Author Archive: ITW
International Thriller Writers Inc represents professional authors from around the world. Learn more about them, their work, and the sources from which they draw their inspiration at the Official ITW Organization Website.
Some editors make big changes in a manuscript. This week ITW Members DiAnn Mills, Eric Beetner, Ellen Kirschman, Mick Sims and Len Maynard, Tom Avitable, and Kira Peikoff discuss the best changes they’ve ever received from an editor, as well as the worst.
The October issue contains a number of exciting firsts. This month Sue Grafton makes her debut in The Big Thrill, with a candid conversation on the craft of writing. In the first outing of the column “Turning Point,” Karin Slaughter reveals what’s different about her new novel, Pretty Girls. “Trend Watch” will report on changes in suspense publishing, and Dawn Ius writes about horror making a resurgence in YA, taking its darker cue from what’s on TV these days. In “Guided Tour,” Peter Tonkin gives a first-hand account of exploring Dahab, an Egyptian town on the coast of the Sinai Peninsula, which became the setting of his new novel. Lee Child gives an exclusive interview to The Big Thrill on finding the boundaries of Reacher’s more »
Writing the Post-Colonial Crime Novel By Joanne Hichens Born in England, C.M. Elliott is the author of the Sibanda series, crime and wildlife adventure novels set in the African bush. She moved from Australia to Zimbabwe in 1977 and has lived in and around Hwange National Park for a number of years. Her first full length novel, Sibanda and the Rainbird, was published in 2013. Congratulations on your second Detective Sibanda novel. Right from the start, I was intrigued by the title, SIBANDA AND THE DEATH’S HEAD MOTH, especially because of the creepy myths related to the death’s-head hawk moth with its skull-and-crossbones markings. How does the moth relate to the text here? The death’s-head moth has stirred the imagination of the sensitive for centuries. more »
By Peter Tonkin We are racing to the Blue Hole, a diving spot on the Sinai, in the backs of a battered pair of Land Rovers, bouncing over the rutted track as the shouting drivers try to run each other off the makeshift road and down onto the beach–or up into the desert. Camels watch disdainfully as we roar past, while their Bedouin owners shake their heads and laugh. They have seen it all before. Side by side, the Rovers crest a rise and there on the down-slope before us stand half a dozen square, two-story Bedouin shacks, walled and floored with carpets. We screech to a halt in front of one and pile out, rushing into the shade to catch our breath and sort more »
By Christina Ironstone When towering black obelisks start appearing around the Mediterranean, CIA operative Gabrielle Lincoln begins to question their presence, believing them to be far more ominous than simple country tributes. But if she’s right, humanity is about to be plunged into a living nightmare. PRIMORDIAL is the second book in Toby Tate’s Lilitu series, and a continuation of his thrilling novel, Lilith. Tate took some time out of his schedule to talk to The Big Thrill this month about his latest release, including what about the sci-fi genre piques his interest and the exciting project he’s working on next. Did you have a favorite character to write? I think my favorite character would have to be CIA Operative Gabrielle “Gabe” Lincoln. She was more »
By Diane Kelly When people think of mysteries and thrillers, their mind normally goes to killers of one variety or another—stranglers in trench coats lurking in dimly-lit alleys, axe murderers in ski masks wandering the dark woods, or a crazy-eyed wack job intent on committing a whack job. But don’t let Armani suits and silk ties fool you. White-collar criminals also have a high propensity for violence. With their beguiling smiles, wiley ways, and benign appearances, they can sneak in and take your assets—and possibly your life—before you have an inkling of their evil intent. In fact, the situation is common enough that a term has evolved for white-collar crooks who kill: “red-collar” criminals. The typical white-collar criminal is a Caucasian male in his late more »
By Andrew McAleer & Paul D. Marks Andrew McAleer, Sherlock Holmes Revere Bowl Award Winner and author of Fatal Deeds, and Paul D. Marks, author of the Shamus Award-Winning thriller White Heat, are the editors of a new mystery-thriller short story anthology COAST TO COAST: MURDER FROM SEA TO SHINING SEA out this month from Down & Out Books. They join The Big Thrill to give us a sneak preview of the anthology and talk about what inspired the project. How did COAST TO COAST evolve? Is there a unifying theme to all the stories? The concept of the anthology was to gather stories from some of the best short story writers in the country, from the East Coast to the West Coast and the more »
By The Big Thrill staff MOTHER OF DEMONS is the sixteenth novel of the writing pair Len Maynard and Mick Sims, who publish as Maynard Sims. It is their tenth supernatural novel and sixth with Don D’Auria at Samhain. Many of your novels revolve around the mysterious Department 18. Tell us about that. Department 18 is a secret unit of the British government that investigates paranormal and supernatural events in the UK but also globally. It had its own website before it was mysteriously hacked, perhaps a jealous competitor or, perhaps, dark forces in high places. Now its secrets lurk within the author website at www.maynard-sims.com, where there is a full history and some case files for review. MOTHER OF DEMONS is a Department 18 more »
To solve her father’s murder and save the family-owned glass shop, Savannah Webb must shatter a killer’s carefully constructed façade. . . After Savannah’s father dies unexpectedly of a heart attack, she drops everything to return home to St. Petersburg, Florida, to settle his affairs–including the fate of the beloved, family-owned glass shop. Savannah intends to hand over ownership to her father’s trusted assistant and fellow glass expert, Hugh Trevor, but soon discovers the master craftsman also dead of an apparent heart attack. As if the coincidence of the two deaths wasn’t suspicious enough, Savannah discovers a note her father left for her in his shop, warning her that she is in danger. With the local police unconvinced, it’s up to Savannah to piece together more »
Fans of Chelsea Cain and Lisa Gardner will devour this edgy thriller about the gruesome secrets hidden beneath a small-town amusement park. From the author of Creep, Freak, and The Butcher, Jennifer Hillier’s “fine knack for creating hideous killers” (Booklist) is vividly on display. Welcome to Wonderland. By day, it’s a magical place boasting a certain retro charm. Excited children, hands sticky with cotton candy, run frenetically from the Giant Octopus ride to the Spinning Sombrero, while the tinkling carnival music of the giant Wonder Wheel—the oldest Ferris wheel in the Pacific Northwest—fills the air. But before daybreak, an eerie feeling descends. Maybe it’s the Clown Museum, home to creepy wax replicas of movie stars and a massive collection of antique porcelain dolls. Or maybe more »
We’ve got a full house this week as ITW Members Lisa von Biela, R. K. Jackson, Grant McKenzie, Hester Young, Baron R. Birthcher, D. D. Ayres and Mark Coggins discuss whether or not a thriller must prompt fear in readers. Can a plot work without that emotion?
Life in Amsterdam isn’t all windmills and tulips when you’re homeless. Jason Dekker lives in a jeep with his dog, Calvin, on the outskirts of the city. A thesis on Van Gogh brought him to the Netherlands, and the love of Dutch artist Willy Hart convinced him to stay. But Willy is gone, and Dekker is on the brink of a total meltdown. On a summer morning in the park, Calvin sniffs out the victim of a grisly murder. Dekker sees the opportunity for a risky strategy that might solve their problems. Unfortunately it puts them directly in the sights of the calculating stone-cold killer, Gadget. Their paths are destined to collide, but nothing goes according to plan when they end up together in an more »
Bogie McGruder returns to Boston after his brother, a cop, is gunned down on the street. Since the Boston police are investigating the death of one of their own, Bogie believes his trip will be a short condolence visit and a chance to meet his secret love child. Although Bogie wants to contact his ex-lover, Bailey Hampfield, he’s reluctant to do so since Bailey dumped him four years earlier. Knowing that Bailey had his child after she cut him loose, Bogie thinks it’s time to establish a relationship with the three year old daughter he’s never met. While he considers his options, Bailey gets in touch with him and asks for protection. Someone is trying to kill her.
Morton “Jacko” Jackman isn’t afraid of anything. He’s a former Navy SEAL sniper, and he’s been in more firefights than most people have had hot meals. Lauren Dare scares the crap out of him. Gorgeous, talented, and refined, she’s the type of woman who could never be interested in a roughneck like him. So he’s loved her fiercely in secret, taken her art classes, and kept a watchful but comfortable distance. Until now. Lauren has finally found a home in Portland, far from her real identity, far from the memories of her mother’s death, and outside the reaches of the drugged-out psycho who’s already tried to kill her twice. One tiny misstep, a single photograph, shatters it all. She has no choice but to run more »
Former Navy SEAL Joe Harris nearly died—twice—on a medevac helo after being blown up by an IED. He’s not moving too great these days, but if there was ever a woman designed to jump-start a man’s hormones, it would be his new neighbor. Meeting Isabel—loving Isabel—brought Joe back to life. Isabel Delvaux came from one of America’s foremost political dynasties, until the greatest terrorist attack since 9/11 killed her entire family. She barely survived the Washington Massacre, only to become prey for rabid reporters. Fleeing to Portland and changing her name was a way out, a way to start over. The only way.
In Cat in a Zebra Zoot suit, the 27th Midnight Louie mystery by New York Times Notable Book of the Year author Carole Nelson Douglas, feline P.I. Midnight Louie channels the jazz and swing-dance age. Petite PR powerhouse and amateur sleuth Temple Barr and her faithful roommate, Midnight Louie, must defend a dear friend from a bizarre murder charge that echoes a long-past atrocity. Meanwhile Temple’s fiancé, Matt Devine, turns detective on a secret mission and her ex, a magician with a counter-terrorist past, tangles with vengeful IRA members and a psycho stalker in Ireland. And just what 60-year-old secret makes a defunct fifties nightclub building in Las Vegas the pit of all evil and greed?
Shadows Haunt On the fifth anniversary of her sister Caitlyn’s unsolved murder, Rayna Jennings is far from having closure. Dark memories of Caitlyn’s death live in the shadows at Happy Endings Resort. The nightmare still haunts Rayna; the images in her mind more vivid than ever. Shadows Taunt When gruesome reminders begin to resurface, taunting Rayna, her grief surfaces anew. Worse, an unknown killer has cast her as the next victim. Despite her will to survive, the shadows of Happy Endings Resort have their own plan in mind. Shadows Kill A stranger is luring Rayna into the dark shadows of the resort, and her mind. She must race to stop the killer before it’s too late and she joins Caitlyn, becoming another one of the… more »
April, 1945. The Germans have the bomb. In a desperate attempt to win the war, Hitler plans to drop an atomic bomb on the city of London. That all ends with his suicide. But the scientist who developed the Nazi bomb has other plans. THOR BUNKER, A Short Story is a prequel to the Kindle bestselling thriller, THE BLADE, and includes an excerpt. THOR BUNKER is available from Amazon. ***** Lynn Sholes & Joe Moore are the #1 Amazon and international bestselling authors of THE GRAIL CONSPIRACY and THE PHOENIX APOSTLES.
SPEAK THE WORD contains the two new dark tales added to the original ten to form Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition, and a peek at the first chapter of Justin Bog’s next psychological thriller. THE APPLE — One fateful evening, in a single moment, a man and his wife hover between peace and upheaval. SPEAK THE WORD — A Texan bears the brunt of his fire and brimstone-filled life, and after a shocking turn of events, begins to test his own faith. If you enjoy these two tales, find more darkness in the award-winning collection, Sandcastle and Other Stories: The Complete Edition, which reveals twisted secrets that are mined like plutonium. These twelve literary tales are nothing short of an adventure through a more »
Now out in eBook, trade paperback, and audiobook “Just about everything you might want in a mystery: glitzy Las Vegas, real characters, suspense, a tough puzzle, and…on top of it all, a fine sense of humor and some illuminating social commentary.”—The Prime Suspect Readers are biting their nails as the popular alphabetic Midnight Louie feline PI mystery series’ penultimate book arrives with this 27th entry. Even then, Las Vegas’s hairiest sleuth (whose feline-noir voice has been compared to Hammett, Hammer, and Nathan Detroit) will not be hanging up his fedora. Cat in an Alphabet Endgame is still to come. In the 27th and penultimate Midnight Louie mystery by New York Times Notable Book of the Year author Carole Nelson Douglas, Midnight Louie channels the jazz more »
THE SIGNAL WAS RECEIVED Jon Hudson has become more than just the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Fusion Center–Paranormal. He is now a husband and a father, surrounded by a team who have become a family. So when a series of strange new threats rise from the depths and fall from the sky, the stakes are higher than ever. THE HARBINGERS ARRIVE While Maigo, the young woman who was once a part of the kaiju known as Nemesis, goddess of vengeance, and Lilly, a chimera cat-woman, sneak off to investigate Big Diomede, an island with an ancient secret inside Russian territory, two monsters fall from the sky. One heads for Tokyo, the other for the already battered Boston. Tsunamis rise from the depths, more »
It is a novella featuring Agatha Christie as a detective, the second in the series (the first was Murder Will Out). It is June, 1925. Agatha Christie is holidaying in Cornwall and working on a new novel, a romance. But her plans are interrupted when one of the guests is found shot dead on the hotel tennis courts. Frederick Collyer was researching the life of a local man, an eminent chemist who worked on camouflage. As Agatha is drawn into the investigation, it becomes clear that the killing has its roots in the Great War, and the truth is obscured by the shadows it still casts. HIDDEN SINS is available from Amazon and Amazon UK. ***** ALISON JOSEPH is a London-based crime writer and radio more »
Murdered criminals. Flawless forgeries. Encrypted operas. The murder of an opera house director forces world-renowned nonverbal communications expert Doctor Genevieve Lenard and her team into an impossible position: protecting notorious criminals—from what appears to be a serial killer. Genevieve plunges into the world of opera, uncovering secrets that a group of organised crime leaders would do anything to keep hidden. She cannot allow her previous case, unreliable witnesses or conflict with her team to distract her. Not if she wants to prevent many innocent lives being lost in a shocking grand finale.
What if everything we thought we understood about the nature of time was wrong? In the nuclear devastated landscape of London, James Rembrandt delivers law and order with a firm hand and uncompromising resolve. In his violent world it takes a violent man when dealing with cannibalistic scavengers. But Rembrandt was never born to the hellish Old City: he is a man out of time and place, but even he doesn’t know it. When he is snatched from death, and deposited in an alternate time and dimension, he has finally come home. But he has returned to a place alien to him, and a world suddenly on the verge of destruction when a wormhole tethered between dimensions begins merging both Earths. Our world is about more »