Print Friendly, PDF & Email

thriller-roundtable-logo5This week join ITW Members Sandy DeLuca, Brian Poole, John Lutz, Nina Croft, Michael Russell, Anne HillermanSharon Menear and Don Helin as they discuss which comes first, the character or the plot?


NinaCroft_TheDescartesLegacy3Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

hells_doorAt present Sandy DeLuca is a full time writer and painter. She’s written and published numerous novels, two poetry collections and several novellas, including the critically acclaimed MESSAGES FROM THE DEAD and DESCENT. She was a finalist for the BRAM STOKER for poetry award in 2001. She lives with three faithful felines in an old Cape Cod House in Rhode Island.

grievousBrian C. Poole is an author, attorney and all-around pop culture junkie. A Boston area native and graduate of Boston College and Suffolk Law School, Brian’s published novels include Grievous Angels and Echoes of a Distant Thunder. You may also have read some prospectuses that Brian wrote, but for your sake, he hopes not.

TwistCoverJohn Lutz is the author of more than forty-five novels and 200 short stories. His awards include the Edgar, Shamus, and Short Mystery Fiction Society’s Golden Derringer Award. His work has been published in most languages and adapted for almost every medium. He is past president of both Mystery Writers of America and Private Eye Writers of America. His latest book is the thriller TWIST.

The City of Strangers(From Michael Russell) I have written most of my life, mostly UK TV drama. All that started as a way to earn a living. I have finally got round to what I was earning it for: time to write novels. The Stefan Gillespie series (THE CITY OF SHADOWS, THE CITY OF STRANGERS) is set in Ireland in the 30s and 40s and in cities playing a major part in WWII: Danzig, New York, Lisbon, Berlin, London, Rome. War and the rumour of war; Ireland’s dark past and present; being neutral when there’s no neutrality; ordinary people dragged reluctantly into the darkness; hopefully a good yarn; the Wicklow Mountains (where I live with my family); and a detective who can if needed, when not investigating crimes his superiors would rather he didn’t, milk a cow and shear a sheep!

Spider Woman's DaughterAnne Hillerman is an award-winning reporter, the author of several non-fiction books, and the daughter of New York Times bestselling author Tony Hillerman. She lives in Santa Fe, and Spider Woman’s Daughter is her first novel.


During Don Helin‘s time in the military, he spent seven years in the Pentagon. These assignments have provided him background for his thrillers. His first novel, “Thy Kingdom Come,” was published in 2009. His second, “Devil’s Den,” has been selected as a finalist in the Indie Book Awards. Don lives in central Pennsylvania where he is working on “Secret Assault,” to be published in Spring 2014.

Deadstick Dawn-jpeg finalS.L. Menear traveled the world as a Pan Am flight attendant before switching careers and becoming a major airline pilot who flew B727s, B737s, DC-9s, and BAC 1-11 jet airliners. She also flew many antique and experimental aircraft, enjoyed aerobatic flying, scuba diving, skiing, motorcycling, surfing, sailing, horseback riding, and powered paragliding.