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thriller-roundtable-logo5Trends tend to emerge among thrillers. This week ITW Members Ellen Kirschman, Mick Sims and Len Maynard, Toby Tate, Paul D. Marks, William Lashner and DiAnn Mills discuss whether a writer should try to stay current, and anticipate these trends, or avoid trends altogether?




deadlockDiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She creates action-packed, suspense-filled novels to thrill readers. Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.


ConvalescenceMaynard & Sims are the authors of fifteen novels with more scheduled, as well as numerous novellas and stories. They have won awards for screenplays, have been editors, essayists, publishers and reviewers. They are currently working on new novels, novellas, stories and screenplays.



Right Wrong Thing high-resEllen Kirschman Ph.D is a clinical psychologist in independent practice. She is a member of the International Association of Chiefs of Police, the Society for the Study of Police and Criminal Psychology, the American Psychological Association, and the International Association of Women in Law Enforcement. She is the recipient of the California Psychological Association’s 2014 award for distinguished contribution to psychology as well as the American Psychological Association’s 2010 award for outstanding contribution to the practice of police and public safety psychology. Ellen is the author of the award winning I Love a Cop: What Police Families Need to Know, I Love a Fire Fighter: What the Family Needs to Know, and lead author of Counseling Cops: What Clinicians Need to Know (2013). Her debut novel, Burying Ben: A Dot Meyerhoff Mystery (2013) is about police suicide told from the perspective of the psychologist. Ellen and her husband live in Redwood City, California.

primordialToby Tate‘s stories have been praised by the likes of New York Times bestselling authors Steve Berry, Douglas Preston, Jonathan Maberry and Steve Alten. He has been featured in The Big Thrill magazine and on Internet radio, blogs and newspapers. Owing to the inspiration of Edgar Rice Burroughs, Ray Bradbury and Stephen King, Toby became an author of what he likes to call “high-octane sci-fi, fantasy and horror” and has published several books.


Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000037_00019]Paul D. Marks is the author of the Shamus Award-Winning noir mystery-thriller White Heat. Publishers Weekly calls White Heat a “taut crime yarn.” His story Howling at the Moon (EQMM 11/14) is short-listed for both the 2015 Anthony and Macavity Awards for Best Short Story. Midwest Review calls Paul’s noir novella Vortex “…a nonstop staccato action noir.” He also co-edited the anthology Coast to Coast: Murder from Sea to Shining Sea.


Guaranteed Cover finalWilliam Lashner is the New York Times best-selling author of THE BARKEEP and THE ACCOUNTING, along with eight novels featuring Victor Carl, whom Booklist called one of the mystery novel’s “most compelling, most morally ambiguous characters.” THE BARKEEP, a Zen infused standalone and Digital Book World #1 Bestseller, was nominated for an Edgar Award. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and New York University School of Lawe, Lashner was a prosecutor with the Department of Justice in Washington, DC before quitting the law to write full-time.