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thriller-roundtable-logo5Is fact really stranger than fiction? This week, ITW Members Daniel Suarez, Laura Griffin, Phillip Donlay, Tom Wilde, Michael McBride, Colin Campbell, Paige Dearth, Tim Waggoner and Kathleen George will answer that question while exploring how weave the two to make a really compelling story.


FAR GONE cover Laura GriffinNew York Times and USA Today bestselling author Laura Griffin started her career in journalism before venturing into the world of suspense fiction. She is a two-time RITA Award winner as well as the recipient of the Daphne du Maurier Award. Her newest book FAR GONE is out April 15 and received a Starred Review from Publishers Weekly. Laura currently lives in Austin, where she is working on her next book.

burial groundMichael McBride is the bestselling author of Bloodletting, Burial Ground, Predatory Instinct, The Coyote, and Vector Borne. His novella Snowblind won the 2012 DarkFuse Readers Choice Award and received honorable mention in The Best Horror of the Year. 2014 will see the release of three new novels: Ancient Enemy, Fearful Symmetry, and Sunblind. He lives in Avalanche Country with his wife and kids.

deadly echoesAs a young man, Philip Donlay’s life was shaped by two distinct events. At the age of seventeen, he earned his pilot’s license, and at eighteen was published in a national aviation magazine. The combination of these two passions: flying and writing, has led to successful careers as both a professional pilot and novelist. Donlay divides his time between Montana, and the San Juan Islands. He is the author of four novels, Category Five, Code Black, Zero Separation, and Deadly Echoes.

The Johnstown Girls by Kathleen GeorgeKathleen George lives in Pittsburgh where she is a professor of theatre and writing at the University of Pittsburgh. She is the author of the acclaimed novels  TAKENFALLENAFTERIMAGETHE ODDS (nominated for an Edgar(R) award for best novel by the Mystery Writers of America), HIDEOUTSIMPLE, and A MEASURE OF BLOOD (2014) and also a non-series novel, THE JOHNSTOWN GIRLS, a non-series novel about the Johnstown Flood.  Kathy is the editor of PITTSBURGH NOIR, a collection of short fiction, the author of her own short story collection THE MAN IN THE BUICK, and of scholarly theatrical books and articles. She is married to writer Hilary Masters, who asked her out twenty years ago because he figured she, a theatre director, would be interesting—he was tired of being around writers. On the first date, she told him she had begun writing (or more accurately had taken it up again, having said from the time she was seven that she wanted to be a writer).

Montecito Heights (2)Ex-policeman. Ex-soldier. International tennis player. And full-time crime novelist. Colin Campbell is a retired police officer in West Yorkshire, having tackled crime in one of the UK’s busiest cities for 30 years. He is the author of UK crime novels, Blue Knight White Cross and Northern Ex, and US thrillers Jamaica Plain and Montecito Heights featuring rogue Yorkshire cop Jim Grant. He counts Lee Child and Matt Hilton among his fans.

When Smiles Fade by Paige DearthPaige Dearth was a victim of child rape and spent her early years yearning desperately for a better life. Living through the fear and isolation that marked her youth, she found a way of coping with the trauma of her past and the angst that scarred her present: she developed the ability to dream up stories grounded in reality that would prove cathartic for her and provide her with a creative outlet. Paige’s novels are a fine balance between what lives on in her imagination and the evil that lurks in the real world.

The Blood of Alexander by Tom WildeTom Wilde has worked as a government criminal investigator on cases that range from homicide to child abduction, and in that service traveled across the United States, as well as Germany, Romania and Mexico. Wilde is qualified as an instructor in police firearms and weaponless defense training.



Say That to My Face by Bernard MaestasBernard Maestas lives in paradise. A police officer patrolling the mean streets of Hawaii, he has a background in contract security and military and civilian law enforcement. When not saving the world, one speeding ticket at a time, and not distracted by video games or the internet, he is usually hard at work on his next book. You can learn more about SAY THAT TO MY FACE, Bernard Maestas and his work on his official Facebook Page.

the way of all fleshShirley Jackson Award-nominated author Tim Waggoner has published over thirty novels and three short story collections of dark fiction. He teaches creative writing at Sinclair Community College and in Seton Hill University’s Master of Fine Arts in Writing Popular Fiction program.