Killer Year–The Class of 2007

Shattering the Cliche
December 30, 2007, 12:28 pm
Filed under: Killer Year Members, Robert Gregory Browne

What can I say about Killer Year that hasn’t already been said? Not much, I suppose. This past year has gone by in a blur of emails and conferences and late nights getting drunk and reveling in the knowledge that we all finally made it, finally fulfilled the dream we’d been nurturing for years.

I don’t really remember how I became involved with Killer Year. I think one of the founders sent me an email, asking if I was interested in joining them in a little experiment in promotion — and I said “yes” without hesitation.

Despite that yes, however, I was a little skeptical about what our little group could accomplish. After all, who really gave a damn about a bunch of first-time authors?

But then I met JT and Brett and Jason and Toni and Marcus and god knows who else at Thrillerfest in Arizona and I knew I was in good company. Knew that these were high caliber, enthusiastic people who were determined to make the world notice us.

JT brought customized Killer Year t-shirts — one I still wear to this day (I’m wearing it right now, as a matter of fact) — and Brett brought hats. Or maybe it was the other way around.

Whatever the case, the next thing you know, Barry Eisler and Joe Konrath were wearing them and helping spread the word about us, and a short time later I was sitting with the crew and MJ Rose, being told that ITW was interested in giving us a helping hand.

From that point on, Killer Year became something of a phenomenon.

I knew we had arrived when I was down in San Diego teaching a writing workshop, and one of the participants came up to me out of the blue and said, “You’re one of those Killer Year people, right?”

When the idea that we pitch an anthology was raised, I have to admit I didn’t think we had much chance of getting one published. But one thing I’ve learned about JT Ellison is that she’s not only a great talent, but a very determined woman, and she worked tirelessly in prepping the proposal. I sent her a story that was added to the packet and when the email came saying we’d made a deal with St. Martin’s, I was pretty much flabbergasted.

The final result is getting spectacular reviews. And as I hold it in my hand, I can’t help but think that it’s truly a representation of what we are as a group. The variety of writing styles. The diversity of subject matter. The authors who supported us and helped turn Killer Year into that phenomenon. It’s all there in one package. A testament to what a handful of people can accomplish if they try hard enough.

But what it represents to me most of all is friendship. This last year has created a bond between us that I don’t think will ever be broken. The kind of bond that few writers ever have the chance to experience.

Because writing is, after all, a lonely profession. An old cliche, yes, but an accurate one for the most part.

And Killer Year has managed to shatter that cliche. Many times over.

For which I’ll be forever grateful.

Thanks guys. Happy New Year.


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