Thriller Roundtable

September 26 – October 2: “Can there be too many surprises in a thriller plot?”

September 26 – October 2: “Can there be too many surprises in a thriller plot?”

Can there be too many surprises in a thriller plot? Must each thrill help move the plot? These are the questions posed to this week’s ITW Members Paul McGoran, Arlene Kay, Judy Penz Sheluk, Ron Parham, Wendy Walker and Maynard Sims. You won’t want to miss it!

By September 25, 2016 11 Comments Read More →
September 19 – 25: “Do you interact with readers on Goodreads?”

September 19 – 25: “Do you interact with readers on Goodreads?”

Social media is all the rage (and sometimes causes rage), but has been proven to bring authors and readers closer together. This week we ask ITW Members Judy Penz Sheluk, Sheila Lowe, Wendy Walker, Robert Dunn and Don Helin: Do you interact with readers on Goodreads, or any other social media?

By September 18, 2016 11 Comments Read More →
September 12 – 18: “Have you created characters with moral ambiguity?”

September 12 – 18: “Have you created characters with moral ambiguity?”

Have you created characters with moral ambiguity? This week ITW members Paul McGoran, Arlene Kay, Shannon Baker, Judy Penz Sheluk, Michael J. Martinez, Ian Truman, Ann Parker, Wendy Walker and Charles Salzberg discuss writing characters with moral ambiguity and how difficult are they to make believable?

By September 11, 2016 23 Comments Read More →
September 5 – 11: “What is the best point of view for a thriller?”

September 5 – 11: “What is the best point of view for a thriller?”

What is the best point of view for a thriller? This week we’re joined by ITW Members Paul McGoran, Judy Penz Sheluk, Sheila Lowe, Ron Parham, Wendy Walker and David McCaleb as they discuss the best point of view for a thriller.

By September 4, 2016 17 Comments Read More →
August 29 – September 4: “Do thriller writers have a responsibility not to put ideas into the heads of would-be criminals?”

August 29 – September 4: “Do thriller writers have a responsibility not to put ideas into the heads of would-be criminals?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Lynn Cahoon, Michael Byars Lewis and Christina Hoag to answer the question: Do thriller writers have a responsibility not to put ideas into the heads of would-be criminals?

By August 28, 2016 6 Comments Read More →
August 22 – 28: “Are thrillers naturally noir?”

August 22 – 28: “Are thrillers naturally noir?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Lynn Cahoon and Amy Stuart to discuss the question: Are thrillers naturally noir?

By August 21, 2016 5 Comments Read More →
August 15 – 21: “Who is your favorite protagonist of all time?”

August 15 – 21: “Who is your favorite protagonist of all time?”

This week join ITW Members Jessie Keane and J.H. Bográn as they answer the question: Who is your favorite protagonist of all time – and why?

By August 14, 2016 10 Comments Read More →
August 8 – 14: “How do writers alter thrillers for appeal to a YA audience?”

August 8 – 14: “How do writers alter thrillers for appeal to a YA audience?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Catherine Finger, J. H. Bográn and Lissa Price as they discuss Young Adult thrillers. How do writers alter thrillers for appeal to a YA audience?

By August 7, 2016 20 Comments Read More →
August 1 – 7: “Tone: does consistency counter the unexpected and suspense?”

August 1 – 7: “Tone: does consistency counter the unexpected and suspense?”

Some writing teachers suggest that tone is about attitude and that tone should be consistent throughout a book. But doesn’t consistency counter the unexpected and suspense? This week we hear from Elaine Viets and John F. Dobbyn discussing tone.

By July 31, 2016 4 Comments Read More →
July 25 – 31: “Are broken-hearted villains suspenseful?”

July 25 – 31: “Are broken-hearted villains suspenseful?”

This week we’re discussing developing your antagonist when a love interest goes bad. ITW Members Lynn Cahoon, J.C. Lane, Terrence McCauley and Charles Atkins answer the question on everyone’s mind: Are broken-hearted villains suspenseful?

By July 24, 2016 2 Comments Read More →
July 18 – 24: “Dialogue can be tricky. How do you do it?”

July 18 – 24: “Dialogue can be tricky. How do you do it?”

Dialogue can be tricky, as the author has to give each character a unique voice that is also distinct from his or her own. This week we’re joined by ITW Members Jean Harrington, Arthur Kerns, Bernard Maestas, L.S. Hawker, Shaun Harris, Lynn Cahoon, Terrie Farley Moran, J. C. Lane, Stephen Morrill, Steven Kuehn, Sharon Potts, Kat Martin, Elizabeth Noble, Susan Israel, Charles Atkins, D. P. Lyle, Joel Fishman, Jerry Kennealy and Alan Jacobson, to ask: How do you do it?

By July 17, 2016 37 Comments Read More →
July 11 – 17: “Can you identify leading trends among this year’s crop of nominees for ITW awards?”

July 11 – 17: “Can you identify leading trends among this year’s crop of nominees for ITW awards?”

To celebrate the 11th annual ThrillerFest and thriller awards, we’ve gathered some of this year’s nominees to discuss story trends. We’re joined by Sandra Block, Robert McClure, Diane Capri, David Morrell and Caitlin O’Connell to answer the question: Can you identify leading trends – besides good story, thrills and suspense – among this year’s crop of nominees for ITW awards?

By July 10, 2016 8 Comments Read More →
June 27 – July 3: “Do your characters have favorite cocktails and meals for the summer?”

June 27 – July 3: “Do your characters have favorite cocktails and meals for the summer?”

Summer’s in full swing, so we have to ask: Do your characters have favorite cocktails and meals for the summer? This week we’re joined by ITW Members Tim Baker, Robert Walton, Jennifer Delozier, James W. Ziskin, Camille Minichino, John Farrow and Manning Wolfe. Kick back with your favorite summertime beverage and enjoy!

By June 26, 2016 52 Comments Read More →
June 20 – 26: “Can you write from any location?”

June 20 – 26: “Can you write from any location?”

Can you write from any location? Does changing your setting, time or place, spur new ideas? This week, those are the questions we ask ITW Members J. M. LeDuc, Tim Baker, Mike Dellosso, Tom Breen, Mary Burton, Gordon Chaplin, Camille Minichino and John Farrow.

By June 19, 2016 33 Comments Read More →
June 13 – 19: “What are your favorite countries for settings?”

June 13 – 19: “What are your favorite countries for settings?”

This week we’re joined by ITW Members Tim Baker, Sidney Williams, Karen Harper, Robert Walton, Tom Breen, Connie Di Marco, J. T. Ellison, A. J. Kerns and John Farrow, to answer the question: What are your favorite countries for settings and why?

By June 12, 2016 47 Comments Read More →
June 6 – 12: “Are you satisfied with the number of reviews your books receive?”

June 6 – 12: “Are you satisfied with the number of reviews your books receive?”

This week we ask ITW Members J. Todd Scott, Don Helin, Stephen Martino, Mary Burton and John Farrow: As a writer, are you satisfied with the number of reviews your books receive?

By June 5, 2016 11 Comments Read More →
May 30 – June 5: “Characters: do you start from scratch or use models?”

May 30 – June 5: “Characters: do you start from scratch or use models?”

This week we’re talking characters with ITW Members Kate Kessler, Patricia Rosemoor, Ralph Pezzullo, Jean Heller, Lisa Preston, Jennifer Soosar and William Lashner. When developing characters, do you start from scratch or use models (like real people or movie stars) to build from?

By May 29, 2016 17 Comments Read More →
May 23 – 29: “What is the best clue you’ve inserted into a novel?”

May 23 – 29: “What is the best clue you’ve inserted into a novel?”

Clues foreshadow how plots unfold and characters react. This week we ask ITW Members Susana Calkins, Jean Heller, Jean Harrington and Lisa Preston what is the best clue you’ve inserted into a novel?

By May 22, 2016 11 Comments Read More →
May 9 – 15: “What are your favorite places for settings, and why?”

May 9 – 15: “What are your favorite places for settings, and why?”

This week ITW Members Larry D. Sweazy, Christine Goff, Patricia Rosemoor, Ralph Pezzullo, Dave Edlund, Jean Heller, Magnolia Smith and A.J. Kerns discuss cities, regions and countries when they answer the question: What are your favorite places for settings, and why?

By May 8, 2016 9 Comments Read More →
May 2 – 8: “What are your characters’ favorite activities?”

May 2 – 8: “What are your characters’ favorite activities?”

Characters in thrillers seem far too active to be couch potatoes. This week we ask ITW Members Kate Kessler, Patricia Rosemoor, Dave Edlund, Susanna C. Calkins, E. Michael Helms and Radha Vatsal what are your characters’ favorite activities?  

By May 1, 2016 20 Comments Read More →
April 25 – May 1: “Imagine you could reach out to any author and ask a single question.”

April 25 – May 1: “Imagine you could reach out to any author and ask a single question.”

Imagine you could reach out to any author (living or dead) and ask a single question. This week we ask ITW Members Thomas Kirkwood, Dustin Dodd, Elena Harwell, Jean Heller, J.D. Horn and J.L. Abramo which author would you choose? And, what is your question?  

By April 24, 2016 10 Comments Read More →
April 18 – 24: “How do you avoid writer’s block?”

April 18 – 24: “How do you avoid writer’s block?”

This week we discuss what’s on every writer’s mind, at least from time-to-time: writer’s block. Join ITW Members E. M. Powell, Allison Brennan, Duffy Brown, Thomas Kirkwood, Janelle Samara, Alex Segura, Ryan Quinn, Elena Harwell, Lisa Preston, Robin Yocum, J. D. Horn, Arthur Kerns and Susan Mangiero as they answer the question: How do you avoid writer’s block?

By April 17, 2016 26 Comments Read More →
April 11 – 17: “How do you create fresh and unique action scenes?”

April 11 – 17: “How do you create fresh and unique action scenes?”

Creating fresh and unique action scenes comes with the territory of writing thrillers. This week we ask the question on everyone’s mind: How do you do it? Join ITW Members Allison Brennan, Lisa Preston, Joe Hart, E. M. Powell, Thomas Kirkwood, Connie Archer, Reece Hirsch, Bobby Nash, Adrian Magson, Jeffery Hess, Ryan Quinn and Dustin Dodd for this can’t miss discussion.

By April 10, 2016 47 Comments Read More →
April 4 – 10: “Do you need music or absolute silence when writing?”

April 4 – 10: “Do you need music or absolute silence when writing?”

We have a steller line-up of ITW members this week as we delve into writing habits. Thomas Kirkwood, Janelle Samara, Bobby Nash, J. L. Abramo, Ryan Quinn, Chris Pavone, Alex Gordon, Elena Harwell, Allison Brennan, S.W. Lauden and Daco will answer the question on everyone’s playlist: Do you need music or absolute silence when writing?

By April 3, 2016 66 Comments Read More →