May 6 – 12: “Are authors expected to write plenty during the spring season?”

thriller-roundtable-logo5The month of May was named after the Roman goddess of fertility, Maia. This week ITW Members R. G. Belsky, Heather Gudenkauf, Graham Wynd, Christopher Golden and Kate White are discussing whether or not authors are expected to write plenty during the spring season? Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along. You won’t want to miss it!


R. G. Belsky is an author of crime fiction and a journalist in New York City. His latest thriller BELOW THE FOLD, releases on may 7th. Two of Belsky’s thrillers from the ‘90s – LOVERBOY and PLAYING DEAD – are also being re-released by HarperCollins in December and January 2018. His book BLONDE ICE (Atria- 2016), part of the Gil Malloy series – featuring a New York City newspaper reporter, was a Finalist for the David Award and a Silver Falchion nominee this past year. Belsky himself is a former managing editor at the Daily News and writes about the media from an extensive background in newspapers, magazines and TV/digital news. He was metropolitan editor of the New York Post; news editor at Star magazine; and most recently managing editor at


Heather Gudenkauf is the critically acclaimed author of several novels, including the New York Times bestseller The Weight of Silence. She lives in Iowa with her family.




A writer of bleakly noirish tales with a bit of grim humour, Graham Wynd can be found in Dundee but would prefer you didn’t come looking. An English professor by day, Wynd grinds out darkly noir prose between trips to the local pub. Publications include Satan’s Sorority from Fahrenheit 13 Press and Extricate from Fox Spirit Books, as well as tales in the 2016 Anthony Award-winning anthology Murder Under the Oaks and the Anthony Award-nominated Protectors 2: Heroes. Wynd’s stories have been translated into German, Italian, Polish and Slovene. See a full list of stories (including free reads) here.


Christopher Golden is the New York Times bestselling, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of such novels as Ararat, Snowblind, Of Saints and Shadows, and Tin Men. With Mike Mignola, he is the co-creator of two cult favorite comic book series, Baltimore and Joe Golem: Occult Detective. His graphic novel trilogy collaboration with Charlaine Harris, Cemetery Girl, reached #1 on the New York Times bestsellers list. In 2015 he founded the popular Merrimack Valley Halloween Book Festival. His work has been nominated for the British Fantasy Award, the Eisner Award, and multiple Shirley Jackson Awards. For the Bram Stoker Awards, Golden has been nominated eight times in eight different categories. His original novels have been published in more than fifteen languages in countries around the world. The Ben Walker series (Ararat, The Pandora Room) is currently in development as an international television series with Golden as Executive Producer and writer.


Kate White is the award-winning, New York Times bestselling author of thirteen novels of suspense: eight Bailey Weggins mysteries and five standalone psychological thrillers, including The Secrets You Keep. Her latest novel, Such a Perfect Wife, will be published on May 7. For fourteen years she served as the editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, and though she loved the job (and the Cosmo beauty closet!), she decided to leave in late 2012 to concentrate full time on being an author and speaker. Her first mystery, Even If It Kills Her, was a Kelly Ripa Book Club pick and immediately shot to #1 on Amazon. She has since been published in countries around the world.


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  1. I think as writers we are compelled to write all the time and not during one particular season – we get inspiration and have writing commitments and deadlines that we must fulfill no matter the time of year. That said, I live in Iowa where winters are cold, dark and seemingly endless so waking up one morning to find the sun shining and purple crocuses peeking through the dead brown grass can be enough to reignite my writing soul. The warmer weather also means longer hikes through the woods and more “thinking” time for me. These walks with my dog are my brainstorming sessions and when many of the ideas for my novels come together. Of course, since I live in the Midwest, spring and winter often swap places in a cruel kind of tag team so I enjoy the sunshine and warmth while I can but am prepared to hunker down and write no matter what Mother Nature has in store for us.

  2. I live in cold places, too, like Heather. Winter is a great time for writing! And rainy days! I hate hot weather, so for me sunny days are also good for writing. I guess at this point it’s just such a habit that without really thinking about it or planning I write most days. I no longer worry about ‘will I get writing done today’: I used to be really obsessive about it. Now I’m more relaxed and I probably write just as much.

    But yeah, getting away from the desk and out in the world refills the well. Music — playing or making it –is another way to refill the well. Museums, too. I love to have a good wander around a museum and see what grabs my attention. Inspiration comes from everywhere. But if you want to write a lot, you have to let your mind idle and play at times or you will just smell the wood chips burning as you spin your wheels (how’s that for metaphor mixing?).

  3. Okay, this is a trick question.

    Because there is no GOOD time for writing. Yes, we should write a lot in May. But we should do the same all spring. And summer, fall and winter.

    We should write when we have something we want to say, we should write when we have no idea of what to say and we should write when we think we might have some kind of message but aren’t sure exactly what it is or how in the hell to say it.

    The bottom line here is a writer needs to write.

    No matter the time, his or her mood or anything else. Stephen King has talked about how he writes every day of the year except Christmas and his birthday. I’m sure no Stephen King (few of us are) but I try to do the same thing. And I have even written on both Christmas and my birthday.

    Excuse me now, but I have to go back to my writing. It is May so…

  4. I agree with so many points here. I need to write every day, even holidays, because I’m afraid if I don’t, I’ll lose momentum. Like Heather and Graham, I do best when the weather is warm. In fact, I actually do best when it’s really hot out. I’ve never understood why this is true, and I’ve sometimes wondered if in another life, I lived in the tropics–and hot weather just feels like home to me. I was in Jamaica last week and I felt so productive sitting on my little deck with a cup of coffee every morning. The bottom line is you have to figure out what writer’s “cocktail” works for you: the time the day you’re most productive, the type of music, if any, that helps. It took me a while to figure out all those components, but once I did, writing was a little easier. And thanks to Lisa Gardner for the tip about having a scented candle lit on the desk.

  5. Adding to all of the above there’s also the ‘other work’ factor. It’s a rare writer who has the luxury of only writing the stuff they find fun. Either there’s promo pieces to write (cough!) or other jobs to be done (me at the moment, marking for the end of term). Despite this I find I want to write *more* when I have less time to do it. It’s really an itch!

  6. And sometime the beautiful weather is a catch-22. Right now I’m locked in a tiny study room at our local library so that I can force myself to get down to business without being distracted by the nice weather. After I get my work done for the day, I’m going to reward myself with a nice long walk with Lolo.

  7. I agree with Kate White on the weather aspect. I too love to write – and probably write even more – when the weather is really hot. Have no idea why that it is. But sitting on a beach on a summer day gets me feeling creative…

  8. Sitting on a beach in summer when it’s hot makes me feel like Dracula…

    Now a cold winter’s day, scuffing along the beach, looking for rocks and shells — that’s more like it!

  9. That’s why its good we’re different, Graham. Between the two of us, we can write comfortably all year. No way to explain how people react differently to weather. Cold weather tends to immobilize me from doing a lot of stuff, but hot summer weather inspires me. Go figure….

  10. My wife, Connie, is a school teacher, so there are a lot of reasons for me to get a ton of writing done in May. Though I’m constantly on deadline, and like everyone else I write all year long, May puts a spring in my step and a fire under me to pick up the pace. A lot of projects seem to gain momentum as editors and publishers come out of the winter doldrums and start focusing on the rest of the year. But May means school is nearly over, and Connie will have the summer off, which means that if I hope to sneak away to the beach at all, never mind if I have convention travel commitments or want to take a vacation, I’d damn well better get my work done!

  11. Well, Kate, if the writing goes badly I can just put ’em in my pocket and throw myself in the Tay. But so far, I just keep the pretty rocks on a shelf while I write 😉

  12. Well, Graham, that’s something for sure!
    I’m curious how everyone feels about the YOU SHOULD WRITE EVERY DAY concept? In a NYTimes piece a year or so ago, John Grisham said that was essential. As I said before,I feel I have to because if I don’t I will lose momentum. But I know several very successful author friends who stop for a few months after they hand a book in, and then kind of crash write for six months before the next one is due. What works for all of you?

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