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thriller-roundtable-logo5We’ve got a full house this week, with ITW members Tom Threadgill, Debbie Herbert, R. J. Pineiro, Christina McDonald, Ann Parker, Jon Bassoff, Jeff Gunhus, Frank Zafiro, Natalie Walters, Robert Walton and Mitch Silver discussing how they determine when a story is ready. Scroll down to the “comments” section to follow along. You won’t want to miss it!


Christina McDonald is the USA Today bestselling author of The Night Olivia Fell (Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books), which has been optioned for television by a major Hollywood studio. Her next book, Behind Every Lie, is out Feb 2020. Her writing has been featured in The Sunday Times, Dublin,, and Expedia. Originally from Seattle, WA, she has an MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland Galway, and now lives in London, England.


Tom Threadgill is the author of the Jeremy Winter series and Collision of Lies, available February 4th. His books have a distinct focus on clean, suspenseful action with strong character development. In his downtime, Tom enjoys woodworking, riding his Harley, and chasing the elusive Yard of the Month award. He currently resides with his wife in the Dallas area and can be reached on Facebook or through his website.


Natalie Walters is the author of Living Lies and Deadly Deceit. A military wife of twenty-three years, she currently resides in Hawaii with her soldier husband and their three kids. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past.


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.


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.


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.


Jon Bassoff was born in 1974 in New York City and currently lives with his family in a ghost town somewhere in Colorado. His mountain gothic novel, Corrosion, has been translated into French and German and was nominated for the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere, France’s biggest crime fiction award. For his day job, Bassoff teaches high school English, where he is known by students and faculty alike as the deranged writer guy. He is a connoisseur of tequila, hot sauces, psychobilly music, and flea-bag motels. THE LANTERN MAN is his seventh novel.


Jeff Gunhus is the USA TODAY bestselling author of thriller and horror novels for adults and the middle grade, The Jack Templar Chronicles. The first book, Jack Templar Monster Hunter, was written in an effort to get his reluctant reader eleven-year-old son excited about reading. It worked and a new series was born. His books for adults have reached the Top 30 on Amazon, have been recognized as Foreword Reviews Book of the Year Finalists, an ITW Thriller Award nominee, and reached the USA TODAY bestseller list.


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.


Robert Walton is the author of the Harry Thursday thriller series. He studied Archaeology at Penn State. For the last undisclosed number of years he has honed his skills as a chef and as the master baker of his world renowned Bob’s Bagels. Bob started writing short stories, and poetry over forty years ago. He now concentrates his time writing his own brand of thriller featuring the intrepid archaeologist Harry Thursday. Bob is a member of International Thriller Writers, and of Pennwriters, a multi-genre writers group based in Pennsylvania. He lives in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania.


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.


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