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thriller-roundtable-logo5Zora Neale Hurston famously wrote, “Research is formalized curiosity. It is poking and prying with a purpose.” This week we’re talking research and we’re joined by ITW members Rick Treon, James Grippando, Lee Goldberg, John Vanek, Victoria Gilbert, Tosca Lee, Dana King, Kat Martin, David Swinson, Barry Eisler, A. F. Brady and Meghan Holloway as they discuss the question: Research, do you love it or hate it? Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along – you won’t want to miss this!


David Swinson is the author of the critically acclaimed crime trilogy which includes The Second Girl, Crime Song and the just-released finale, Trigger. A former police detective for the DC Metropolitan Police who now calls Northern Virginia home, Swinson got his start in LA as a punk rock concert promoter, a record store owner, music video producer and independent filmmaker.


Barry Eisler spent three years in a covert position with the CIA’s Directorate of Operations, then worked as a technology lawyer and startup executive in Silicon Valley and Japan, earning his black belt at the Kodokan International Judo Center along the way. Eisler’s bestselling thrillers have won the Barry Award and the Gumshoe Award for Best Thriller of the Year, have been included in numerous “Best Of” lists, and have been translated into nearly twenty languages. Eisler lives in the San Francisco Bay Area and, when he’s not writing novels, blogs about torture, civil liberties, and the rule of law.


A. F. Brady is a NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselor born and raised in Manhattan, currently living in New York with her husband, their children and their dog. Her first novel THE BLIND (Park Row | Harlequin Books) was published in September 2017. In addition to writing, she currently works as a psychotherapist in private practice where she works with individuals and couples. She also runs a professional organizing and design business based in the idea that mental health is affected by our home environments.


Rick Treon is a member of the International Thriller Writers, the Writers’ League of Texas and the Texas High Plains Writers. Prior to writing suspense novels and personal essays, Treon had a career in journalism that included reporting for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, reporting and editing at the Amarillo Globe-News and serving as managing editor for The Kerrville Daily Times. He still lives and writes in Texas.


Tosca Lee is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of the House of Bathory duology (THE PROGENY and FIRSTBORN), ISCARIOT, THE LEGEND OF SHEBA, DEMON: A MEMOIR, HAVAH: THE STORY OF EVE, and the Books of Mortals series with New York Times bestseller Ted Dekker (FORBIDDEN, MORTAL, SOVEREIGN). A notorious night-owl, she loves watching TV, eating bacon, playing video games and football with her kids, and sending cheesy texts to her husband.


New York Times bestselling author Kat Martin is a graduate of the University of California at Santa Barbara where she majored in Anthropology and also studied History. Currently residing in Missoula, Montana with her Western-author husband, L. J. Martin, Kat has written sixty-five Historical and Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels. More than sixteen million copies of her books are in print and she has been published in twenty foreign countries. Kat is currently at work on her next Romantic Suspense.


James Grippando is the winner of the Harper Lee Prize for legal fiction and the New York Times bestselling author of 26 novels of suspense, including the popular series featuring Miami criminal defense attorney Jack Swyteck. His latest, “A Death in Live Oak,” is the 14th in the Swyteck series, and No. 15, “The Girl in the Glass Box,” will be published in February 2019. His novels are enjoyed worldwide in 28 languages.


Lee Goldberg is a two-time Edgar Award and two-time Shamus Award nominee and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including Washington Post bestseller True Fiction, King City, The Walk, fifteen Monk mysteries, and the internationally bestselling Fox & O’Hare books (The Heist, The Chase, The Job, The Scam, and The Pursuit) cowritten with Janet Evanovich. He has also written and/or produced scores of TV shows, including Diagnosis Murder, SeaQuest, Monk, and The Glades. As an international television consultant, he has advised networks and studios in Canada, France, Germany, Spain, China, Sweden, and the Netherlands on the creation, writing, and production of episodic television series.


Raised in a historic small town in the shadow of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Victoria Gilbert turned her early obsession with books into a dual career as an author and librarian. Victoria’s first cozy mystery series, the Blue Ridge Library Mystery series, garnered her a three-book deal with Crooked Lane Books. The series has recently been expanded to five books. The first two books in the series have been optioned by Sony Pictures Television, and were produced in audiobook by Tantor Media. A MURDER FOR THE BOOKS, the first book in the series, was a Southern Independent Booksellers “Okra Pick” and was longlisted for a Southern Book Prize. Victoria is a member of Mystery Writers of America, International Thriller Writers, and Sisters in Crime.


Although John Vanek is a physician, writing is his passion. Medicine is his wife, writing his mistress, and mysteries are his drug of choice.




Dana King’s Penns River series of police procedurals includes Worst Enemies, Grind Joint, and Resurrection Mall (all published by Down & Out Books). His Nick Forte series has two Shamus Award nominations, for A Small Sacrifice and The Man in the Window. The third book in the series, Bad Samaritan, was published by Down & Out Books in January 2018. His short fiction has appeared in Spinetingler, New Mystery Reader, A Twist of Noir, Mysterical-E, and Powder Burn Flash as well as the anthology Blood, Guts, and Whiskey, edited by Todd Robinson.


Meghan Holloway found her first Nancy Drew mystery in a sun-dappled attic at the age of eight and subsequently fell in love with the grip and tautness of well-told mysteries. She lives in the foothills of the Appalachians with her standard poodle and spends her days as a scientist with the requisite glasses but minus the lab coat. Her novel ONCE MORE UNTO THE BREACH will be published in May by Polis Books.


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