If a mystery is a tale about solving a crime while a thriller is about stopping one, how would you write a blend of the two? That’s the question posed to this week’s all-star lineup of ITW Members: James Hilton, Linda Bennett Pennell, Nick Kolakowski, Mysti Berry, Richard Mabry, David Simms, Frank Zafiro, Dave Zeltserman, R. J. Pineiro, Martin Roy Hill, Ellison Cooper, Arthur Kerns and Alex Lettau. Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along!
Dr. Richard Mabry is a retired physician, now writing “medical mystery with heart.” His novels have garnered critical acclaim and been finalists for ACFW’s Carol Award, both the Romantic Times’ Inspirational Book of the Year and Reviewer’s Choice Awards, the Inspirational Readers Choice, and the Selah Award. He is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers, the International Thriller Writers, the Christian Authors Network, and Novelists Inc.
Linda Bennett Pennell has been in love with the past for as long as she can remember. Anything with a history, whether shabby or majestic, recent or ancient, instantly draws her in. It probably comes from being part of a large extended family that spanned several generations. Long summer afternoons on her grandmother’s porch or winter evenings gathered around the fireplace were filled with stories both entertaining and poignant. Of course, being set in the American South, those stories were also peopled by some very interesting characters, some of whom have found their way into Linda’s work.
Nick Kolakowski is the author of “Boise Longpig Hunting Club” (Down & Out Books) and “A Brutal Bunch of Heartbroken Saps” (Shotgun Honey). His crime fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Crime Syndicate Magazine, Shotgun Honey, Plots with Guns, and various anthologies. He lives and writes in New York City.
Frank Zafiro was a police officer from 1993 to 2013. He is the author of more than 20 novels, mostly crime fiction, including the River City series and the Ania series. In addition to writing, Frank hosts the crime fiction podcast Wrong Place, Write Crime. He is an avid hockey fan and a tortured guitarist. He currently lives in Redmond, Oregon.
David Simms lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia with his wife, son, and animals. He works as a teacher, counselor, music therapist, ghost tour guide, book reviewer, and founding guitarist in the Killer Thriller Band/Slushpile band. FEAR THE REAPER is his second novel.
Mysti Berry has short fiction published in many anthologies including Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, should be published again in 2019 in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, and just published a charity anthology Low Down Dirty Vote, with stories by Catriona McPherson, James W. Ziskin and many other talented writers. She lives in San Francisco with graphic novelist Dale Berry and three black rescue cats, and she’s looking forward to ThrillerFest 2019.
James Hilton lives in the rugged but beautiful North of England. He is currently working on the next book in the ‘Gunn Brothers Thriller’ series from Titan Books and also researching material for the first book in a new YA series. James trained in the martial arts since the age of 11 and is currently ranked as a 4th dan Blackbelt. His other passions include visiting Florida and the Caribbean, reading horror, suspense and action thrillers.
R. J. Pineiro is a thirty-year veteran of the computer industry as well as the author of many internationally acclaimed novels, including The Fall, Without Mercy, and Ashes of Victory. Pineiro makes his home in central Texas with his wife, Lory.
Martin Roy Hill is the author of the Linus Schag, NCIS, thrillers, the Peter Brandt thrillers, and the award-winning short story collection DUTY, and EDEN: A Sci-Fi Novella. Martin’s short stories have appeared in Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, ALT HIST: The Journal of Historical Fiction and Alternative History, Mystery Weekly Magazine, Crimson Streets, Nebula Rift, Devolution Z, and others. A former national award-winning investigative journalist, Martin is now a military analyst.
Dave Zeltserman’s crime and horror thrillers have been picked by NPR, the Washington Post, American Library Association, Booklist, and WBUR as best novels of the year, and his short mystery fiction has won a Shamus, Derringer and two Ellery Queen Readers Choice awards. His Morris Brick thrillers written as Jacob Stone include DERANGED, CRAZED, MALICIOUS, TWISTED. His novel SMALL CRIMES has been made into a Netflix film starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.
Ellison Cooper has a Ph.D. in anthropology from UCLA, with a background in archaeology, cultural neuroscience, ancient religion, colonialism, and human rights. She has conducted fieldwork in Central America, West Africa, Micronesia, and Western Europe. She has worked as a murder investigator in Washington DC, and is a certified K9 Search and Rescue Federal Disaster Worker. She now lives in the Bay Area with her husband and son.
In March 2013 Diversion Books Inc. released the acclaimed espionage thriller The Riviera Contract, followed by the sequel, The African Contract. The Yemen Contract was released in June 2016. Arthur Kerns joined the FBI with a career in counterintelligence and counterterrorism. On retirement, he became a consultant with a number of US agencies, including the Department of State. His lengthy assignments took him to over 65 countries.
Alex Lettau is the pen name of Ludwig Alexander Lettau MD, a former medical epidemiologist with the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases and current infectious disease specialist in Charleston SC where he lives with his wife Lisa, two daughters, and a Bouvier. His special interest as an author is infection-related medical thrillers. In his Indie award-winning thriller Yellow Death, the protagonist Kris Jensen becomes accidentally infected with an unknown lethal hepatitis virus and has only five days left to find answers to its origin.
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