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This week we revisit Psychology 101, writer-style: “How do you separate yourself from the characters you write? Or do you?” Join ITW Members Mick Sims, Nancy Bilyeau, Mark de Castrique, Shelia Goss, Wendy Soliman, Owen Fitzstephen and Erin Hart for another can’t-miss discussion!


Erin Hart’s archaeological crime novels are set in the mysterious Irish bogs. HAUNTED GROUND (2003), was shortlisted for Anthony and Agatha awards; LAKE OF SORROWS (2004) was a Minnesota Book Award finalist; FALSE MERMAID (2010) made ALA/Booklist’s Top Ten Crime Novels of 2010. THE BOOK OF KILLOWEN will be published in March 2013.

Len Maynard & Mick Sims, Maynard Sims, are authors of six novels, four novellas eight collections. DARK OF THE SUN is their first non-supernatural thriller, but not their last. It has its own website. It features a hero who is quite happy with his lot in life in the Bahamas. Then people start getting killed, and his life is turned upside down and he is dragged into an underworld of intrigue and danger.

Nancy Bilyeau is a magazine editor who has worked for ROLLING STONE and INSTYLE and is currently the executive editor of DUJOUR. Her 2012 debut novel, THE CROWN, reached the shortlist for the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger Award of the Crime Writers Association in the UK. Historian Alison Weir said of THE CROWN, “A stunning debut. One of the best historical novels I have ever read.”

Mark de Castrique is the author of two critically-acclaimed series, the Barry Clayton and the Sam Blackman mysteries. His 2012 D.C. thriller, THE 13TH TARGET, was called “one of the best political thrillers of the year” by the San Francisco Book Review. He has also written two mysteries for Young Adults – A CONSPIRACY OF GENES and DEATH ON A SOUTHERN BREEZE. Mark and his wife Linda live in Charlotte but are often found in the western North Carolina Mountains or our nation’s capital.

Shelia M. Goss is a national best-selling author and screenwriter and has over fifteen books in print. She writes in multiple genres: Christian fiction, romance, suspense, and young adult. USA Today says, “Goss has an easy, flowing style with her prose…” She’s the recipient of several awards and honored as a Literary Diva: The Top 100 Most Admired African American Women in Literature.

W. Soliman is a British author who grew up in Cowes, Isle of Wight. It was either join the yachting fraternity or make up stories about them. The latter seemed safer! To learn more about W. Soliman, please visit her website, or join her on Twitter (@wendyswriter) and Facebook (Wendy Soliman – Author).

Owen Fitzstephen is the author of numerous novels as well as a middle-grade trilogy, THE MISADVENTURES OF EDGAR AND ALLAN POE. Additionally, he is co-author of the non-fiction book, THE WAY OF BASEBALL, FINDING STILLNESS AT 95 MPH. He has taught creative writing and literature at U.C. Irvine, U.C.L.A. and Chapman University. He lives with his wife Julie in southern California.