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thriller-roundtable-logo5How long does it take you to write a book? Why do some stories flow so much faster than others? These are the questions posed this week to ITW Members Karen Harper, Jean Harrington, David Alexander, Heidi Renee Mason, Winter Austin, Paul D. Marks, Adrian Magson, Susan Fleet, A.J. Kerns and Ronnie Allen.


David Alexander began writing early in life and began writing uncoaxed and spontaneously. His fledgling appearance in print dates to a sonnet published in a New York City daily newspaper when David was in elementary school in Brooklyn. Between then and today, he has written and published in virtually every literary category, including novels, novelettes, short fiction, poetry, essays and film scripts. He received his early education via the New York City public school system. He later attended Columbia University in New York City and Sorbonne University in Paris, France.


Winter Austin perpetually answers the question: “were you born in the winter?” with a flat “nope.” Having recently changed her address back near her hometown, Winter has stepped into the chaotic world of a full-time wife, mom, author, and employee. With her ability to verbally spin a vivid and detailed story, Winter has translated that into writing deadly romantic thrillers. Combining her love of all things rural, agricultural, and military, she’s turned her small town life upside down.


Paul D. Marks is the author of the Shamus Award-Winning noir mystery-thriller White Heat. His story Howling at the Moon (EQMM 11/14) was short-listed for both the 2015 Anthony and Macavity Awards, and came in #7 in Ellery Queen’s Reader’s Poll Award. Midwest Review calls Vortex, Paul’s noir novella, “…a nonstop staccato action noir.” Deserted Cities of the Heart appears in Akashic’s St. Louis Noir. And Ghosts of Bunker Hill is in the December, 2016 Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine.


Heidi Renee Mason is a passionate romance novelist and crafter of your next happily ever after. She loves listening to the voices in her head (from her characters, of course!) and creating worlds in which her readers can lose themselves for a little while. A native of the Midwest, Heidi now resides in the Pacific Northwest with her husband and three daughters.


Writing advertising copy for Reed & Barton, Silversmiths, was Jean Harrington’s first job, and she claims she has the spoons to prove it. Then for 17 years, she taught English literature at Becker College in Worcester, Massachusetts.  After moving to Naples, she began dreaming of murder—and the award winning, tongue-in-cheek Murders by Design Series is the result. Currently working on a new series, Jean is up to her knees in dead bodies and loving every minute of it.


yemenArthur 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. Diversion Books, Inc. NY, NY published his espionage thriller, The Riviera Contract, and the sequel, The African Contract. The third in the series, The Yemen Contract, was released in June 2016.


Karen Harper is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of over 50 novels. Besides suspense, she also writes historical novels about real British women. A former high school and Ohio State University English instructor, Harper and her husband divide their time between South Florida and Central Ohio.



Hailed by the Daily Mail as “a classic crime star in the making”, Adrian Magson is the author of 21 books, the latest of which is The Bid (Midnight Ink), published on January 8, 2017. This the second book in a new series featuring investigators Ruth Gonzales and Andy Vaslik, after The Locker—Jan 2016—”Magson takes the suburban thriller overseas and gives it a good twist. Readers ……will happily get lost in the nightmare presented here.” (Booklist Reviews)


Ronnie Allen in a NYC native, relocated to rural central Fla. 8 years ago. She was a teacher for the NYC Dept. of Educ. for 33 years. In addition, she has a background in psychology and parapsychology. Aries is the second book in The Sign behind The Crime Series.



For many years, Susan Fleet was a successful freelance trumpeter in the Boston area. While teaching at Brown University and Berklee College of Music she began writing crime thrillers. In 2001 she moved to New Orleans, the primary setting for her Frank Renzi series. Premier Book Awards named her first novel, Absolution, Best Mystery-Thriller of 2009. Natalie’s Revenge was Feathered Quill Book Awards Best Mystery-Thriller of 2014. Susan’s other passion is promoting talented female musicians. While teaching at Berklee, she created a course about female musicians, jazz and classical. Her book Women Who Dared spotlights violinist Maud Powell and trumpeter Edna White. Susan writes about true crime on her blog: DARK DEEDS: Serial killers, stalkers and domestic homicides.