Print Friendly, PDF & Email

thriller-roundtable-logo5“Do day jobs get in the way of writing thrillers? When do they help?” This week ITW Members M.P. Cooley, Stacy J. Childs, Kelli Stanley, John Florio, Ken Kuhlken, Whitley Strieber, Lee Thompson, Shirley McCann, Linda Davies and Michael Richards discuss day job pros and cons!


Alien Hunter--the Underworld by Whitley StrieberWhitley Strieber is the author of many thrillers, among them classics such as the Wolfen and the Hunger, and more recent books like the Grays, which is in development as a movie, and the Alien Hunter series, which is in development as a TV series. His movies are the Wolfen, the Hunger, Communion and the Day After Tomorrow, based on his book Superstorm. His latest thriller, Alien Hunter: Underworld is the second in the Alien Hunter series. It’s not a sequel, but a stand alone book continuing the character of Flynn Carroll, a police officer who works with an alien police force to apprehend alien criminals on earth.

Blind Moon Alley by John FlorioJohn Florio is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in print, on the web, and on television. He is the author of SUGAR POP MOON and BLIND MOON ALLEY—the first two Jersey Leo crime novels—and ONE PUNCH FROM THE PROMISED LAND: Leon Spinks, Michael Spinks, and the Myth of the Heavyweight Title. He lives in Brooklyn, New York, with his wife, Ouisie Shapiro.


stacyDr. Stacy J. Childs was raised in Abilene, Texas, and then attended college at Tulane University and medical school at Louisiana State University, both in New Orleans. He completed his residencies in Birmingham, Alabama, after which he remained in private practice there for seventeen years. Dr. Childs then practiced in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where he affiliated with the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center as Clinical Professor of Surgery. In 2004, he and his wife, Diana, moved to Steamboat Springs, Colorado, where he now lives and works. Dr. Childs has twenty-eight years of clinical research experience and has published extensively throughout his career. He was the first urologic editor of Medscape, was editor in chief of Infections in Urology for eighteen years, and is on the editorial board of Urology. His hobbies include alpine ski racing, biking, fly-fishing and fiction writing.

A Beautiful Madness by Lee ThompsonLee Thompson is the author of the Suspense novels A BEAUTIFUL MADNESS (August 2014), IT’S ONLY DEATH (January 2015), and WITH FURY IN HAND (May 2015). The dominating threads weaved throughout his work are love, loss, and learning how to live again. A firm believer in the enduring power of the human spirit, Lee believes that stories, no matter their format, set us on the path of transformation.

The Good Know Nothing by Ken KuhlkenKen Kuhlken‘s short stories, features, essays and columns have appeared in Esquire and dozens of other magazines and anthologies and earned a National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship. His novels have earned numerous awards such as the Ernest Hemingway Best First Novel, the St. Martin’s/Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel, and the Shamus Best Novel. His new Tom Hickey California Crime novel is The Good Know Nothing. Get the whole story at:


Ark Storm by Linda DaviesLinda Davies worked as an investment banker before escaping to write the international bestseller NEST OF VIPERS. She has written multiple books since, Financial Thrillers and Young Adult thrillers. She spent three years living in Peru and eight years living in the Middle East. In 2005 she and her husband were kidnapped at sea by Iranian government forces and held hostage in Iran for two weeks before being released. She has written about her experiences in her first non-fiction book, HOSTAGE (published this August 2014). She now lives near the sea, where she swims, but chooses not to sail.

City of Ghosts by Kelli StanleyKelli Stanley writes the Miranda Corbie series of literary noir novels, set in 1940 San Francisco and featuring the iconoclastic private eye Miranda Corbie–called, by Library Journal, one of “crime’s most arresting heroines.” CITY OF DRAGONS won the Macavity Award and was nominated for a Shamus and Los Angeles Times Book Prize; CITY OF SECRETS won the Golden Nugget for best California-set mystery, and CITY OF GHOSTS just received a glowing review from the Wall Street Journal.


Ice Shear by M.P. CooleyM.P. Cooley‘s debut crime novel ICE SHEAR (William Morrow) is one of O, The Oprah Magazine’s Best Books of Summer 2014 and was called “an excellent debut” by Publishers Weekly in their starred review. A native of upstate New York, she currently lives in Campbell, California. She studied literature at Barnard College, and went on to work in tax and law publishing, acquiring business, accounting, and economics books. Currently, she works in administration at a nonprofit organization in Silicon Valley.

Anonymously Yours by Shirley McCannShirley McCann’s fiction has appeared in Woman’s World, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, The Forensic Examiner, and many other publications. She enjoys reading and writing all genres. She lives in Springfield, Missouri. Her newest release, ANONYMOUSLY YOURS, is a cozy mystery. Her YA Novel, THE SCARRY INN, will soon be released by Black Opal Books.



For more than two decades, M. A. Richards served as a Cultural Attaché in the Department of State at embassies and consulates in Baghdad, Jerusalem, Lagos, Moscow, Seoul, and Tel Aviv, in addition to assignments in Washington. He also served at U.S. Pacific Command in Honolulu as the Special Advisor to the Commander, a four star Admiral.  He speaks Arabic, Hebrew, Korean, and Russian. An award winning photographer, avid surfer, and rider of Victory and Triumph motorcycles, he currently resides in Hawai’i with his wife Young, a ceramic artist. His debut novel, CHOICE OF ENEMIES – A Nathan Monsarrat Thriller – is currently under consideration.