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thriller-roundtable-logo5 This week ITW Members William P. Wood, Amy Shojai, William Dietrich, Ralph Pezzullo, Gary Kriss, John Lescroart, Thomas M. Malafarina, Rex Burns, Michael Niemann, Ted Scofield, Lisa Von Biela, Bob Walton, Brandon Hebert and Tom Avitabile answer the question on everyone’s mind: “How do you separate the author from your characters?”



ThreeEmperors HC cWilliam Dietrich is the NY Times bestselling author of the Ethan Gage historical thriller series, featuring an American adventurer in the Napoleonic Wars. He’s written a dozen thrillers, five non-fiction titles, and as a journalist won a Pulitzer for coverage of the Exxon Valdez oil spill. He has sold into 28 languages. Bill lives in Anacortes, WA.


keeperJohn Lescroart is the author of twenty-four novels, fifteen of which have been NY Times Bestsellers.  Libraries Unlimited places him among “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors.” With sales of over ten million copies, his books have been translated into twenty-two languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies.  John’s first novel, SUNBURN, won the Joseph Henry Jackson Award.  DEAD IRISH and THE 13TH JUROR were nominees for the Shamus and Anthony Best Mystery Novel, respectively; additionally THE 13TH JUROR is included in the International Thriller Writers publication “100 Must-Read Thrillers Of All Time.”  HARD EVIDENCE made “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Ultimate Reading List.” THE SUSPECT was the American Author’s Association 2007 Book of the Year. John’s books have been Main Selections of one or more of the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Book of the Month Club.

Ash and Bone by Lisa von BielaLisa von Biela worked in Information Technology for 25 years, then left the field to attend the University of Minnesota Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 2009. She now practices law in Seattle, Washington. Lisa’s first short story appeared in The Edge in 2002. Her short works have appeared in various small press venues, including, Twilight Times, Dark Animus, AfterburnSF, and more. She is the author of the techno/medical thriller novels THE GENESIS CODE and THE JANUS LEGACY. Her noir/suspense novella, ASH AND BONE, is being released in May 2014, and her BigPharma thriller, BLOCKBUSTER, is scheduled for release in January 2015.

Eat What You Kill by Ted ScofieldTed Scofield is a novelist, non-fiction author, securities attorney and entrepreneur.  St. Martin’s released his debut novel, EAT WHAT YOU KILL, on March 25, 2014.  Edward R. Pressman, the famed producer of such films as Wall Street, American Psycho and The Crow franchise, has purchased the movie rights.  Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Ted is a three-time graduate of Vanderbilt University.  He and his wife, contemporary artist Christi Scofield, live on the Upper East Side of Manhattan.

Legitimate Business by Michael NiemannMichael Niemann is a newcomer to crime fiction. His story “Africa Always Needs Guns” made it into the 2012 MWA Anthology. His thriller “Legitimate Business” was published in 2014 by Endeavour Press. In his previous life, he wrote a book on regionalism and numerous articles on global and African issues. He has traveled widely through Europe and southern Africa. A native German, he now lives in southern Oregon with his wife, who keeps him grounded, and his dog, who gets him up early.

The Buddy System by Brandon HebertBrandon Hebert lives in a sleepy Louisiana town with his wife and three high-maintenance dogs.  In his spare time, he enjoys being at home, fishing with his dad and dissecting fake Cajun accents in movies.  The Buddy System is his third novel.  His first, My Own Worst Enemy, was named to Kirkus Reviews’ Best Debut Fiction of 2010 list.  His second, Odd Man Out, was hailed as a “combustible atmosphere” and “three-course banquet of felonies.”

fatal snowRobert Walton grew up in the village of Narberth Pennsylvania. He is a realtor, restaurateur, and writer, and has worked tirelessly to live up to his father’s expectations. Having failed at that, he traveled the world in search of the true meaning of life. Still, this did not stop him from pursuing a career in writing.  His next book follows Harry Thursday in a quest to solve the riddle of the Mask of Minos.

Dead Kill - Book 1 - The Ridge Of Death by Thomas M. MalafarinaThomas M. Malafarina has published five horror novels, five collections of horror short stories and a book of single panel cartoons; all through Sunbury Press. Thomas’s works have appeared in dozens of short story anthologies and e-magazines. Thomas is known for the twists and surprises in his stories as well as his descriptive often-gory passages. He has been given him the reputation of being one who paints with words.

Body Slam by Rex BurnsRex Burns, author of numerous books, articles, reviews, and stories, won an Edgar for The Alvarez Journal. The Avenging Angel became a Charles Bronson film. His “Constable Leonard Smith” stories appear in Alfred Hitchcock Magazine. His novels, including the latest, Body Slam, are available from Mysterious Press/ Open Road Media.

suddenimpactWilliam P. Wood is the author of nine legal thrillers, including his latest book Sudden Impact. Two of his novels, Rampage and Court of Honor (“Broken Trust”), have been made into films. He also co-wrote several episodes of the CBS-TV series “Kaz.” Wood’s nonfiction book, The Bone Garden, is the definitive account of serial killer Dorothea Puente. As former Sacramento deputy district attorney, Wood had sent Puente to prison for drugging and robbing the elderly.

Hide and Seek by Amy ShojaiAmy Shojai, CABC is the best-selling award winning author of two dozen pet books and channels her “inner pet” to write dog-viewpoint THRILLERS WITH BITE! Her critically acclaimed debut thriller LOST AND FOUND launched her fiction career in late 2012, followed in 2014 by the sequel HIDE AND SEEK. She specializes in stories that prompt an emotional response in both herself and her readers, and loves to write “furry” medical thrill-rides that leave readers gasping with delight. She’s currently writing SHOW AND TELL, the next book in the series.

The Zodiac Deception by Gary KrissGary Kriss, a former college professor and an award-winning reporter for the New York Times, was born in Brooklyn and raised in a small town in Eastern Tennessee. Kriss and his wife, Pat, live in a northern suburb of New York City. For those who want to know more can follow the progress of the book, and find extras for THE ZODIAC DECEPTION on Gary’s website. They can also find him at @garykrisswrites.

Hunt the Jackal by Don Mann and Ralph PezzulloRalph Pezzullo is a New York Times bestselling author, and award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His books have been published in over twenty languages and include JAWBREAKER (with former CIA operative Gary Berntsen), INSIDE SEAL TEAM SIX (with Don Mann), THE WALK-IN, AT THE FALL OF SOMOZA, PLUNGING INTO HAITI (winner of the 2006 Douglas Dillon Prize for American Diplomacy), EVE MISSING, BLOOD OF MY BLOOD, MOST EVIL, and THE NAVY SEAL SURVIVAL HANDBOOK and the SEAL Team Six thrillers HUNT THE WOLF. HUNT THE SCORPION, HUNT THE FALCON, and the forthcoming HUNT THE JACKAL (also with Don Mann).

godparticleTom Avitabile, a Senior VP/Creative Director at a New York advertising firm, is a writer, director, and producer with numerous film and television credits. He has an extensive background in engineering and computers, including work on projects for the House Committee on Science and Technology, which helped lay the foundation for The Eighth Day, his first novel. In his spare time, Tom is a professional musician and an amateur woodworker. He recently completed his fourth novel “The Devil’s Quota.” His third novel, The God Particle hits the shelves this June 17th.