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This week we talk book revisions: “When revising a book, do you tackle all the problems at once or do you work in layers? Which elements of fiction – point of view, eliminating wordiness, character checks – might require a special read?” with Clea Simon, Susanna Calkins, Robert K. Lewis, Jonathan Maberry, Heather Graham, Thomas M. Malafarina, Katia Lief and Pamela Beason.


Pamela Beason lives in the Pacific Northwest, where she writes novels and screenplays and works as a private investigator. When she’s not on the job, she explores the natural world on foot, cross-country skis, by kayak, or in scuba gear. Beason is the author of the Summer Westin eco-mystery series from Berkley Prime Crime (ENDANGERED, BEAR BAIT, UNDERCURRENTS) as well as three novels from WildWing Press: THE ONLY WITNESS, SHAKEN, and CALL OF THE JAGUAR.

Katia Lief ‘s newest thriller THE MONEY KILL, just published by HarperCollins, is the fourth in her acclaimed Karin Schaeffer series. She teaches fiction writing at The New School in Manhattan and lives with her family in Brooklyn.

Susanna Calkins is a historian and academic, currently working at Northwestern University. She’s had a morbid curiosity about murder in seventeenth-century England since grad school, when first doing research for her Ph.D. in history. The ephemera from the archives—tantalizing true accounts of the fantastic and the strange—inspired her historical mysteries, including A Murder at Rosamund’s Gate. Born and raised in Philadelphia, she lives outside Chicago now with her husband and two sons.

A reformed journalist, Clea Simon wrote three nonfiction books before turning to a life of crime (fiction). She is the author of three series, the Theda Krakow mysteries; the Dulcie Schwartz feline mysteries, the most recent of which is True Grey (Severn House); and the Pru Marlowe pet noirs, which continues this month with Parrots Prove Deadly (Poisoned Pen Press). She is currently working on new Prus and Dulcies.

Bay Area resident Robert K. Lewis has been a painter, printmaker, and a produced screenwriter. He is a contributor to Macmillan’s crime fiction fansite, Criminal Element. Lewis is a member of Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, the International Thriller Writers, and the Crime Writers Association. Untold Damage is his first novel. Visit him online at and at

Jonathan Maberry is a NY Times bestselling author, multiple Bram Stoker Award winner, and freelancer for Marvel Comics. His novels include EXTINCTION MACHINE, FIRE & ASH, PATIENT ZERO and many others. His award-winning teen novel, ROT & RUIN, is now in development for film. He is the editor of V-WARS, an award-winning vampire anthology. Since 1978 he’s sold more than 1200 magazine feature articles, 3000 columns, plays, greeting cards, song lyrics, and poetry.

Heather Graham is the NEW YORK TIMES and USA TODAY bestselling author of over a hundred novels including suspense, paranormal, historical, and mainstream Christmas fare. She lives in Miami, Florida, her home, and an easy shot down to the Keys where she can indulge in her passion for diving. Travel, research, and ballroom dancing also help keep her sane; she is the mother of five, and also resides with two dogs, a cat, and an albino skunk. She is CEO of Slush Pile Productions, a recording company and production house for various charity events.

Thomas M. Malafarina is an author of horror fiction from Berks County, Pennsylvania. He has published four horror novels 99 SOULS, BURN PHONE, EYE CONTACT and FALLEN STONES as well as for collections of horror short stories; 13 NASTY ENDINGS , GALLLERY OF HORROR, MALAFARINA MALEFICARUM Vol. 1, MALAFARINA MALEFICARUM Vol. 2 and most recently GHOST SHADOWS. He has also published a book of often strange single panel cartoons called YES I SMELLED IT TOO; CARTOONS FOR THE SLIGHTLY OFF CENTER.