At Left Coast Crime this past weekend, there was awell-attended meeting of the new International Thriller Writers organization, hosted by co-president David Morrell and secretary David Dun. One of the goals of this organization is to get more recognition and respect for thrillers…perhaps, even, to create awards for excellence in the field. So imagine my surprise when I opened up the Los Angeles Times and saw a full-page advertisement for James Patterson’s HONEYMOON (I think that must be the title by the way… "James Patterson’s Honeymoon"… since it’s co-written by Howard Roughan but the book is never referred to as, say, "Howard Roughan’s HONEYMOON," or maybe he’s legally barred in English-speaking countries from using an apostrophe "s" in public). The ad says:
The world’s most chilling novel. It’s official. James Patterson’s Honeymoon. 2005 International Thriller of the Year.
Apparently, "James Patterson’s Honeymoon" won this prestigious award… an award I’ve never heard of… even before the book was published. In fact, I asked a few thriller writers I know if they’ve either heard of the award or entered their work for consideration. The answer was no to both questions. And since The World apparently voted, I was wondering why I never received my ballet. I like to think I’m a member of the human race, though some Ken Bruen fans have lobbied hard to have my membership revoked.
So I decided to do a little research into this all-encompassing, global kudo … and the first thing I discovered was that my brother Tod had beaten me to it. Great minds, and incredibly dashing literary hunks, think alike.
Turns out this is the first time the award has been given… and it’s bestowed by Bookspan, the umbrella organization that runs the Book-of-the-Month Club, The Literary Guild, and the Doubleday Book Club. They also publish James Patterson. Comes as quite a shock, doesn’t it? I tried to find a list of the judges, rules of consideration, even a list of the other nominees for this sought-after award but they are as invisible as Howard Roughan’s possessive apostrophe.
Meanwhile, the International Thriller Writers (which has nothing to do with the International Thriller of the Year award… but James Patterson is a member and charter sponsor of the organization) is preparing to make a big splash at Book Expo America in New York with a gala reception. They also have ambitious plans for corporate sponsorship, conventions, and some unique (and very clever) author promotion programs. Other members of the ITW include Dirk Cussler, John Lescroart, David Baldacci, Dale Brown, Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen, Eric
Van Lustbader, Christopher Reich, Lincoln Child, Linda
Fairstein, Christopher Rice and they even let me in, proving they aren’t a very descriminating bunch.