Thursday, July 19, 2007


Posted by James O. Born

Last week I attended Thrillerfest in New York. I had a great time at Thrillerfest in Scottsdale, Arizona, so I looked forward to this year’s event. One of the advantages to the New York local was that I got to meet with my publishers and agent. In fact, one of the highlights of the trip was a party at the Jane Rotrosen agency where my family and I wolfed down sushi with other clients. The office and weather were both beautiful and I felt lucky to have an agent like Meg Ruley. She rocks.

I had my camera and ended up taking three photos. All of my daughter or me and her. This is us in front of the famous Flatiron building. Sorry I don’t have any of the conference.

I was on two panels Saturday morning. I was the “Panel Master” of the first one dealing with villains. Being the moderator is a lot of pressure. You have to keep things moving and take the blame if the panel sucks. I was lucky and got a good group which included the fabulous Robin Burcell, Robert Fate and J.D. Rhoades.

Now, Dusty Rhoades is a friend of mine and I knew to expect the unexpected but this is the bio he sent me to read as an introduction:

J.D. Rhoades never knew his parents; he was found abandoned on the steps of a cut-rate Filipino tax preparation service in Slidell, La. As a child, he was bounced around between a series of orphanages, reformatories and opium dens. His first brush with the law came when he shot a man in Reno just to watch him die. He was seven years old at the time.

He first turned to drugs at the age of five, when he discovered you could get high by snorting Nestle’s Quik through a rolled up copy of Highlights magazine. Since then, he claims to have ingested marijuana, peyote, heroin, psilocybin, uppers, downers, screamers, laughers, dried banana peels, glue, paste, mucilage, LSD, DMT, STP, ABC, CNN, TLC, Sterno, Drano, Bondo, Ketamine, Dopamine, glucosamine, Ovaltine, and Krispy Kreme.

He decided to turn his life around after he did all of the above in the same night. He woke up two weeks later, hanging upside down by his knees from a tree limb in Duluth, Minn., singing an Aria from “Die Fledermaus.” In German. And he doesn’t even speak German. That’s how JD rolls, baby.

He once killed a stripper with a fondue fork and disposed of the body using an electric pencil sharpener. It took 14 hours.

He knows Tom DeLay personally.

You can guess how the panel went.

The very next hour, I was a member of the panel on Tracking Serial Killers. This is where the photo of me and Michelle Gagnon was shot which appeared on Paul’s post Tuesday. Her debut novel, The Tunnels sold out at the conference and is excellent!

Jeffery Deaver was also on the panel. I had never met him before and he proved to be a very nice guy. He is also a gun collector and seemed to know his stuff.

It was a fun weekend and I got a lot of dad points for the effort.

Ken Bruen on CBS Late Late Show!!!

I saw the show, which aired on 7/10, on my DVR. I've heard it was on You Tube, but I haven't been able to find it.

Ken was his usual, charming self and I liked that Craig Ferguson appreciated his work.

Give Ken a pat on the back for a job well done.
See you next week,


  1. For such a young organization, International Thriller Writers puts on a helluva show.

    I predict you will be president of ITW (or at least, sergeant-at-arms) within three years.

  2. That is a great picture of you and your daughter in front of the Flatiron, Jim. Glad you had such a good time at T-fest--and I may have to steal Dusty's bio for the next time I'm on a panel somewhere. Except for the part about Tom Delay.

    Great post!

  3. Ah, you guys make me doubly sorry I wasn't there.

    next year.

    next year.

  4. Dusty's bio is a real hoot. Too bad only half of it is true. Sounds like you people had an excellent adventure.

  5. Only half of Dusty's bio is true? Really? I thought...oh, well, I'm a sucker :)

    Jim, I'm so sorry I missed you in NYC last week. I was in for the Wall St. Noir party on Wednesday night but didn't sign up for Thrillerfest festivities. If they lowered the prices a little...maybe next year.

  6. IT sounds like you guys had a lot of fun in NY at ITW. SIgh. Wistful for the good ole days when I had fun at conventions - science fiction ones, not mystery ones. Now they're just work. Mind you, this years biggie is in Yokohama, Japan. Cool. My husband promises not fill our luggage with toys - yeah, right. :-D

    Hey, Jimmy O', I just finished your book "Walking Money". What a great 'who's got the money?" roll, with funny bits - and I guess, violent bits. But it was cool. Well done!

    HOw many books've you written? Never mind, I'll go look it up..

    OH, and the photo of you and your daughter in front of the FlatIron building was really nice. We do business with TOR Books in that building, and Classic Media just down the block.


  7. Jimmy O? I love it.

  8. I had a good time. I didn't mention a lot of people by name because I didn't want anyone to feel left out.

    Marianne, thanks for the comments on Walking Money. I often warn people, "It's set in Maimi and realistic. The language, slurs and violence are ever present.

    We loved the Flatiron building. Tor gave us a nice tour of their offices.

    And Patty, James O. used to be a common name for me. Long before the books when I signed reports and time sheets "James O. Born". All the guys called me James O.

    I used to be able to tell when I had met someone. If it was before I turned twelve they called me "Jimmy". Now whenever someone is drunk all I hear is "Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy." Must be the Irish sound to it.

    Jim B

  9. It had some good moments in it James: I liked the way that when one riot team accidentally gassed their partnering police team along with the rioters, and got an 'oops, we gassed you' right back at themselves a few minutes later. Aside from the more serious aspects of your work, I'm assuming the odd, sly in jokes abound.

    Great stuff. And no, I wasn't drunk when I wrote my last post. Jimmy O' just had a nice musicality to it. That's my story an' I'm sticking to it. :-D


  10. Next year's Thriller Fest will also be in NYC, second weekend in July.

    I think all the Naked Scribblers should plan on going. We Left Coasters get to see our editors so seldom, this is a great opportunity.

    And, more important, we can go to lunch and have Jim Born pick up the tab.

  11. Our J, Paulie, Jimmy O, Ms. C, and me all in town at the same time? The Big Apple will never be the same. LET'S DO IT!!!!!!!!!

  12. OMG, I thought I was the only one who did the Nestle's Quik thing! I'll never look at Dusty the same again...