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thriller-roundtable-logo5The great William Faulkner is often attributed as the source of the quote, “In writing, you must kill all your darlings,” although many authors have repeated this bit of advice throughout the years. This week ITW Members Colin Campbell, Lee Murray, Carole Lawrence, Sandra Ruttan, DiAnn Mills, Tristan Drue Rogers and Tracy Clark are discussing whether or not authors sometimes regret killing off a character. Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along!


Tristan Drue Rogers continues to misspell his middle name in spite of it appearing that way on his birth certificate. He is a husband and an author. A self-described “ever-student,” Tristan prefers to learn as opposed to master, disbelieving in absolutes. His stories, especially his characters, represent this ideology well; with a keen commentary on the lives of people today, he attempts to bridge the old with the new, the fantasy with reality, the anxiety with heroism, and the horror with beauty. Deepening wounds and reevaluating their power is the name of the game. His recently released novel Brothers of Blood is available anywhere books are sold.


Tracy Clark, author of the Cass Raines mystery series, lives in Chicago. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Chicagoland Chapter, PI Writers of America, International Thriller Writers and Mystery Writers of America-Midwest. Her debut novel “Broken Places” released in May 2018. Book two in the series, “Borrowed Time,” releases next May.


Carole Lawrence (C. E. Lawrence, Carole Bugge) is the author of eleven published novels, award-winning plays, musicals, poetry and short fiction. Her most recent novel is the historical thriller Edinburgh Dusk, the second book in the Ian Hamilton Mysteries series. Her “Silent” series (Silent Screams and its sequels) follows NYPD profiler Lee Campbell in his pursuit of serial killers. Her plays and musicals have been performed internationally – including an original Sherlock Holmes musical. Her most recent musical is Murder on Bond Street, based on a true story. A self-described science geek, she likes to hunt wild mushrooms.


DiAnn 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. She is co-director of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writer’s Conference and Mountainside Marketing Conference


Ex-army, retired cop and former scenes of crime officer Colin Campbell is the author of British crime novels Blue Knight White Cross, and Northern Ex, and US thrillers Jamaica Plain, Montecito Heights, Adobe Flats and Snake Pass. His Jim Grant thrillers bring a rogue Yorkshire cop to America where culture clash and violence ensue.



Sandra Ruttan has had her foot partially severed, survived a car crash in the Sahara Desert and almost drowned. Between disasters she stays busy with her writing, family and dogs. Her sixth novel, The Spying Moon, was published September 2018 by Down & Out Books.



Lee Murray is an award-winning writer and editor (Sir Julius Vogel, Australian Shadows). Her latest thrillers include New Zealand military thriller INTO THE SOUNDS (Severed Press), and supernatural crime-noir, TEETH OF THE WOLF (Raw Dog Screaming Press) co-authored with Dan Rabarts. HELLHOLE, a volume of subterranean thriller stories, including novelettes from Jonathan Maberry, Michael McBride, and Sean Ellis, is forthcoming from Gryphonwood Press in December.