The National Writing Examiner had an opportunity to talk with author Bill Powers concerning his experiences with the ITW (International Thriller Writers). We asked him a short set of questions and these are his informative answers:
NWE: We hear you are attending The Big Thrill of the ITW, what are your expectations for this event?
BP: ThrillerFest is being held this year 8 -12 July 2014 at the Grand Hyatt in New York (this is the venue each year). ThrillerFest is a five-day celebration of thriller books, the authors who write them, and the fans who read them.
It is broken into three major segments:
- CraftFest: an intensive series of hour-long classes taught by some of the biggest names in the thriller business. These courses cover everything from your opening sentence to marketing your finished product. You’ll learn how to pitch your manuscripts to agents and editors. You’ll get tips on working efficiently and smoothly. You’ll be taught everything worth knowing about writing thrillers.
- PitchFest: the world’s largest gathering of top literary agents looking for the Next Big Thing. Think of speed-dating for literary agents. Each writer gets 15 minutes with an agent to pitch their story.
- ThrillerFest: a series of author led panels and is intended for both authors and readers.
This year I am focusing on CraftFest and looking forward to classes on Writing about the White House, President & Secret Service, Firearms, Developing Characters, and many others.
NWE. How is it to be a member of the ITW? What are the perks?
BP: In addition to attending ThrillerFest, members also get to advertise in the ITW online magazine and newsletter, we gain access to classes, and access to the debut author program. We also interact with some of the biggest name thriller authors.
After last year’s CraftFest, I was able to take a full day thriller writing class with Steve Berry!
NWE: You attended ITW's conference last year, how was that?
BP: Last year Anne Rice and Steve Berry were honored. This year Scott Turow and Brenda Knovak will be honored.
Also, last year the ITW ran a half-day session with a limited number of authors at NY FBI Headquarters. The FBI developed a program for screenwriters several years ago to help them “get it right”, and have expanded that program to novelist. We got to hear about White Collar Crime, the Joint Terrorism Taskforce, Cybercrime, and Organized Crime. Believe me, there are some scary folks out there trying to do some horrible things to us.
NWE: Are you anticipating anything new this season?
BP: At this year’s ThrillerFest, again I am focusing on CraftFest and on improving my basic thriller writing skills in order to sharpen my writing. You get to meet writers along the whole spectrum from beginners who are unpublished to best selling authors. Surprisingly, some of the nicest authors I have met at ThrillerFest are some of the top names in writing, such as Vince Flynn who I met several years ago, Steve Berry and Harlan Coben.
NWE: How long have you been a published author?
BP: My first novel, The Pharm House, a medical suspense/thriller came out last year, so I have been a published author for just about one year now.
NWE: Are you working on a new novel?
BP: I am working on a new novel. It is a follow-up to The Pharm House. After that I may write a political thriller.
NWE: Thank you Mr. Powers for providing a glimpse into the world of thriller writing and ITW's ThrillerFest, come back for a follow-up post-event.
BP: I'd be happy to interview again and thank you to the National Writing Examiner for providing this opportunity to share my experiences. The ITW is truly an exciting organization designed for the thriller writer.
NWE: Where can readers gain access to your title?
The Pharm House is also available on AMAZON and soon to be re-released through BookMasters, the publisher is working out the details. Additionally, an audiobook is coming in the future along with a trailer release in time for July and the ITW ThrillerFest.
Take a moment to visit me at any of the following social media and websites:
I have to thank my publisher, DonnaInk Publications L.L.C., a small woman-owned publishing house, who has taught me a lot during the past year. While some things take more time than I'd hope due to the size of this start-up publisher, I am realizing my literary dreams. Their motto is: Delivering readers' and authors' dreams one book at a time because books are eternal. And, my dreams are being fulfilled. Thankfully, readers' dreams too because The Pharm House is heading toward an Indie Excellence Award and I'm grateful readers enjoy my debut novel.
NWE: Congratulations Mr. Powers this is exciting news and you should be proud. After reading, The Pharm House NWE is certain you'll be a winner in the National Indie Excellence Awards for 2014.
Thank you again for taking time from your busy calendar to interview with NWE today.
Readers . . . visit Mr. Power's websites and get your hands on a copy of, The Pharm House. You are going to really enjoy this novel, it is a well-written classic whodunnit that touches on the underbelly of the pharmaceutical industry, which is relevant to us all. Just remember ~ it's fiction! The characters portrayed are NOT real!
About the Author:
Bill Powers worked in pharmaceutical R&D (Johnson & Johnson) for 26 years, rising to the position of Vice President of Global Preclinical Development. In various management roles, Bill led groups of scientist in the US, Europe and Asia; administered multimillion dollar budgets and was instrumental in the successful development of several marketed pharmaceutical products.
Bill has a Ph.D. in Toxicology and is a Diplomat of the American Board of Toxicology. He has published numerous abstracts, articles and book chapters on various topics in toxicology.
He has traveled extensively in the US, Europe and Asia, leading research groups in Belgium and Mumbai, India.
Bill is married, has one adult child and one brother.
Bill’s love of words and books started in childhood, stimulated by parents who were both teachers. A voracious reader, he enjoys both fiction (R. Pearson, S. White, J. Patterson, H. Coben, D. Baldacci, S. Berry, etc.) and biographies (Lincoln, Grant, T. Roosevelt, J.P. Morgan, etc.). Now that he has moved away from his industrial career, he plans to aggressively pursue his passion of becoming a published fictional author.