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  • Writer's pictureggwakem

In A New York Minute, Everything Can Change

It did for me in several ways.

Taking a cab into New York City, I realized it was nothing more than Chicago on steroids. I made that trip to the Windy City so many times while my daughter lived there, it wasn't much different visiting The Big Apple.

On my first day, I walked through Times Square near my hotel, observing life on the street, took an Uber to Central Park, and checked off one thing on my bucket list; lunch at Tavern on the Green.

The experience of hanging out with the author, Mark Greaney, in Masterclass for an entire day was wonderful. He's such a down-to-earth guy, helpful with the classes' first chapters and full of marvellous stories of his own journey to publication. (I want to read every single one of that class's books when they are published. Their first chapters were so intriguing!)

Bonding with the members of the Masterclass on the first day, we sought each other out at mealtimes and cocktail hour. They are kindred souls and, as Diana Gabaldon said in her speech the last night there, " I've met my clan."

I met, attended classes, sat in on interviews, asked questions and learned from so many famous authors and agents who were happy to share their knowledge and experiences. Karen Dionne, D.J. Palmer, Jeffery Deaver, Robert Dugoni, Joseph Finder, R. L. Stine, Donald Maass and Mark Tavani, plus all those who took part in the specific topic discussions.

The guests' spotlights were Diana Gabaldon, Alafair Burke, Joseph Finder, and Veronica Roth in person, and Frederick Forsyth by Zoom.

And then there was the Pitchfest, a stressful event many of us dreaded but ended up exhilarated when the agents we pitched our manuscript to wanted to read them.

I pitched eight and got six to ask for more. That doesn't mean I will get a deal. It only means I have a better chance at it.

I'm home now, tucked into my cubbyhole, applying all the wonderful things I learned at Thrillerfest to my current manuscript, making it tighter, stronger and better.

I can't wait for you to read it.



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