consider my attendance at Craftfest to be very valuable to me. Every presentation I attended was informative, and well-prepared. All of the presenters were accomplished writers in the thriller genre and were more than willing to share their “secrets”. I was impressed with their skill and self-discipline to accomplish what they did, but I was even more impressed with their willingness to take the time to prepare and share what they have learned with a group of strangers wanting to learn their profession. Many thanks to all involved with such an informative and valuable experience. Yes, it is not cheap to spend several days in New York and attend this conference, but I felt it was worth the money and effort. Let’s see if it helps me to write.