Print Friendly, PDF & Email

thriller-roundtable-logo5Robert McKee famously said, “Do research. Feed your talent. Research not only wins the war on cliche, it’s the key to victory over fear and it’s cousin, depression.” This week, ITW Members Lisa de Nikolits, Lisa Preston, Uri Norwich, Ken Kuhlken, Tess Makovesky, Lynn Cahoon, Les Edgerton and Dave Zeltserman will discuss the happy, accidental finds they’ve across during the research of their novels. Scroll down to the “comments” section below to follow along. You won’t want to miss this!


Lisa Preston turned to writing after careers as an Alaskan police sergeant and a fire department paramedic. Booklist praised her debut psychological thriller, Orchids and Stone (Thomas & Mercer, 2016), as riveting. Publisher’s Weekly called her psychological suspense, The Measure of the Moon (Thomas & Mercer, 2017), gripping. She runs and rides on the Olympic Peninsula, west of Seattle.


Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits has lived in Canada since 2000. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Philosophy and has lived in the U.S.A., Australia and Britain. No Fury Like That, her most recently published work, is her seventh novel. It will be published in Italian, under the title Una furia dell’altro mondo, in 2019. Previous works include: The Hungry Mirror (winner 2011 IPPY Gold Medal); West of Wawa (winner 2012 IPPY Silver Medal); A Glittering Chaos (winner 2016 Bronze IPPY Medal); The Witchdoctor’s Bones; Between The Cracks She Fell (winner 2016 for Contemporary Fiction); and The Nearly Girl. Lisa lives and writes in Toronto. Her ninth novel, The Occult Persuasion and the Anarchist’s Solution is forthcoming in 2019.


Lynn Cahoon is the author of the New York Times and USA Today best-selling Tourist Trap cozy mystery series. GUIDEBOOK TO MURDER, book 1 of the series, won the Reader’s Crown for Mystery Fiction. She also pens the Cat Latimer series available in mass market paperback with SLAY IN CHARACTER coming in late 2018. In addition to releasing WHO MOVED MY GOAT CHEESE in March as part of the new Farm to Fork series, KILLER GREEN TOMATOES released July 3rd, 2018.


Les Edgerton is a full-time writer. He is an ex-con, having served two years at Pendleton Reformatory on a 2-5 sentence for second-degree burglary back in the late sixties. His work has been nominated for or been awarded: the Pushcart Prize, O. Henry Award, PEN/Faulkner Award, Derringer Award, Spinetingler Magazine Thriller of the Year, Jesse Jones Book Award, Edgar Allan Poe Award (short story category), Violet Crown Book Award, and others.


Liverpool lass Tess Makovesky is now settled in the far north of England where she roams the fells with a brolly, dreaming up new stories and startling the occasional sheep. Tess writes a distinctive brand of British comédie noir and her short stories have darkened the pages of various anthologies and magazines. Her novella ‘Raise the Blade’ is available from Caffeine Nights Publishing, and her first novel, ‘Gravy Train’, is out now from All Due Respect.”


Dave Zeltserman’s crime and horror thrillers have been picked by NPR, the Washington Post, ALA, Booklist, and WBUR as best novels of the year, and his short mystery fiction have won numerous awards. His novel  SMALL CRIMES is a Netflix film starring Nikolaj Coster-Waldau.  His novel latest novel HUSK has been called  “a unique and splendid novel” by Booklist in a starred review.


Before starting to write his novels, Uri Norwich attained his knowledge in various fields of expertise. His formal education consists of a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering and an MBA in economics leading eventually to a career in investment and money management. The author has been traveling the world extensively. His experiences reflected in his novels convey to the reader a sense of being present at the time and place he is reading about. The first book Russian Jews Don’t Cry was published in 2013. Working on this book, the author was presented with numerous challenges. While trying to tell his own story, he did not want to be constrained by preset guidelines of the autobiographical genre.


Some of Ken Kuhlken’s favorites are early mornings, the desert in spring, kind and honest people, baseball and other sports played by those who don’t take themselves too seriously, most kids, and films he and his Zoe can enjoy together. He reads classic novels, philosophy, theology, and all sorts of mysteries. On his blog, he offers some hard truths and encouragement about living as a writer. He has long been the author of novels, stories, articles, poems, and essays. Lots of honors have come his way, including a National Endowment for the Arts Literature Fellowship; Poets, Essayists and Novelist’s Ernest Hemingway Award; Private Eye Writers of America Best First Novel and Shamus Best Novel; and several San Diego and Los Angeles Book Awards.


Latest posts by ITW (see all)