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This week we discuss the wide-ranging impact of our stories and try to answer the question: “Why do stories matter?” Join ITW Members C.E. Lawrence, Amy Lignor, Derek J. Goodman, J. G. Faherty, James Grippando, Mike Befeler, Merry Jones, William McCormick, Chris Allen, Catherine Stovall, Maynard Sims, Catherine Jordan and Lee Weeks.

Besides THE BURNING, JG Faherty is the author of the Bram Stoker Award®-nominated GHOSTS OF CORONADO BAY. His other books include CEMETERY CLUB, CARNIVAL OF FEAR, THE COLD SPOT, and HE WAITS, along with 25-odd short stories. He enjoys urban exploring, photography, hiking, and playing the guitar. As a child, his favorite playground was a 17th-century cemetery, which many people feel explains a lot. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and his website.

Len & Mick writing as Maynard Sims have had numerous novels, novellas and stories published over the past thirty five years. They have run a small press, been editors, essayists and reviewers. Currently they are writing novels, screenplays and stories.

Chris Allen writes escapist action thrillers for realists. A former paratrooper, Chris retired from the Army as a Major in 1996, transitioned into humanitarian aid work during the East Timorese emergency, served with three major law enforcement agencies in Australia, protected the iconic Sydney Opera House in the wake of 9-11 and between 2008 & 2012 was the Sheriff of New South Wales. His novels DEFENDER and HUNTER feature Alex Morgan of INTREPID.”

Catherine Jordan is a Pennsylvania author of paranormal thrillers. She is a wife and mother of five children. Born in Indiana, she was raised in Northeastern PA. She is a graduate of Penn State University with a BS in Finance. Catherine has been writing stories since learning to hold a pencil. She loves family, travel, good food, great stories, and writing. “I do what I love.”

Derek J. Goodman trained as an industrial designer (hence the interest in robots and speculative fiction), and when he’s not writing he is surrounded by books in a Wisconsin library. THE REANIMATION OF EDWARD SCHUETT is published by Permuted Press.

As the daughter of a career librarian Amy Lignor grew up loving books; ‘Patience & Fortitude’ at the NYPL were her heroes. Beginning with Amy’s first book of historical romance, her career flourished when her YA series THE ANGEL CHRONICLES arrived on the scene. She began developing the storyline for this new seven-book series which moved her into the world of action, adventure and romantic suspense. Working as an editor in the publishing industry for decades, Amy is now the Owner/Operator of The Write Companion, as well as a contributor to various literary publications and websites.

Merry Jones is the author of the suspense novel THE TROUBLE WITH CHARLIE, the Harper Jennings thrillers (SUMMER SESSION, BEHIND THE WALLS, and WINTER BREAK), and the Zoe Hayes mysteries (THE NANNY MURDERS, THE RIVER KILLINGS, THE DEADLY NEIGHBORS and THE BORROWED AND BLUE MURDERS). She has also written humor (including I LOVE HIM, BUT…) and non-fiction (including BIRTHMOTHERS: Women who relinquished babies for adoption tell their stories.)

Catherine Stovall is the author of the fiction series, The Requiem of Humanity, and the short story, Fearful Day. Stovall received a degree in Criminal Justice from Colorado Technical University. After working in the field for several years, she has decided to dedicate her life to her true passion, creating captivating works of fiction. She lives in Southeast Missouri with her husband, three children, and pets.

C.E. Lawrence is the byline of a New York-based suspense writer, performer, composer and prize-winning playwright and poet whose previous books have been praised as “lively. . .” (Publishers Weekly); “constantly absorbing. . .” (starred Kirkus Review); and “superbly crafted prose” (Boston Herald). Silent Slaughter and the eBook Silent Stalker are the most recent stories in her Lee Campbell thriller series.  Her short story Silent Justice appears in Mystery Writers of America’s 2012 anthology, Vengeance, edited by Lee Child.  Her short story The Vly will appear in the MWA 2013 anthology What Lies Inside, edited by Brad Meltzer.  Her other work is published under the name of Carole Bugge.  Titan Press recently reissued her first Sherlock Holmes novel, The Star of India.

James Grippando is a New York Times bestselling author of suspense. BLOOD MONEY is his twentieth novel, the tenth in his acclaimed series featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck. James was a trial lawyer for twelve years before the publication of his first novel in 1994 (THE PARDON), and he now serves as Counsel to one of the nation’s leading law firms. He lives in south Florida with his wife, three children, two cats and a golden retriever named Max who has no idea he’s a dog.

Mike Befeler writes the Paul Jacobson Geezer-lit Mystery Series including CRUISING IN YOUR EIGHTIES IS MURDER, SENIOR MOMENTS ARE MURDER, RETIREMENT HOMES ARE MURDER and LIVING WITH YOUR KIDS IS MURDER, which was nominated for the Lefty Award for best humorous mystery of 2009. Mike is vice-president of the Rocky Mountain Chapter of Mystery Writers of America.

A graduate of Brown University with degrees in Ancient Studies and Computer Science, William McCormick earned an MA in Novel Writing from the University of Manchester. He also studied at Lomonosov Moscow State University. His was a finalist for a 2012 Derringer Award, and received a Hawthornden Fellowship for 2013.

Lee Weeks was born in Devon. She left school at seventeen and, armed with a notebook and very little cash, spent seven years working her way around Europe and South East Asia. She returned to settle in London,marry and raise two children.She has worked as an English teacher and personal fitness trainer, a tomato pollinator and a nightclub hostess. Her books have been Sunday Times bestsellers. She now lives in Devon.

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