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This week we turn our attention to characters, creepy characters and how to keep them believable. Join ITW Members Vincent Zandri, Brett Talley, M.R. Gott, Michaelbrent Collings, R. Thomas Riley, W.D. Gagliani, Rick Reed, JG Faherty, Douglas Wynne, Ania Ahlborn, John Grover and Christian Riley for this can’t-miss discussion!


John Grover is a fiction author residing in Massachusetts. He completed a creative writing course at Boston’s Fisher College and is a member of the New England Horror Writers Association. Some of his more recent credits include stories in Best New Werewolf Tales Vol 1 by Books of the Dead Press, The Epitaphs Anthology by The New England Horror Writers, The Northern Haunts Anthology by Shroud Publishing, and The Zombology Series by Library of the Living Dead Press. He is the author several collections including the recently released Creatures and Crypts for Amazon Kindle as well as various chapbooks, anthologies, and more. Please visit his website or his Facebook page.

Vincent Zandri is a photojournalist, world traveler, and the author of more than thirteen books from publishers such as Delacorte Press, Dell, Thomas & Mercer, and more. An Amazon Number 1 International Bestseller, many of his novels have entered into their second and third editions. He also has new novels, novellas, and shorts coming from StoneGate Ink/ StoneHouse Ink, as well as from his own label, Bear Media.

Born in Ciechanów, Poland, Ania Ahlborn is also the author of the supernatural thriller SEED, and is currently working on her third novel. She earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of New Mexico, enjoys gourmet cooking, baking, drawing, traveling, movies, and exploring the darkest depths of the human (and sometimes inhuman) condition. She lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, with her husband and two dogs.

Brett J. Talley is the Bram Stoker Nominated author of That Which Should Not Be and The Void. A native of the South, Brett received a philosophy and history degree from the University of Alabama before moving to witch-haunted Massachusetts to attend Harvard Law School. He seeks out the mysterious and the unknown and believes that the light can always triumph over the darkness, no matter how black the night may be.

R. Thomas Riley is the author of the short story collection THE MONSTER WITHIN IDEA (2009-2011) published by Hugo Nominated Apex Publications and re-released as a Kindle exclusive in 2011. IF GOD DOESN’T SHOW (co-written with John Grover) was published by Permuted Press and, July 2012. DIAPHANOUS (co-written with Roy C. Booth) is available now. THE DAY LUFBERRY WON IT ALL was adapted to short film by Frosty Moon Omnimedia in 2010.

M.R. Gott, the author of the novel WHERE THE DEAD FEAR TO TREAD which was called ” frantic, horrific, brutal, and without doubt the darkest thing I have read in years. Maybe in my life, by She Never Slept and “one of the most disturbing and atmospheric things I’ve read in a long while,” by Dana Fredsti author of Plague Town. Aside from writing, M.R. enjoys strong coffee, dark beer, red wine, and fading light.

W.D. Gagliani is the author of the horror thriller WOLF’S TRAP (Samhain Publishing), a past Bram Stoker Award nominee, as well as WOLF’S GAMBIT and WOLF’S BLUFF (47North), WOLF’S EDGE (Samhain), the upcoming WOLF’S CUT (Samhain), the hard-noir thriller SAVAGE NIGHTS (Tarkus Press), the collection SHADOWPLAYS, as well as MYSTERIES & MAYHEM (Tarkus Press, w/ David Benton). Gagliani is also the author of various short stories published in many anthologies, plus numerous book reviews, articles, and interviews. He is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association (HWA), the International Thriller Writers (ITW), and the Authors Guild. He lives and writes in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.

Rick R. Reed is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a two-time EPIC eBook Award winner. His work has caught the attention of Unzipped magazine, “The Stephen King of gay horror,”; Lambda Literary, “A writer that doesn’t disappoint,”; and Dark Scribe magazine, “an established brand—perhaps the most reliable contemporary author for thrillers that cross over between the gay fiction market and speculative fiction.” He lives in Seattle. To learn more about Rick and his various titles, please visit his website and his blog.

A lifelong resident of New York’s highly haunted Hudson Valley region, JG Faherty grew up amid Revolutionary War graveyards, haunted roads, and woods filled with ghostly apparitions. His varied professional career includes working as a resume writer, laboratory manager, accident scene photographer, zoo keeper, scientist, and salesman. He began writing fiction in 2001, and his short stories, poetry, and articles- have appeared in numerous magazines and anthologies.

Michaelbrent Collings is a bestselling novelist and produced screenwriter. His last two horror novels, APPARITION and THE HAUNTED, have spent months on Amazon’s horror and supernatural horror bestseller lists; and BARRICADE, for which he wrote the screenplay, was released on DVD/BluRay throughout North America in September of 2012. He hopes someday to develop superpowers, or at the very least a cool robot arm. You can follow him on Facebook and in so doing you will guarantee your safety when the Glorious Revolution/Zombie Apocalypse/Fall of Western Civilization begins.

With forty story acceptances in less than two years, as well as a recent “Honorable Mention” at L. Ron Hubbard’s Writers of the Future Contest, Christian Riley sees no end to his addiction to writing. His stories have been published in numerous magazines and anthologies, including Midwest Literary Magazine, Short Story.Me, Bete Noire, The Absent Willow Review, Underground Voices, Residential Aliens, Bards and Sages Quarterly, and the widely acclaimed anthology from The Horror Zine, A Feast of Frights. You can reach him at, or at his rather static blog;

Douglas Wynne is no stranger to dark places; he honed his storytelling craft as a frontman in basements and bars during Boston’s 90′s‐era underground rock scene. Originally from Long Island, he attended Berklee College of Music, followed by a stint as a recording engineer in Woodstock, New York before returning to Massachusetts, where he currently resides with his wife and son. THE DEVIL OF ECHO LAKE is his first novel.