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thriller-roundtable-logo5This week we’re talking charcater development with ITW members Debbie Herbert, R. J. Pineiro, Allison Brennan, Frank Zafiro, Basil Sands and Mitch Silver. While developing the antagonist when a love interest goes bad: are broken-hearted villains suspenseful? Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along. You won’t want to miss it!


Mitch Silver was born in Brooklyn and grew up on Long Island. He attended Yale (B.A. in History) and Harvard Law School (“I lasted three days. I know the law through Wednesday, but after that…”). He was an advertising writer for several of the big New York agencies, living in Paris for a year with his wife, Ellen Highsmith Silver, while he was European Creative Director on the Colgate-Palmolive account. They have two children and live in Greenwich, Connecticut. The Bookworm, Mitch’s second novel following In Secret Service, just came out in paperback. His upcoming thriller, THE APOLLO DECEPTION—about what did (and didn’t!) happen on the moon 50 years ago—will be published this fall. Mitch also won the American Song Festival Lyric Grand Prize for “Sleeping Single in a Double Bed.” His blood type is O positive.


Debbie Herbert, A USA Today, Publisher’s Weekly & Washington Post best-seller, writes psychological suspense. She’s published by Thomas & Mercer and Harlequin. Her latest book, Scorched Grounds, is a chilling, fast-paced story about family tragedy and confronting what terrifies us most. The main character struggles with chromophobia as she works to prove her father guilty of murdering her mother and brother when she was a young child. Visit her website for a free story.


Frank Zafiro was a police officer in Spokane, Washington, from 1993 to 2013. He retired as a captain. He is the author of numerous crime novels, including the River City novels and the Stefan Kopriva series. He lives in Redmond, Oregon, with his wife Kristi, dogs Richie and Wiley, and a very self-assured cat named Pasta. He is an avid hockey fan and a tortured guitarist.


Allison Brennan is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of forty books and numerous short stories, including the Lucy Kincaid series and the FBI Mobile Response Team. She recently relocated with her family and pets from Northern California to Arizona and is looking forward to baseball Spring Training.


R. J. Pineiro earned a degree in electrical engineering from Louisiana State University in 1983 and joined the high-tech industry in Austin, Texas, working in computer chip design, testing, and manufacturing. R. J.’s first published work, Siege of Lightning, a novel about a sabotaged space shuttle, was released by Berkley/Putnam in May of 1993. A second novel, Ultimatum, about a second Gulf War scenario, was released the following year, 1994, by Forge Books, which went on to publish R.J.’s next 12 novels over the following 13 years.


Basil Sands is the author of action packed thrillers, novellas, and short stories and a professional audiobook narrator. Born on a homestead outside of Fairbanks Alaska, he served in the Marines, was Chef to the Spies (dining manager at the NSA), owned a computer shop, worked as a lumberjack, ambulance driver, radio host, and government IT guy. He’s married to a Porsche driving Korean woman, and has three grown sons and a Yorkie named Heimdall, The Norse Dog.



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