So the Party Winnebago pulled back into the Clubhouse driveway late last night from our adventure at ThrillerFest in Phoenix, Arizona. As we dragged ourselves into the house, we discovered the KY members who stayed behind still up and having a party of their own, empty bottles of Zima everywhere.
Bill, Gregg, and Patry pulled several new bottles out of an ice chest sitting in the middle of the living room as soon as they saw us. They walked…well…weaved over and offered them to us, but we declined. I don’t know about everyone else, but alcohol is not passing my lips for days.
We left the revelers in the living room and went to our own bedrooms. I was dead asleep within ten minutes.
Now a bit about ThrillerFest:
What they tell you in Phoenix when you first get there is “Sure it’s hot, but it’s a dry heat.” Dry or not, I can’t imagine walking on the surface of the Sun could be any more uncomfortable.
Holy crap was it hot! And to make it even more exciting, my room was a good seven-minute walk from the main building. That’s an outside walk. I know that doesn’t sound so horrible, but let me tell you, there was one author who spontaneously combusted halfway to the convention hall. Pity, too. His third book was starting to take off.
I could tell you about the panels (fantastic), or the people (amazing, friendly and welcoming), or even about the thriller community in general (the most supportive, helpful group from top to bottom in probably any genre of fiction), but you can read about those things else. (One note, though. ThrillerFest was the best conference I have ever been to, writing-related or otherwise.)
What I would like to tell you about was the interesting mix of people staying at the Arizona Biltmore that weekend.
As it turns out, we were one of three groups holding conferences at the Biltmore on the exact same days. One group was a Fellowship organization with some kicka…I mean…very good gospel singers. They also had a few very passionate preachers whose voices carried far beyond the confines of the Gold Room where they held their meetings.
The final group was a national sorority with member ranging from those still in college to those who had probably graduated during the Franklin Roosevelt administration.
So while the Fellowships were talking about God, we were talking about the best way to kill a person, and the sorority girls were talking about…hell, I don’t even know what they were talking about. How to make any man feel insignificant?
It’s odd when a group of sorority girls (and by group I mean 500) occupy the middle ground.
Between gospel singing, prayer clinics, girls dressed in tiaras and what looked like bad bridesmaids’ dresses, and the special forces guys walking through the lobby, I imagine it was a pretty interesting weekend to be working at the Biltmore.
The good news is, we all seemed to get along well. No fights broke out, no last rites were delivered. (Yes, I know. Last Rites are a Catholic thing, not Protestant, but it fit my uber funny comparison, okay? So back off.) And the best news…the bar was the near-exclusive zone of ThrillerFest attendees.
A couple of notes about the drive back to the Clubhouse:
After an informal pole, it was decided that Marcus is too good looking. This week we will be putting forth a motion to require Marcus to hire a more “average Joe” stand-in for book signings and to pose for his jacket photo. I doubt there will be more than one vote against.
We also got pulled over by the highway patrol somewhere around 10 p.m. It was CJ’s fault. She was driving like a maniac. Too many Red Bulls. But thankfully Toni was along.
She got out of the Bego and started talking to the officer. By the time I joined her, she was telling him something about a potato launcher and her husband. In the end, the cop was laughing so hard he decided to just give us a warning.
Until next time.
AN IMPORTANT NOTE: I should have included this at the top. But just wanted to say a HUGE thanks to our own Killer Year member CJ Lyons who did a fantastic job as chair of ThrillerFest 2006. She was everywhere, and the hard work she put in paid off. Fantastic.