I Love Thrillerfest, and It Loves Me? One Valuable Lesson about Agents.

A few days late, life has been crazy. But as per usual, attending¬†ITW’s Thrillerfest this year was nothing short of amazing.

Everyone is so nice and helpful, It’s awesome how supportive the writing community is of other writers, especially authors trying to break into the field.

So as I mentioned, I attended Pitchfest this year for the first time. With F. Paul Wilson‘s help turning my pitch into something people would actually want to hear, I threw myself at the speed dating bonanza that is the search for an agent. The awesome news, 7 agents were interested in my story and wanted to read some or all of it! Now I sit and hope the love the story as much as they love the pitch, hahaha.

In the meantime, I’m going to keep editing, and take the lessons I learned to heart. There’s one that kept resounding out like a bell amongst the din:

Don’t settle for an agent. An agent is like a relationship, the two of you have to be on the same page, so to speak. The right agent for you should love your story like you do, and shouldn’t be asking you to change it in such a way that alters the story the way you want it to be told. (Within reason)

It’s pretty reassuring to hear. While asking questions at the conference, I keep hearing people say “no one knows what the market is going to do, so just write what you love and if it’s good enough it will be successful.”

It’s true though. One minute everyone loves vampires, then zombies, then steampunk, yadda yadda yadda, everything changes so fast don’t bother trying to write for the market.

Also, I’m realizing how viable Self-Publishing is lately. It was awesome to learn about it, because it gave you the feeling if you learned how to market well (and had a good story, obviously) you could find your own success even if you didn’t get picked up. I’ll get more into that another time, though.

-Evan Pickering

Looking forward to ITW’s Thrillerfest/Pitchfest in NYC!

Every year around this time, ITW (International Thriller Writers) has a downright awesome conference in NYC called Thrillerfest. I look forward to it year round, honestly.

This year, I’m attending Pitchfest, (which is tomorrow) a speed-dating book-pitching agent-meeting bonanza! I didn’t even know it existed until this past year, which is probably just as well because my MS,¬†Hood, was not nearly where I wanted it to be at that time. Basically, if you have a completed manuscript and want to try your hand at pitching it to seemingly endless numbers of agents, this is the place.

So yeah, I’m pretty amped about it. I’ve prepped everything, been working on my pitch, (which I’m sure is still a work in progress, like everything) and am trying to keep my head from exploding in anticipation.

If any of you folks are going to ITW Thrillerfest 2015, feel free to let me know, or say hi to me while I’m there! There’s a picture of me on my about page over yonder. I’m just about the friendliest guy around, and love chatting with other writers or editors or whoever you may be.

So yeah, I’ll be there, trying not to explode from excitement, trying to soak in knowledge from whoever I can. Good luck to any of you fine folks attending!

-Evan Pickering