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This week we answer the most important question of all: “”How do you choose your character’s names?” Join ITW Members Michael W. Sherer, Claude Berube, G.M. Malliet, Judith Rock, Amy Shojai and Fleur Bradley for this can’t-miss discussion.


After stints as a manual laborer, dishwasher, bartender, restaurant manager, commercial photographer, magazine editor and public relations executive, Michael Sherer decided life should imitate art. He’s now an author and freelance writer. Mike has published six novels in the Emerson Ward mystery series and ISLAND LIFE a stand-alone suspense novel in addition to NIGHT BLIND. He’s now working on the fourth book in the Blake Sanders series as well as BLIND RAGE, a thriller for young adults. Visit him at

Amy Shojai is a certified animal behavior consultant, and the award-winning author of 26 best selling nonfiction pet books. She writes THRILLERS WITH BITE! as an ITW Debut Author with LOST AND FOUND, a heart-racing story that incorporates dog viewpoint, a heroic cat, and an animal behavist. Amy has been featured as an expert in many venues including The New York Times, Reader’s Digest, Family Circle, CNN, and Animal Planet’s DOGS 101 and CATS 101.

Claude Berube is the author of THE ADEN EFFECT. He previously wrote three non-fiction books and over thirty articles. He has worked for two U.S. Senators and headed a terrorism analysis cell for the Office of Naval Intelligence. An officer in the Navy Reserve, he deployed to the Persian Gulf in 2004-05 with Expeditionary Strike Group Five. He currently teaches in the Department of History at the United States Naval Academy.

F. T. Bradley, author of middle-grade thriller DOUBLE VISION (Harper Children’s) is originally from the Netherlands and still likes to travel whenever she gets a chance. Her husband’s Air Force career has F. T. and their two daughters moving all around the world, but for the moment the family lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. DOUBLE VISION is the first book in her new middle-grade series about Lincoln Baker and Ben Green.

G.M. Malliet, winner of the Agatha Award for 2008’s DEATH OF A COZY WRITER, is currently at work on a new series for Thomas Dunne/Minotaur Books. The first book in the new series is the Agatha-nominated WICKED AUTUMN (Sept. 2011), which received starred reviews from Booklist and Library Journal. Library Journal and the Boston Globe also named it a Best Mystery of 2011: “Sly humor rivals Jane Austen’s.” The second book in the Max Tudor series is A FATAL WINTER (Oct. 2012).

For many years a modern dancer and choreographer, Judith Rock founded Body and Soul Dance Company in Berkeley, California, toured extensively as a solo concert dancer, and studied baroque dance. Research for her Ph.D. in art and theology took her to Paris, where she lived at the nearby Jesuit Cultural Center and researched the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century ballets produced at the Paris Jesuit College of Louis le Grand. Rock has written on dance, art, and theology for many journals, and has been artist-in-residence and taught and lectured at colleges, seminaries and conferences across the United States and abroad. THE RHETORIC OF DEATH, her first novel, was a 2011 Barry Award nominee.

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