So. Thrillerfest was fabulous, New York is fabulous, I have no money left now.
To deal with the first one last then. A three dollar banana? A sixty dollar walk-in manicure? An extra fifty cents for ice in your club soda from a cafe? New York has it all. Plus tax, of course. I'm a great fan of tax, let me say. Paying tax is one of the privileges of living well in a civilised country, but it does drive me gently nuts that a vendor won't tell you how much money you're going to have to hand over (which is all you really care about, right?). Instead, it's a taxi from the airport that's $50 + tolls, a hotel room that's a bargain + 8.875% sales tax, 5.875% city sales tax, $1.50 NYC hotel unit fee and $2 occupancy tax. I'm going to a book event tomorrow. If someone asks me how much the paperbacks are, I think I'll say they're 75 cents + a little something for the bookseller, printer and publisher.
Thrillerfest was worth it. Thrillerfest was wonderful. I met a crowd of inspired and inspiring writers - Kate Brady, Kathleen George, Sandra Brennan, Dani Brown (with an i), Jonathan Maberry, Jim Macomber, Matt Hilton, Steve Forman, Deb Lacy, Rick Helms, Rick Hutto, Karen Nikkel . . . and Willy. Here are some them.
It was great to listen to the keynote speakers - John Lescroart, Karin Slaughter, Ken Follet and the incomparable RL Stine. All were funny, charming, still grateful, still striving, apparently without a shred of ego amongst the lot of them. RL Stine was the biggest surprise of all. I'm going to admit that I didn't know Goosebumps was a series, didn't know Stine was a person. I thought Goosebumps was an imprint and assumed that "RL Stine" was about twenty writers. Nope. He really has written 600 children's novels. I wish I were twelve now. Or maybe I'll just read some of them anyway.
And after the end of Thrillerfest, as an unearned treat, I get two days in one of my favourite places in the world - Manhatten. My hotel window looks out onto this:
My publisher, St Martin's Press, is in here:
And looks out at this:
And perhaps most thrilling of all to a wee girl fae the 'Ferry, I sat next to a scary, skinny woman in a pale green suit who stabbed the buttons on her phone and snarled: 'I biked those affadavits over yesterday'. A sentence I've never snarled in my life, and never will.