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Start off the new year right! Join ITW Members Jennie Bentley, Derek J. Goodman, Robin Burcell, Toby Tate, Ashok Banker, Tace Baker, Rick R. Reed, William McCormick, Chris Allen, Judith Cutler, Sharon Alice Geyer, Amy Lignor, Maynard Sims, Catherine Jordan and Jason Dean as they discuss which authors have inspired them.


William Burton McCormick’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine and the anthology “Blood Promises and Other Commitment” edited by Jim Snowden. He was a finalist for a Derringer Award in 2012, and will be a Hawthornden Fellow in 2013. A world traveler, William has lived in seven countries including Latvia and Russia to research and write his debut novel “Lenin’s Harem.”

Dubbed Birmingham (UK)’s Queen of Crime, Judith Cutler began her working life as a college lecturer. She is a prize-winning short story writer: her work has been widely anthologised. Most of her full-length thrillers feature contemporary female protagonists, but Tobias Campion, a nineteenth century clergyman, has joined the women in their fight to right wrongs. Her latest novel is Burying the Past, featuring Detective Chief Superintendent Fran Harman.

Sharon Alice Geyer lived and worked in both Iran and Israel from 1963 to 1989. She returned to the United States and earned a bachelor’s degree in English from Arizona State University. She lives in San Juan Capistrano with her husband, an archaeobotanist and research fellow at the Sinman Institute. She is currently working on the third book in the Samson Option Trilogy.

Toby Tate has been a writer since about the age of 12, when he first began writing short stories and publishing his own movie monster magazine. LILITH is his second novel. Toby is also a songwriter and musician. He currently lives with his family near the Dismal Swamp in northeastern North Carolina.

Edith Maxwell (Tace Baker) writes the Local Foods Mysteries. A TINE TO LIVE, A TINE TO DIE introduces organic farmer Cam Flaherty and a group of local-foods enthusiasts (Kensington Publishing, June, 2013). Edith once owned and operated a small certified-organic farm. SPEAKING OF MURDER (Barking Rain Press, September 2012, under pseudonym Tace Baker) features Quaker linguistics professor Lauren Rousseau. Edith, a mother, linguist, and technical writer, lives north of Boston with her beau and three cats.

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.”

Robin Burcell, an FBI-trained forensic artist, has worked as a police officer, detective, hostage negotiator and criminal investigator for nearly three decades. The Black List is her latest international thriller about an FBI forensic artist. Face of a Killer was the first in the series and received a starred review from Library Journal. It was followed by The Bone Chamber, and The Dark Hour.

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.”

New York Times bestselling author Jennie Bentley/Jenna Bennett writes the Do It Yourself home renovation mysteries for Berkley Prime Crime and the Cutthroat Business mysteries for her own gratification. For Entangled Publishing, she writes a variety of romance, from contemporary to futuristic, and from paranormal to romantic suspense.

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.

Ashok Banker’s books have sold over 1.4 million copies in twelve languages and fifty seven countries. He is currently best known for his multi-volume retellings of epics. But long before he became India’s favourite epic storyteller, he was the author of the first Indian crime novels in English. With Blood Red Sari, Ashok reinvents the action thriller in a new global all-female avatar.

Rick R. Reed is all about exploring the romantic entanglements of gay men in contemporary, realistic settings. While his stories often contain elements of suspense, mystery and the paranormal, his focus ultimately returns to the power of love. He is the author of dozens of published novels, novellas, and short stories. He is a two-time EPIC eBook Award winner (for Orientation and The Blue Moon Cafe). Lambda Literary Review has called him, “a writer that doesn’t disappoint.” Rick lives in Seattle with his partner and a very spoiled Boston terrier. He is forever “at work on another novel.”

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.

Jason Dean was born in London and raised in the south-east of England. After spending much of his working life as a graphic designer, he finally decided he wanted to try writing the kind of American thrillers he’s always loved reading. Now a full-time author, Jason lives in the Far East with his wife, making occasional trips to England or the States whenever the need arises. BACKTRACK is his second novel.