January 6 – 12: “Please share with us your writing-related resolutions for 2020?”

thriller-roundtable-logo5We’re kicking off the 2020 Roundtable with ITW members J. C. Kenney, Benni Chisholm, J. H. Bográn and Phil Kurthausen! Please share with us your writing-related resolutions for 2020. Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along. Happy New Year!


J. C. Kenney grew up in a household filled with books by legends Agatha Christie and Lilian Jackson Braun, among many others, so it was no surprise when he found himself writing mystery stories. When he’s not writing, you can find him following IndyCar racing or listening to music. He lives in Indianapolis with his wife, two sons, and a cat who is the inspiration for Ursula in the Allie Cobb Mysteries.


Benni Chisholm grew up on the Canadian prairies, and, while a student earning a BSN, started writing light verse. She worked as a public health nurse, helped four wonderful children raise themselves, and saw the publication of a few poems, a biography, an anniversary booklet, a newsletter (eight years as editor), and several articles and short stories. Chisholm’s fondness for travel is apparent in her previous cozy mystery novels: Stained Sand, Odd Odyssey, and Showman or Shaman. She lives with her husband in the Pacific Northwest.


J. H. Bográn is an international author of novels, short stories and scripts for television and film. He’s the son of a journalist, but ironically prefers to write fiction rather than facts. His genre of choice is thrillers, but he likes to throw in a twist of romance into the mix. He currently divides his time as resource development manager for Habitat for Humanity Honduras, teaching classes at a local university, and writing his next project. He lives in San Pedro Sula, Honduras with his wife, three sons and a “Lucky” dog. His motto is “I never tell lies, I only write them!”


Phil Kurthausen is a thriller and crime novelist from Liverpool who now lives in Barcelona. His novel The Silent Pool won the Crime & Thriller section in the Harper Collins People’s Novelist Competition broadcast on national TV in the UK in November 2011. It was later shortlisted for the Dundee International Literary Prize. The successful follow-up in the Erasmus Jones series was Sudden Death with the standalone psychological thriller Don´t Let Me In published in late 2018. His latest novel, HOW TO KILL YOUR FRIENDS, was published in October 2019. He lives with his wife and a cat which, for legal reasons, bears no resemblance to the cat, Lil´ Bitch, from Don’t Let Me In.


  1. Happy New Year, friends! I have a few writing resolutions for 2020.
    1. Focus on things I can control. Between editing, publishing, promotion, etc. so many things in the writing world are beyond my control. Because of that, I resolve to focus on what I can control – writing mysteries to the best of my ability.
    2. Book 4 of The Allie Cobb Mysteries is due to my editor June 30, so (speaking of things I can control) I resolve to stay on top of my writing schedule to make sure I’m ready to turn the book in without undue stress.
    3. This is probably the most important one. Always keep in mind why I write. I enjoy telling stories. Making things up is fun, so I need to remember the joy I get when I write.
    So, those are my resolutions. What do you think?

  2. Great resolutions, J.C.! My sixth Jazzi mystery is due May 4, so my resolution is to write everyday but to STOP writing at 6:00 to enjoy my evening. I want to find more balance this year. I love being a writer, but I want to enjoy the many other things in my life, too, and sometimes, I can get obsessive.

    1. Congrats in advance on the release, Judi! I hear you about wanting to find balance. I try to get my words in during the day. so my wife and I can enjoy the evening together. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Happy new year, everybody!

    I have three very distinct writing goals for 2020.

    1. I have a WIP, an #ownvoice project currently at 45k words, which I began in October. If I complete it by June it would be my fastest novel yet.

    2. People who follow me on Instagram (@jhbogran) may already know that I’ve been contracted to write three one-act plays for teaching purposes. Currently penning the first one. Really excited about this project.

    3. I’m putting together a short-story collection form various works I have in Spanish. It would be domestic publication, but still waiting on some friends´critiques before I can publish it.

    How about you?

    1. Thank you for sharing your goals! Completing a novel by June is a fantastic goal. I hope that we will read more about it soon in The Big Thrill!

      1. Thanks David.
        I’m really excited about this book, to be honest. The colleagues who have read it have come back with positive comments, and a list of corrections. 🙂

  4. Happy, healthy 2020 to each of you. Here are my New Year’s Resolutions:
    1. Don’t procrastinate. 2. Ignore phone calls when writing. 3. Forget household chores when writing. 4. Advise husband to ignore me when I’m writing.
    Do you have any brilliant suggestions on how I can maintain these resolutions?

    1. I always worried about ignoring phone calls when I was writing. What if there was an emergency? So I set up the Do not Disturb function on my phone. Now if someone calls when I’m writing my phone won’t ring unless the caller hangs up and phones again. I leave a message on my VM to tell them to do this if it is absolutely imperative that they get a hold of me (i.e. their hair is on fire).

  5. Judi Lynn – I’m impressed. If you stop writing at 6:00 pm, what time do you start writing? Do you take any breaks between starting and stopping? Are you disciplined enough to do this every day?

    Your answers may help me keep my resolutions.

  6. Writing resolutions – well for things within my control then it has to be to write everyday and to write what I want to write and not what I think others may enjoy.

    Sounds a bit selfish sure, but I think ultimately I want to be as true to myself as I can be this year and write the book I would write as if I only had one to write – this last year has hammered home the lesson that today is all we have so I better act like it and write like it..

    For things out of my control…memetic success and global domination..

    And not be such a lazy, procrastinating (look something shiny on the internet)so and so..oh and to drink more, have more fun and read every book in my expanding book pile…

    Tempus fugit indeed fellow writers.

    1. Phil, you are right—Tempus fugit. I should follow your advice and pay less attention to things out of my control, such as Iran and New World Order. My Oxford and Webster’s dictionaries give no definition for memetic. Could you help me with this?
      Bye for now, editing my short-story collection calls.

      1. Descriptions according to Wikipedia –

        Memetics: Study of memes.
        Meme: Idea, behavior, style or usage that spreads from person to person within a culture. (Imitation).

        Apparently the word meme was coined by Professor Richard Dawkins I learn something new every day.

      1. True JH but my new editor ripped into my last manuscript and made me aware of many sloppy things therein. I cut 3k words and a minor character easily. 🙂

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