The Big Apple

I used to go to at least three conferences a year. Since Covid hit, I’ve only been to one–a local conference called Creatures, Crimes & Creativity held in my hometown of Columbia, Maryland.

This year I’m going back to some of my faves. First up was ThrillerFest. Until this year, it’s regularly been held at the Grand Hyatt in NYC. But the Grand Hyatt has crossed the rainbow bridge, and the conference had to find another venue. Since they needed a big hotel, they contracted with the Sheraton New York Times Square. For some weird reason, there’s a lot of outdoor decorating in the city with artificial flowers. It does make a pretty first impression.

I hated the Grand Hyatt. The Sheraton has a couple of big advantages over its predecessor–the garage is attached to the hotel, so you can wheel your luggage right over. And they have a high-tech elevator system. You punch the number of your floor into a keypad, and a display tells you what car to take. That speeds things up a lot. On the downside, the conference facilities are on three separate floors–two below the lobby and one above. Trying to find where you are supposed to be is a challenge. Next time perhaps they will print maps in the conference program. (Hint hint!) And then there’s the restaurant. Would you believe it closes at 2:00 pm? If you want food later than that, you must go to the bar. Luckily there are a lot of restaurants in the vicinity, like a good but fairly expensive deli right across the street. And that’s next to Rosie O’Grady’s–also good.

I suppose because of Covid, conference attendance was a bit low, with only about 700 people. But the programing was good.

Diana Gabaldon was a ThrillerMaster. Kind of strange because, as she said when she accepted her award, she’s not a thriller writer.

Here she is being interviewed by Heather Graham.

Some of my favorite authors were there. Here’s Gregg Hurwitz.

I also enjoyed Jeffery Deaver’s panel.

One of the big perks of the Sheraton is that it’s near Time Square and the Theater District. When I read a review of POTUS, or Behind Every Great Dumbass Are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, I told Norman to get tickets. We scored my favorite seats, right in the middle of the first row of the mezzanine, with a great view of the stage and no one in front of us. It’s at the Shubert Theatre, one of the great old Broadway venues with gorgeous decoration. The only downside is that the stairs are pretty steep.

The staging was imaginative, featuring rooms in the White House on a turntable, so the scene could switch quickly.

We went to the play on the Sunday after ThrillerFest. Now I’m thinking we should go a few days early and take in more plays. Or maybe we can just drive up for a few days in the fall and go theater hopping.

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About Rebecca York

NY Times & USA Today best-seller, Rebecca York, is the author of over 150 books. She has written paranormal romantic thrillers for Berkley and romantic thrillers for Harlequin Intrigue. Her romantic-suspense series, Decorah Security, is set at a detective agency where agents have paranormal powers or work paranormal cases. She also writes an Off-World series where each story is a science fiction romance taking place on a distant planet in the far future.  She also writes the Unbound series for Changeling Press.  View website

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