by Julie Kramer
John Beaumont has set the bar high for Thrillerfest fans.
He decided to attend the convention Thursday. Flew to New York Friday. Bought a day pass Saturday. And met his idol, Clive Cussler.
"I was star struck," he said. "My IQ went down 60 points. I couldn't think of anything to say except, can I get your picture?"
Beaumont and I were both flying out of LaGuardia Airport Sunday morning when we met. He asked me if I was an author because I was carrying a giant poster board of my new MISSING MARK book cover. We discussed whether the airline folk would let me take it on board. He beamed as he told me his Thrillerfest tale. Then he showed me digital photos on his camera of him and Cussler. Then him and Steve Barry. Then him and David Morrell. Then he beamed some more, even though the whole impromptu trip had cost more than he expected.
"It was a lot of money." Beaumont says he spent $870, but it was worth it. "I would do it again in a heart beat."
Beaumont lives in Sarasota, FL, a place he calls "the dead end of America," because once you get down there you pretty much have to go back the same way you came. He says authors don't visit very often, so he might never have had another chance to mingle with top thriller writers if he hadn't gotten a buddy to take his work shift at the last minute.
We said goodbye, got on your planes, and now Beaumont and I are Facebook friends. When he got home, he told his sister all about his adventure, including meeting me. And while she'd never heard of Clive Cussler...she'd read my debut, STALKING SUSAN. Maybe he can bring her along to Thrillerfest next year :)
Julie Kramer's second book, MISSING MARK, was just released by Doubleday. Her debut STALKING SUSAN won Best First Mystery in the RT Reviewers' Choice Awards as well as the Minnesota Book Award for genre fiction. It was a finalist for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and has been nominated for Best First Novel in both the Anthony and Barry Awards.