Thriller Roundtable

June 22 – 28: “Finding a mentor, what should you look for in one?”

June 22 – 28: “Finding a mentor, what should you look for in one?”

Behind every great writer is a great mentor. This week ITW Members Kate White, Alex Dolan, Lisa Von Biela, J. T. Ellison and Jean Heller discuss finding a mentor and answer the question: “What should you look for in one?”

By June 21, 2015 13 Comments Read More →
June 15 – 21: “Can writers play fast and loose on politics, foreign relations, technology, careers and personality traits?”

June 15 – 21: “Can writers play fast and loose on politics, foreign relations, technology, careers and personality traits?”

Readers of thrillers appreciate realism. This week ITW Members discuss how much can writers play fast and loose on politics, foreign relations, technology, careers or personality traits? Join Tim Lees, Alex Dolan, John Farrow, Eric Red, Adam Mitzner, Lisa Von Biela, John Palisano, Adrian Magson, Paul Dale Anderson, Jerry Amernic, Andy Boot, Jean Heller and Melanie Surani!

By June 14, 2015 33 Comments Read More →
June 8 – 14: “What steps should writers take when they disagree with the publisher’s choice of a cover?”

June 8 – 14: “What steps should writers take when they disagree with the publisher’s choice of a cover?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Kate White, Eric Red, Bob Doerr and A. J. Kerns, discussing what steps should writers take when they disagree with the publisher’s choice of a cover?

By June 7, 2015 5 Comments Read More →
June 1 – 7: “How do you choose your character’s names?”

June 1 – 7: “How do you choose your character’s names?”

This week ITW Members Jeffrey Westhoff, N. J. Paige, Kate White, John Farrow, Eric Red, Adam Mitzner, Scott A. Lerner, Mark Pryor, Lisa Von Biela, John Palisano and Paul Gistsham kick off June by discussing how they choose their character’s names.

By May 31, 2015 Read More →
May 25 – 31: “Have you used the American Psychological Association’s DSM V to help develop characters?”

May 25 – 31: “Have you used the American Psychological Association’s DSM V to help develop characters?”

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is the handbook used by health care professionals in the United States and much of the world as the authoritative guide to the diagnosis of mental disorders. This week ITW Members Wendy Tyson, Cat Connor, Linell Jeppsen, JG Faherty, Jean Heller, Colby Marshall and C. E. Lawrence discuss whether they’ve used the DSM V, or previous versions of the Diagnostic and Statistic Manuel of Mental Disorders, to help develop characters.

By May 24, 2015 Read More →
May 18 – 24: “How intense is the plotting and vindictiveness of some houses – no names!”

May 18 – 24: “How intense is the plotting and vindictiveness of some houses – no names!”

People imagine the publishing world to be one of camaraderie. But is that naïve? This week ITW Members Ralph Pezzullo, Cat Connor, JG Faherty, Gary Grossman, Ines Eberl-Calic and Jean Heller discuss how intense the plotting and vindictiveness of some houses can be – no names!

By May 17, 2015 5 Comments Read More →
May 11 – 17: “What are the best bands for writing thrillers?”

May 11 – 17: “What are the best bands for writing thrillers?”

This week we join ITW Members Wendy Tyson, Ralph Pezzullo, Cat Connor, Kathrin Lange, JG Faherty, Barbara Petty, Suzanne Johnson, Gary Grossman, Arthur Kerns, Jean Heller and Andy Boot to discuss music and writing. What are the best bands for writing thrillers? Or does haunting classical music work best?

By May 10, 2015 26 Comments Read More →
May 4 – 10: “What are the considerations when adopting a title for a series?”

May 4 – 10: “What are the considerations when adopting a title for a series?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Michael J. Martinez, Larry D. Sweazy, J. L. Abramo, Ralph Pezzullo, Cat Connor, Layton Green, Robert Wilson, Penny Clover Petersen, Suzanne Johnson, Adrian Magson, Gary Grossman and Jean Heller as they discuss the things one must consider when adopting a title for a series?

By May 3, 2015 Read More →
April 27 to May 3: “Is it difficult to write characters of the opposite sex?”

April 27 to May 3: “Is it difficult to write characters of the opposite sex?”

Is it difficult to write characters of the opposite sex? This week ITW Members Raymond Benson, Jean Heller, Colin Campbell, J. L. Merrow, Alex Dolan, Anne Trager and A. J. Kerns join us to discuss how they tackle it.

By April 26, 2015 Read More →
April 20 – 26: “Do you plot, plan, and outline?”

April 20 – 26: “Do you plot, plan, and outline?”

Do you plot, plan, and outline? Or, do you just go where your characters lead you? This week, ITW Members Bruce Desilva, Jean Heller, Mark Petry, Simon Wood, H. W. “Buzz” Bernard, Vincent Zandri, Colin Campbell, Graham Smith, Gary Haynes, Brian Pinkerton, Kevin Egan, J. L. Merrow, Alex Dolan and Ellen Kirschman will discuss why some authors are plotters and others are pantsers.

By April 19, 2015 Read More →
April 13 – 19: “Does your mood affect the scenes you’re writing?”

April 13 – 19: “Does your mood affect the scenes you’re writing?”

This week ITW Members Jean Heller, Colin Campbell and J. H. Bográn discuss whether your mood affects the scenes you’re writing, like letting anger make better fight scenes?

By April 12, 2015 Read More →
April 6 – 12: “How do you create the perfect antagonist?”

April 6 – 12: “How do you create the perfect antagonist?”

This week ITW Members Jean Heller, Mark Petry, David Walton, Simon Wood, Jean Harrington, Graham Smith, David Levien, Gary Haynes, Kevin Egan, Susan Sleeman and Alex Dolan will discuss the question on everyone’s mind: “How do you create the perfect antagonist?”

By April 5, 2015 Read More →
March 23 – 29: “Have international novels evolved in recent years?”

March 23 – 29: “Have international novels evolved in recent years?”

This week the Thriller Roundtable is going international! Join ITW Members Jean Heller, J. H. Bográn, Anderson Harp, Susan Froetschel, Shelley Coriell and Alan Field as they discuss the question: “Have international novels evolved in recent years?”

By March 22, 2015 Read More →
March 16 – 22: “Should series characters change?”

March 16 – 22: “Should series characters change?”

The TV series Seinfeld claimed their characters never changed. This week ITW members Jean Heller, Glen Erik Hamilton, Nicole Maggi, Connie Di Marco, Cecilia Ekback, Alan Field and Jack Dewitt discuss whether or not the same rules should apply to characters in a book series.

By March 15, 2015 Read More →
March 9 – 15: “How do you avoid the first chapter pitfall?”

March 9 – 15: “How do you avoid the first chapter pitfall?”

Do some writers tend to work too hard, too long on the first chapter and neglect the rest of the story? Join ITW members Jean Heller, Douglas Wynne, Douglas Seaver and Leonardo Wild as they discuss how to avoid that pitfall!

By March 8, 2015 Read More →
March 2 – 8: “Do publishers fact-check – or is that the author’s job?”

March 2 – 8: “Do publishers fact-check – or is that the author’s job?”

Do publishers fact-check – or is that the author’s job? Join ITW Members Jean Heller, Francine Mathews, Rick Campbell, Mary Louise Kelly, Cecilia Ekback and Jeffrey B. Burton as they discuss the big mistakes they’ve spotted.

By March 1, 2015 Read More →
February 23 to March 1: “Do you remember your first thriller?”

February 23 to March 1: “Do you remember your first thriller?”

The first time you discovered thrillers as a genre … do you remember which book and how it landed in your hands? This week, ITW Members Ryan Quinn, Sandra A. Block, Lisa Von Biela, Trisha Leaver, J. H. Bográn, Jean Heller and Bob Van Laerhoven will discuss their introduction to the thriller genre.

By February 22, 2015 Read More →
February 16 – 22: “Could you write or revise your novel if word processors were not available?”

February 16 – 22: “Could you write or revise your novel if word processors were not available?”

For some authors, computers and word processing programs are a necessity. For others, a pad and pencil will do. This week we ask ITW Members Ryan Quinn, Brian Pinkerton, Lisa Von Biela, Rebecca Cantrell, Jeffrey B. Burton, J. H. Bográn, Merry Jones and Jean Heller: “Could you write or revise your novel if word processors were not available – or do you?”

By February 15, 2015 Read More →
February 9 – 15: “How do our stories lie?”

February 9 – 15: “How do our stories lie?”

ITW Member Brian C. Poole says: “At heart all storytellers are liars.” This week, ITW Members Ryan Quinn, Ken Oxman, Susan Froetschel, Lisa Von Biela, Alexandra Sokoloff, Mike Pace, Jamie Mason, Merry Jones, Jean Heller and Lisa Unger will discuss how our stories lie!

By February 8, 2015 Read More →
February 2 – 8: “Do authors sometimes regret killing off a character?”

February 2 – 8: “Do authors sometimes regret killing off a character?”

Thrillers, mysteries and crime fiction all have their fair share of murder and mayhem, but do the authors ever regret killing off a character? Join ITW Members Rebecca Cantrell, Ryan Quinn, Lisa Von Biela, Merry Jones, Jamie Mason, Jean Heller and Michael Rose for this thrilling discussion!

By February 1, 2015 Read More →
January 26 – February 1: “What is the best cure for writer’s block?”

January 26 – February 1: “What is the best cure for writer’s block?”

We’ve all felt it at one time or another: the dreaded writer’s block. This week, ITW Members Joan Hall Hovey, E.M. Powell, Bob Reiss, Bill Loehfelm, Victoria Griffith, Elizabeth Goddard, L.T. Graham, Lisa Von Biela, Annie Rose Alexander, Jerry Hatchett and Jean Heller will discuss the best cure.

By January 25, 2015 Read More →
January 19 – 25: “What’s your favorite thriller genre?”

January 19 – 25: “What’s your favorite thriller genre?”

This week we join ITW Members Jerry Hatchett, Lisa Von Biela, E. M. Powell, Bill Loehfelm, Victoria Griffith, Kenneth Newman, Alex Gordon and Nancy Cole Silverman to discuss what their favorites thriller genres are, and why.

By January 18, 2015 Read More →
January 12 – 18: “Have the lines blurred too much between thrillers and mysteries?”

January 12 – 18: “Have the lines blurred too much between thrillers and mysteries?”

Have the lines blurred too much between thrillers and mysteries? This week ITW Members Bill Loehfelm, Jeanne Matthews, Thomas Perry, L. T. Graham, Lisa Von Biela, Jerry Hatchett and Jean Heller share their insights into this important distinction between two of literature’s most popular genres.

By January 11, 2015 Read More →
January 5 – 11:  “Is it possible to over-market a book?”

January 5 – 11: “Is it possible to over-market a book?”

This week ITW Members Bill Loehfelm, Thomas Perry, L. T. Graham, Lisa Von Biela, Esther Luttrell, Jerry Hatchett and Jean Heller discuss whether or not it’s possible to over-market a book. If a book does not measure up to the marketing promises, does that hurt the entire industry?

By January 4, 2015 14 Comments Read More →