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thriller-roundtable-logo5This week we join ITW Members Wendy Tyson, Ralph Pezzullo, Cat Connor, Kathrin Lange, JG Faherty, Barbara Petty, Suzanne Johnson, Gary Grossman, Arthur Kerns, Jean Heller and Andy Boot to discuss music and writing. What are the best bands for writing thrillers? Or does haunting classical music work best?


hellerMost of Jean Heller’s career was as an investigative and projects reporter and editor in New York City, Washington, D.C. and St. Petersburg Florida. Her career as a novelist began in the 1990s with the publication of the thrillers, “Maximum Impact” and “Handyman” by St. Martin’s Press. Then life intervened and postponed her new book, “The Someday File,” to publication in late 2014. Jean has won the Worth Bingham Prize, the Polk Award, and is an eight-time Pulitzer Prize nominee.


Pirate's Alley by Suzanne JohnsonSuzanne Johnson is the author of the award-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series from TOR Books. Book four, PIRATE’S ALLEY, was released in April 2015. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the best-selling Penton Legacy paranormal thriller series, as well as The Collectors romantic thriller series, both for Montlake Romance, as well as several standalones. A displaced New Orleanian, Suzanne currently lives in Alabama.


Hunt the Fox by Don Mann and Ralph PezzulloRalph Pezzullo is a New York Times bestselling author, and an award-winning playwright and screenwriter. His books have been published in over twenty languages and include Jawbreaker (with CIA operative Gary Berntsen), Inside SEAL Team Six (with Don Mann), The Walk-In, At the Fall of Somoza, The Chopin Manuscript (winner of the 2008 Audio Book of the Year), Plunging Into Haiti (winner of the 2006 Douglas Dillon Prize for American Diplomacy), Eve Missing, Blood of My Blood, Most Evil (with Steve Hodel), the SEAL Team Six thrillers Hunt the Wolf, Hunt the Scorpion, Hunt the Falcon, Hunt the Jackal, and The Navy SEAL Survival Handbook (also with Don Mann).

Eraserbyte by Cat ConnorCat Connor is a Cantabrian who’s lived most of her life as a northerner. (Makes it a bit hard when the Crusaders play the Hurricanes but apart from that it’s not too bad.) She shares her office with a retired racing greyhound called Romeo and Missy the fat grey cat. Luckily the animals don’t mind loud music. Hosting a fortnightly writing workshop at the Upper Hutt City Library: A Writer’s Plot, is something Cat truly enjoys, and she’s been doing so for 3 years. A coffee addict, lover of pinot, and Jose Cuervo tequila, Cat has been described as irresistible, infectious, and addictive. She believes music is as essential to life as breathing. Cat is a member of The New Zealand Society of Authors and International Thriller Writers. Her latest book, databyte, is longlisted for the 2015 Ngaio Marsh best crime novel Award.

old earthGary Grossman is an Emmy Award–winning television producer, a journalist, college teacher, and author of the bestselling thrillers Executive Actions, Executive Treason, and Executive Command, from Diversion Books. As a member of the International Thriller Writers he has participated in numerous ThrillerFest panels. He credits Michael Palmer for helping launch his career and thanks other ITW members W. G. Griffiths, Steve Berry, and C. J. Lyons, among others, for their help and inspiration. Grossman teaches at Loyola Marymount University’s Graduate School of Film and Television and is a contributing editor to Media Ethics Magazine.

langeKathrin Lange was born in 1969 and lives in Northern Germany. After working at a theological bookshop and publishing one oft he most famous German writer’s magazines “Federwelt”, since 2005 she has been writing novels. Her thrillers are translated into several foreign languages and the story of her thriller 40 HOURS has recently been opted for TV. Kathrin Lange is deeply committed to the promotion of reading and also works as a novel writers’ coach.


TheCureJG Faherty is the author of six novels, seven novellas, and more than 50 short stories. His latest novel is THE CURE, a paranormal thriller about a veterinarian who can heal by laying hands. He has been a finalist for the Bram Stoker Award® and the ITW Thriller Award. To learn more, please visit his blog and follow him on Facebook and Twitter.



Dying Brand by Wendy TysonWendy Tyson is an author, lawyer and former therapist whose background has inspired her mysteries and thrillers. The first Allison Campbell mystery, KILLER IMAGE, was named a best mystery for book clubs in 2014 by, and the third Campbell installment, DYING BRAND, is due out on May 5, 2015. Wendy lives near Philadelphia with her husband, three sons and two muses, dogs Molly and Driggs.


What Has Mother Done_B Petty Cover Final (1)Barbara Petty was born and educated in the Midwest. After a sojourn in Paris during college, she went bi-coastal, starting in New York and then moving on to Los Angeles. She has been a newspaper reporter, a magazine editor and written animation scripts for TV shows such as Transformers, G.I. Joe and My Little Pony. She’s also worked in the film industry, both on staff and behind the camera. What Has Mother Done? is her fourth published novel, and the first of the Thea Browne mystery series.


africaArthur Kerns is a retired FBI supervisory special agent and past president of the Arizona chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers (AFIO). His award-winning short fiction has appeared in numerous anthologies. He is a book reviewer for the Washington Independent Review of Books. In March 2013 Diversion Books, Inc. published his espionage thriller, The Riviera Contract and in May 2014 the sequel, The African Contract.


nodovesAndy Boot has spent most of his career in the shadows as one of the writers behind the series ‘Deathlands’ and ‘The Executioner’, having written 28 novels in these franchises. He also created the ‘Dreams Of Inan’ series for Abaddon, as well as co-creating three other series, writing one novel, and being series consultant. He has written four non-fiction books under his own name, including a seminal work on British Horror films (‘Fragments Of Fear’). He has worked in TV and new media, and just likes writing. He lives just outside London.