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thriller-roundtable-logo5In On Writing, Stephen King tells the story of asking Amy Tan what’s the one question she’s never asked in a Q&A. She responded, “They never ask about the language.” So, we’re asking ITW members David William Pearce, Bryan Gruley, Jess Montgomery, Bonnar Spring, Lynette Eason, Ann Parker and C.S. O’Cinneide: What about language? How much credence do you give it? What does it do for your story? Characters? Dialogue? Setting? The reader? How important is it?


An engineer for 40 years, David William Pearce, following open heart surgery, decided to pursue his muse and write. After completing a debut novel, Mr. Pearce so enjoyed the experience that he began writing the Monk Buttman series. When not writing, Mr. Pearce is the accomplished recording artist Mr. Primitive. He and his wife live in Kenmore, Washington.


Bryan Gruley is the award-winning, critically acclaimed author of five crime fiction novels, including the forthcoming PURGATORY BAY, which Michael Connelly says is “impossible to put down.” Gruley also wrote the Starvation Lake trilogy: Starvation Lake, The Hanging Tree, and The Skeleton Box. When he’s not making things up, Gruley writes long-form features on a wide variety of topics as a staff writer for Bloomberg Businessweek magazine. He also shared in The Wall Street Journal’s Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the September 11 terrorist attacks. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Pam.


Jess Montgomery is the author of the historical Kinship mystery series, inspired by Ohio’s true first female sheriff. She also writes the “Literary Life” column in the Dayton Daily News (Ohio). Jess lives and writes in her native state of Ohio.



Bonnar Spring writes eclectic and stylish thrillers with an international flavor. A lifelong traveler, she hitchhiked across Europe at sixteen and joined the Peace Corps after college. She divides her time between tiny houses on a New Hampshire salt marsh and by the Sea of Abaco. TOWARD THE LIGHT is her debut novel.


Lynette Eason is the bestselling author of Protecting Tanner Hollow, as well as the Blue Justice, Women of Justice, Deadly Reunions, Hidden Identity, and the Elite Guardians series. She is the winner of three ACFW Carol Awards, the Selah Award, and the Inspirational Reader’s Choice Award, among others. She is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. Eason lives in South Carolina with her husband and two children.


Ann Parker is a science writer by day and fiction writer at night. Her award-winning Silver Rush historical mystery series, published by Poisoned Pen Press, is set in the 1880s, primarily in the silver boomtown of Leadville, Colorado, and more recently in San Francisco, the “Paris of the West.” The series was picked as a “Booksellers Favorite” by the Mountains and Plains Independent Booksellers Association.


C.S. O’Cinneide (oh-ki-nay-da) is a Canadian writer and a blogger on her website, She Kills Lit, where she features women writers of thriller and noir. Her debut novel, Petra’s Ghost was a semi-finalist in the Goodreads Choice Award for Horror in 2019. The Starr Sting Scale, a tongue-in-cheek noir and her first book in the Candace Starr crime series will be published in February/March 2020.