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thriller-roundtable-logo5This week ITW members Nigel Bird, David Simms, Nick Kolakowski, Avanti Centrae, Lisa de Nikolits, Nicole Mabry, Keith Dixon, Susan Alice Bickford, T. G. Wolff, Dave Edlund, John Farrow and Leanna Renee Hieber are talking clichés: story; character; dialogue and setting clichés, do you love them, or hate them? Whenever you’re ready just scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along!


Leanna Renee Hieber is an actress, ghost tour guide and award-winning, bestselling author of Gothic, Gaslamp Fantasy novels for Tor and Kensington Books such as the Strangely Beautiful, Magic Most Foul, Eterna Files and Spectral City series. Her work has been included in numerous notable anthologies and translated into many languages. A ghost tour guide for Manhattan’s Boroughs of the Dead, she’s been featured in film and television on shows like Mysteries at the Museum.


USA Today bestselling author Dave Edlund is the award-winning creator of the high-octane Peter Savage novels, which include Crossing Savage, Relentless Savage, Deadly Savage, Hunting Savage, and Guarding Savage. A member of the International Thriller Writers, Dave’s action-political thrillers are often compared to the Dirk Pitt novels by Clive Cussler, the Sigma Series novels by James Rollins, the Jack Ryan novels by Tom Clancy, and the international thrillers of Steve Berry. When Dave isn’t cooking up the latest adventure for Peter Savage, readers can find him working as a leading expert in hydrogen energy. He is an inventor with 100 US patents and more than 250 foreign patents. He has published in excess of 100 technical articles and presentations and has been an invited author of several technical books on alternative energy. Dave is a graduate of the University of Oregon with a doctoral degree in chemistry.


Susan Alice Bickford was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Central New York, the setting for many of her thriller and suspense stories. After she discovered computer graphics and animation, Susan moved from New York City to Silicon Valley, where she became an executive at a leading technology company. She now works as an independent consultant, and continues to be fascinated by all things high tech. A Short Time to Die was released by Kensington Publishing in 2017 and was nominated for Best Debut Novel at Left Coast Crime. DREAD OF WINTER will be released in November 2019.


Keith Dixon was born in Yorkshire and grew up in the Midlands. He’s been writing since he was 13 years old in a number of different genres: thriller, espionage, science fiction, literary. Two-time winner of the Chanticleer Reviews CLUE First in Category award for Private Eye/Noir novel, he’s the author of eight full-length books and one short story in the Sam Dyke Investigations series and two other non-crime works, as well as two collections of blog posts on the craft of writing. His new series of Paul Storey thrillers began in 2016 and there are now three books in the series.


Nicole Mabry spends her days at NBCUniversal as the Senior Manager of Photography Post Production. Her nights are reserved for writing novels. At the age of seven, she read The Boxcar Children, sparking a passion for reading and writing early on. Nicole grew up in the Bay Area in Northern California and went to college at UCLA for Art History. During a vacation, she fell in love with New York City and has lived in Queens for the past 16 years. On weekends you can find her with a camera in hand and her dog, Jackson, by her side. Nicole is an animal lover and horror movie junkie.


Nigel Bird is the author of several novels, novellas, and short story collections, including The Shallows, the Southsiders series, In Loco Parentis, and Dirty Old Town. His work has appeared in a number of prestigious magazines and collections, including two editions of Best of British Crime Stories, The Reader, Crimespree, and Needle. As well as writing fiction, he has been a teacher for 30 years and has worked in a number of mainstream and special schools. He lives on the East Coast of Scotland in Dunbar with his wife and three children.


John Farrow is the Canadian author of six previous crime thrillers under his pen name, as well as seven literary novels under his real name, Trevor Ferguson. He has also had four plays produced, including Off-Broadway, and a film produced of one of his literary novels, The Timekeeper. As a crime thriller writer he has gained the most attention, being published in twenty countries and on every continent not principally inhabited by penguins. In both genres though, literary and thriller, he has earned an off-the-charts critical reception the envy of any writer. For his work as a novelist, he recently received an Honorary Doctor of Divinity Degree (how about them apples?) from the Vancouver School of Theology and also a Life Membership in the Writers’ Union of Canada in recognition of “extraordinary contributions to the union and the lives of Canadian writers.”


Lisa de Nikolits is the international award-winning author of nine novels (Inanna Publications). No Fury Like That was published in Italian as Una furia dell’altro mondo. Her short fiction and poetry have also been published in various international anthologies and journals. She is a member of the Mesdames of Mayhem, the Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, The Australian Crime Writers, SMFS and the International Thriller Writers. Originally from South Africa, Lisa de Nikolits lives and writes in Toronto.


Avanti Centrae is the author of the international award-winning VanOps thriller series. The Lost Power took home a genre grand prize ribbon at the Chanticleer International Book Awards, and an Honorable Mention at the 2018 Hollywood Book Festival. Her work has been compared to that of James Rollins, Steve Berry, Dan Brown, and Clive Cussler. She resides in Northern California with her family and German Shepherds.


David Simms lives in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, working as a special education teacher, college English instructor, counselor, music therapist, ghost tour guide, book reviewer, and co-foundeder the Killer Thriller/Slushpile Band. He has sold several horror, mystery, and weird short stories to various anthologies. DARK MUSE is his MG/YA crossover that ventures into musical dark fantasy and celebrates the many students who’ve changed his life. FEAR THE REAPER is a thriller about horrors of the eugenics movement in America in 1933.


Nick Kolakowski is the author of Boise Longpig Hunting Club, the Love & Bullets series of crime novellas, and the short story collection Somebody’s Trying to Kill Me. His short crime fiction has appeared in Thuglit, Shotgun Honey, Plots with Guns, and various anthologies. He lives and writes in New York City.


T. G. Wolff writes thrillers and mysteries that play within the gray area between good and bad, right and wrong. Cause and effect drive the stories, drawing from twenty-plus years’ experience in civil engineering, where “cause” is more often a symptom of a bigger, more challenging problem. Diverse characters mirror the complexities of real life and real people, balanced with a healthy dose of entertainment. T. G. Wolff holds a Master’s Degree in Civil Engineering and is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime.


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