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thriller-roundtable-logo5Writers must wear many hats. This week we ask ITW Members Lisa von Biela, R. K. Jackson, Ethan Cross, J. A. Jance, Richard Mabry, Andrew Peterson, Lynn Cahoon, Mark Coggins, Art Taylor and A. J. Kerns: “Do you spend more time on your research, writing or marketing?”




BROKEN CHAIN COVERLisa von Biela began writing dark fiction just after the turn of the century.  Her very first short story appeared in The Edge in 2002.  After working in IT for 25 years, Lisa dropped out of everything—including writing—to attend the University of Minnesota Law School.  She graduated magna cum laude in 2009, and now practices law and writes in the Seattle area.  On the writing front, she’s made up for lost time since law school and is now the author of the novels THE GENESIS CODE, THE JANUS LEGACY, BLOCKBUSTER, and BROKEN CHAIN, as well as the novellas ASH AND BONE and SKINSHIFT.

dance of bonesJ. A. Jance was born in South Dakota and raised in Bisbee, Arizona. A graduate of the University of Arizona, she spent time as a teacher and school librarian as well as in the life insurance industry before turning her hand to writing in the early 1980s. The author of more than fifty books, she shares her time between homes in Tucson, Arizona and Bellevue, Washington.


Blind-Justice-Vis-2-1When a fireman or a policeman would visit his school, most of his classmates’ heads would swim with aspirations of growing up and catching bad guys or saving someone from a blazing inferno. When these moments came for Ethan Cross, however, his dreams weren’t to someday be a cop or put out fires; he just wanted to write about it. And his dream of telling stories on a grand scale came to fruition with the release of his first book, The Shepherd, which went on to become an International Bestseller published in several countries and languages. Ethan followed this up with more great titles like The Prophet, The Cage, Callsign: Knight, and Father of Fear. His latest book is Blind Justice coming from the Story Plant in August 2015.

Miracle DrugRichard L. Mabry, MD, is the award-winning author of nine medical suspense novels, including Fatal Trauma, MIRACLE DRUG, and the Prescription for Trouble series published by Abingdon, and Stress Test, Heart Failure, and Critical Condition published by Thomas Nelson.


No-Hard-FeelingsMark Coggins’ work has been nominated for the Shamus and the Barry crime fiction awards and selected for best of the year lists compiled by the San Francisco Chronicle, the Detroit Free Press and, among others. His novels Runoff and The Big Wake-Up won the Next Generation Indie Book Award and the Independent Publisher Book Award (IPPY) respectively, both in the crime fiction category. The Immortal Game was optioned for a film.


girl in the mazeR. K. Jackson is a former CNN journalist who now works at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. He lives with his family in the Los Padres National Forest and is at work on a second Martha Covington thriller.



killer runNew York Times and USA Today best-selling author, Lynn Cahoon is an Idaho expat. She grew up living the small town life she now loves to write about. Currently, she’s living with her husband and two fur babies in a small historic town on the banks of the Mississippi river where her imagination tends to wander. Guidebook to Murder, Book 1 of the Tourist Trap series won the 2015 Reader’s Crown award for Mystery Fiction.


contractA native of San Diego, Andrew Peterson began writing in 1996. The Nathan McBride series, published by Thomas & Mercer, features a retired CIA operations officer who began his career as a Marine Corps scout sniper. Andrew’s debut novel First to Kill, reached #9 in the US Kindle store and #1 in the UK Kindle store. On a USO tour in 2011, Andrew had the honor of visiting our service members in Afghanistan. To date, he has donated more than two thousand books to wounded warriors and troops serving overseas. He and his wife, Carla, live in Monterey County, California.

ON THE ROAD front under 1mbArt Taylor’s short stories have won many of the mystery world’s major honors, including two Agatha Awards, a Macavity Award, and three consecutive Derringer Awards, in addition to making the short-list for the Anthony Award. A native of Richlands, NC, Art lives in Northern Virginia, where he is a professor of English at George Mason University and writes frequently on crime fiction for The Washington Post, Mystery Scene, and other publications.


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.