Spotlight Guests


2025 ThrillerMaster: Janet Evanovich

Over the last twenty-six years, Janet Evanovich has written a staggering forty-five New York Times bestsellers. In addition to her #1 bestselling Stephanie Plum novels and many other popular books, Janet is the author of The Recovery Agent, the start of a blockbuster new series.


2025 ThrillerMaster: John Grisham

John Grisham is an expert storyteller, whose unforgettable characters fight for justice in a world that isn’t always fair.

John Grisham is the author of fifty consecutive #1 bestsellers, which have been translated into nearly fifty languages. His recent books include Camino Ghosts, The Exchange: After the Firm, and his third Jake Brigance novel, A Time for Mercy, which is being developed by HBO as a limited series.

Grisham is a two-time winner of the Harper Lee Prize for Legal Fiction and was honored with the Library of Congress Creative Achievement Award for Fiction.

When he’s not writing, Grisham serves on the board of directors of the Innocence Project and of Centurion Ministries, two national organizations dedicated to exonerating those who have been wrongfully convicted. Much of his fiction explores deep-seated problems in our criminal justice system.

John lives on a farm in central Virginia.


2025 Silver Bullet: James Patterson

James Patterson is the most popular storyteller of our time. He is the creator of unforgettable characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Jane Smith, and Maximum Ride, and of breathtaking true stories about the Kennedys, John Lennon, and Tiger Woods, as well as our military heroes, police officers, and ER nurses. Patterson has coauthored #1 bestselling novels with Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton, and collaborated most recently with Michael Crichton on the blockbuster Eruption. He has told the story of his own life in James Patterson by James Patterson and received an Edgar Award, ten Emmy Awards, the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation, and the National Humanities Medal.


2025 Spotlight: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Kingston University in Creative Writing and Law. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at Kachifo Limited, a Nigerian publishing house, and as a production manager at Ajapaworld, a children’s educational and entertainment company. She now works as a freelance writer and editor. In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top-ten spoken-word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam, and in 2016 she was a finalist for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize. She lives in Lagos, Nigeria.


2025 Spotlight: Jennifer Hillier

Hi there, I’m Jennifer Hillier. I imagine the worst about people, and then write about it.

I’m the USA TodayToronto Star, and The Globe and Mail bestselling author of Things We Do in the Dark, described as “an intoxicating thrill ride” by the New York Times and “propulsive and chilling” by People magazine. It’s a Book of the Month Club selection, an Indigo Top Ten Best Book of the Year, an Amazon Editor’s Spotlight Pick, a Loan Stars pick, and my third consecutive novel to be honored as a LibraryReads pick, which places me in their Hall of Fame.

I’m also the author of six other psychological thrillers. My USA Today bestselling novel Little Secrets is currently being adapted for Peacock by Tish Cyrus’s Hopetown Entertainment, writer Melissa Scrivner Love and Universal Television, and was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Anthony Award. Jar of Hearts won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Hardcover Novel and was also shortlisted for the Anthony and Macavity Awards.

My earlier novels—which I hope you’ll check out—are CreepFreakThe Butcher, and Wonderland, the last of which will be published in mass market paperback and audiobook for the very first time in April 2023.

My books have been published in twenty-three languages so far.

I’m Filipino-Canadian, born and raised in Toronto, but I spent eight amazing years in Seattle which is where I first became a published writer. I’m a Seahawks fan but I married a Packers guy. We have a young son who looks most like me when he’s crying. I’m afraid of the dark and can’t sleep unless I’ve checked the locks on the doors several times. I love writing when it’s raining, sleeping when it’s sunny, and reading after everyone else has gone to bed. I cherish my family (those who read, and those who don’t), and my friends (those who write, and those who don’t). I’m a cat person without a cat, which makes me sad. But I’m now back in the Toronto area permanently with my family, which makes me happy.

I also have an essay-style newsletter, which I mostly forget to write and send out, but when I do, I think it’s pretty good. You can sign up here. I promise I don’t spam—I usually talk about the writing journey and the lessons I’ve learned—and sometimes I give stuff away.

You can find me on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Tik Tok, but hopefully not every day. If you see me there too much, remind me to get back to work. I hope to have a new novel for you in 2024.


2025 Thriller Fan: McKenna Jordan

Coming Soon!


2025 Thriller Legend: Neil Nyren

Neil Nyren is the former EVP, associate publisher, and editor in chief of G.P. Putnam’s Sons and the winner of the 2017 Ellery Queen Award from the Mystery Writers of America. Among the writers of crime and suspense he has edited are Tom Clancy, Clive Cussler, John Sandford, C. J. Box, Robert Crais, Carl Hiaasen, Daniel Silva, Jack Higgins, Frederick Forsyth, Ken Follett, Jonathan Kellerman, Ed McBain, and Ace Atkins. He now writes about crime fiction and publishing for CrimeReads, BookTrib, The Big Thrill, and The Third Degree, among others, and is a contributing writer to the Anthony/Agatha/Macavity-winning How to Write a Mystery.


2024 ThrillerMaster: Dennis Lehane

Dennis Lehane grew up in Boston. Since his first novel, A Drink Before the War, won the Shamus Award, he has published thirteen more novels that have been translated into more than 30 languages and become international bestsellers: Darkness, Take My Hand; Sacred; Gone, Baby, Gone; Prayers for Rain; Mystic River; Shutter Island; The Given Day; Moonlight Mile; Live by Night; World Gone By; Since We Fell, and Small Mercies.

Four of his novels – Live by Night, Mystic River, Gone, Baby, Gone, and Shutter Island – have been adapted into films. A fifth, The Drop, was adapted by Lehane himself into a film starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace, and James Gandolfini in his final role.  Lehane was a staff writer on the acclaimed HBO series, The Wire, and also worked as a writer-producer on HBO’s Boardwalk Empire and the Netflix series, Bloodline. He was a writer-producer on the television adaptations of three Stephen King novels—Mr. Mercedes and End of Watch for DirecTV and The Outsider for HBO. He wrote and produced the acclaimed limited series Black Bird for Apple TV+ and is currently developing his next series for Apple.

Lehane and his family live in California.


2024 ThrillerMaster: Tess Gerritsen

Internationally bestselling author Tess Gerritsen took an unusual route to a writing career. A graduate of Stanford University, Tess went on to medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, where she was awarded her M.D.

While on maternity leave from her work as a physician, she began to write fiction. In 1987, her first novel was published. Call After Midnight, a romantic thriller, was followed by eight more romantic suspense novels. She also wrote a screenplay, “Adrift”, which aired as a 1993 CBS Movie of the Week starring Kate Jackson.

Tess’s first medical thriller, Harvest, was released in hardcover in 1996, and it marked her debut on the New York Times bestseller list. Her books have been top-3 bestsellers in the United States and number one bestsellers abroad. She has won both the Nero Wolfe Award (for Vanish) and the Rita Award (for The Surgeon). Critics around the world have praised her novels as “Pulse-pounding fun” (Philadelphia Inquirer), “Scary and brilliant” (Toronto Globe and Mail), and “Polished, riveting prose” (Chicago Tribune). Publisher Weekly has dubbed her the “medical suspense queen”.

Her series of novels featuring homicide detective Jane Rizzoli and medical examiner Maura Isles inspired the TNT television series “Rizzoli & Isles” starring Angie Harmon and Sasha Alexander.

She is also a filmmaker.  She and her son Josh have just completed production of a feature-length documentary, “Magnificent Beast,” about the ancient origins of the pig taboo. Their previous film, “Island Zero,” is a feature-length horror movie that was released in 2018.

Now retired from medicine, she writes full time. She lives in Maine.


2024 Silver Bullet Recipient: Louise Penny

Louise Penny is the author of the bestselling mystery series that features Chief Inspector Armand Gamache of the Sûreté du Québec. Incorporating elements of a cozy mystery, the character-driven books are carefully plotted whodunits that explore such universal themes as love, friendship, loss, and redemption.

From a young age, she wanted to be a writer, and while growing up she read classic mystery authors such as Agatha Christie and Dorothy L. Sayers. She studied radio and television arts at Ryerson Polytechnic Institute (now Toronto Metropolitan University; Bachelor of Applied Arts, 1979) and later joined the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), where she worked as a radio host and a journalist for 18 years.


2024 Spotlight Guest: Steph Cha

Steph Cha is the author of Your House Will Pay, winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the California Book Award, and the Juniper Song crime trilogy. She’s a critic whose work has appeared in the Los Angeles Times, USA Today, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, where she served as noir editor, and is the current series editor of the Best American Mystery & Suspense anthology. A native of the San Fernando Valley, she lives in Los Angeles with her family.


2024 Spotlight Guest: Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware is an international number one bestseller. Her thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood, The Woman in Cabin 10, The Lying Game, The Death of Mrs Westaway, The Turn of the Key, One by One and The It Girl have appeared on bestseller lists around the world, including the Sunday Times and New York Times. Her books have been optioned for both film and TV, and she is published in more than 40 languages. Ruth lives near Brighton with her family.


2024 Thriller Fan: Ayo Onatade


2024 Thriller Legend: Audible


2023 ThrillerMaster: Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris was born in the Mississippi Delta. Her father was a farmer and then a school principal, and her mother was a librarian. Charlaine was educated at public schools and attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.

Two thousand twenty-one will mark Charlaine’s fortieth year as a published writer. She has written two stand-alones, and her series include the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, the Lily Bard mysteries, the Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasies, the Harper Connelly urban fantasies, the Midnight, Texas novels, the Cemetery Girl graphic novels (with Christopher Golden), and the Gunnie Rose books, set in an alternate history America. Charlaine has also written many short stories, and together with Toni L.P. Kelner she edited seven themed anthologies (and had great fun).

The television series “True Blood” was based on Charlaine’s Sookie Stackhouse novels. Hallmark Movies and Mysteries is still showing a series of movies created about the Aurora Teagarden character, and for two seasons “Midnight, Texas” was on the air. Two of her other series are in production.

Charlaine belongs to several professional organizations and is an avid reader. She and her husband live on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River with their rescue dogs. Charlaine has the joy of being a grandmother, and she attends the Episcopalian church.


2023 ThrillerMaster: Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America. He is the author of more than sixty critically acclaimed books that cover a wide range of ideas, genres, and forms including fiction (literary, mystery, and science fiction), political monographs, writing guides including Elements of Fiction, a memoir in paintings, and a young adult novel called 47. His work has been translated into twenty-five languages,

From a forthcoming collection of short stories, The Awkward Black Man, to his daring novel John Woman, which explored deconstructionist history, and his standalone crime novel Down the River and Unto the Sea, which won an Edgar Award for Best Novel, the rich storylines that Mosley has created deepen the understanding and appreciation of Black life in the United States. He has introduced an indelible cast of characters into the American canon starting with his first novel, Devil in a Blue Dress, which brought Easy Rawlins, his private detective in postwar Los Angeles and his friends Jackson Blue and Raymond “Mouse” Alexander into reader’s lives. Mosley has explored both large issues and intimate realities through the lens of characters like the Black philosopher Socrates Fortlow; the elder suffering from Alzheimer’s, Ptolemy Grey; the bluesman R L; the boxer and New York private investigator Leonid McGill; Debbie Dare, the porn star of Debbie Doesn’t Do It Anymore; and Tempest Landry and his struggling angel, among many others.

Mosley has also written and staged several plays including The Fall of Heaven, based on his Tempest Landry stories and directed by the acclaimed director Marion McClinton. Several of his books have been adapted for film and television including Devil in a Blue Dress (starring Denzel Washington, Don Cheadle and Jennifer Beals) and the HBO production of Always Outnumbered (starring Laurence Fishburne and Natalie Cole). His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction—long-form essays and op-eds—have appeared in the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and The Nation among other publications. He is also a writer and an executive producer on the John Singleton FX drama series, “Snowfall.”

Concerned by the lack of diversity in all levels of publishing, Mosley established The Publishing Certificate Program with the City University of New York to bring together book professionals and students hailing from a wide range of racial, ethnic and economic communities for courses, internships, and job opportunities. In 2013, Mosley was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame, and he is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, The Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Master Award, a Grammy®, several NAACP Image awards, and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2020, he was named the recipient of the Robert Kirsch Award for lifetime achievement from Los Angeles Times Festival of Books.

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Mosley now lives in Brooklyn and Los Angeles.


2023 Silver Bullet Award Recipient: Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly was born in Philadelphia, PA on July 21, 1956. He moved to Florida with his family when he was 12 years old. Michael decided to become a writer after discovering the books of Raymond Chandler while attending the University of Florida. Once he decided on this direction he chose a major in journalism and a minor in creative writing — a curriculum in which one of his teachers was novelist Harry Crews.

After graduating in 1980, Connelly worked at newspapers in Daytona Beach and Fort Lauderdale, Florida, primarily specializing in the crime beat.  In Fort Lauderdale he wrote about police and crime during the height of the murder and violence wave that rolled over South Florida during the so-called cocaine wars. In 1986, he and two other reporters spent several months interviewing survivors of a major airline crash. They wrote a magazine story on the crash and the survivors which was later short-listed for the Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. The magazine story also moved Connelly into the upper levels of journalism, landing him a job as a crime reporter for the Los Angeles Times, one of the largest papers in the country, and bringing him to the city of which his literary hero, Chandler, had written.

Michael is the bestselling author of thirty-six novels and one work of non-fiction. With over eighty million copies of his books sold worldwide and translated into forty-five foreign languages, he is one of the most successful writers working today. His very first novel, The Black Echo, won the prestigious Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1992. In 2002, Clint Eastwood directed and starred in the movie adaptation of Connelly’s 1998 novel, Blood Work. In March 2011, the movie adaptation of his #1 bestselling novel, The Lincoln Lawyer, hit theaters worldwide starring Matthew McConaughey as Mickey Haller. His most recent #1 New York Times bestsellers include Dark Sacred Night, Two Kinds Of TruthThe Late Show, The Wrong Side Of GoodbyeThe CrossingThe Burning RoomThe Gods of Guilt, and The Black Box. Michael’s crime fiction career was honored with the Diamond Dagger from the CWA in 2018.

Michael is the executive producer of Bosch, an Amazon Studios original drama series based on his bestselling character Harry Bosch, starring Titus Welliver. Bosch streams on Amazon Prime Video. He is the creator and host of the podcast Murder Book. He is also the executive producer of the documentary films, Sound Of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story and Tales of the AmericanHe spends his time in California and Florida.


2023 Spotlight Guest: Jack Carr

Jack Carr led special operations teams as a Team Leader, Platoon Commander, Troop Commander and Task Unit Commander. Over his 20 years in Naval Special Warfare he transitioned from an enlisted SEAL sniper, to a junior officer leading assault and sniper teams in Iraq and Afghanistan, to a platoon commander practicing counterinsurgency in the southern Philippines, to commanding a Special Operations Task Unit in the most Iranian influenced section of southern Iraq throughout the tumultuous drawdown of U.S. Forces.


2023 Spotlight Guest: Oyinkan Braithwaite

Oyinkan Braithwaite is a graduate of Creative Writing and Law from Kingston University. Following her degree, she worked as an assistant editor at a Nigerian Publishing House and has been freelancing as a writer and graphic designer since. She has had short stories published in anthologies and has also self-published work.

In 2014, she was shortlisted as a top ten spoken word artist in the Eko Poetry Slam. In 2016, she was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Short Story Prize.

She is the author of My Sister, the Serial Killer, which won the 2019 LA Times Award for Best Crime Thriller, the 2019 Morning News Tournament of Books, the 2019 Amazon Publishing Reader’s Award for Best Debut Novel, the 2019 Anthony Award for Best First Novel.

It was also shortlisted for the Women’s Prize for Fiction 2019, shortlisted for the Goodreads Choice Awards 2019 in the Mystery & Thriller and Debut Novel categories, shortlisted for the British Book Awards 2020 in two categories, shortlisted for the Cameo Awards 2020 in the Book to Audio category, shortlisted for Book Bloggers’ Choice Awards 2020.

It was longlisted for the Booker Prize 2019, and longlisted for the 2020 Dublin Literary Award.

My Sister, the Serial Killer is being translated into 30 languages and has also been optioned for film.


2023 Thriller Legend: Minotaur Books

The Thriller Legend award was created to extend a special thank you to those who’ve made an extraordinary contribution to International Thriller Writers. People who’ve showed us consistent and unwavering support.


2023 Thriller Fan: John Berylson

He is the director of Youngworld Stores Group, Inc and Non Executive Chairman, Member of Audit Committee and Member of Remuneration Committee of Millwall Holdings PLC. Berylson has pumped an estimated £100m into the club.

He is a formerly active US Marine, and a passionate fan of the Boston Red Sox. He holds numerous Trustee positions; at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, The Newton-Wellesley Hospital, Brown University Sports Foundation, and he holds the position of Director at the Brown University Library System.


2022 ThrillerMaster: Frederick Forsyth

Former RAF pilot and investigative journalist, Frederick Forsyth defined the modern thriller when he wrote The Day of The Jackal, described by Lee Child as ‘the book that broke the mould’, with its lightning-paced storytelling, effortlessly cool reality and unique insider information. Since then he has written twelve novels which have been bestsellers around the world: The Odessa File, The Dogs of War, The Devil’s Alternative, The Fourth Protocol, The Negotiator, The Deceiver, The Fist of God, Icon, Avenger, The Afghan, The Cobra and, most recently, The Kill List. He lives in Buckinghamshire, England.


2022 ThrillerMaster: Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck’ comics.”

As of January, 2022, Diana’s books are published in thirty-eight languages and sold in one hundred and fourteen countries.

The adventure began in 1991 with the classic OUTLANDER (“historical fiction with a Moebius twist”), and has continued through eight more internationally bestselling novels in the series so far. These books feature the story of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser and Jamie Fraser, and include elements of time travel and lots of real Scottish and American history.

The latest novel in Diana’s Outlander series of major novels is GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, which was first published in the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., and Germany on November 23, 2021. BEES debuted at number one on the New York Times list and is also an international bestseller. She is currently writing and doing the background research for Book Ten of the Outlander novels, as yet untitled.

Diana serves as a co-producer and advisor for the popular Outlander TV series, which is produced by the Starz network and Tall Ship Productions and distributed by Sony International. The show is an adaptation of her OUTLANDER series of novels. She has also written the scripts for several episodes and made a cameo appearance in the first season.

Lord John Grey (a major minor character from the Outlander series of novels, is featured in a novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER and short stories and novellas.

Diana has written a number of short stories and novellas that are related to her Outlander and Lord John works. Her Chronology of the Outlander Series webpage shows how the novels and short fiction are interwoven in time.

THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volumes One and Two, are nonfiction (well, relatively) which provide details on the settings, background, characters, research, and writing of the first eight novels in the Outlander series of novels. Authorized publications by various authors have also celebrated the Outlander novels including a coloring book, cookbook, and others.

Returning to her comic-book roots, she wrote a graphic novel titled THE EXILE (set within the OUTLANDER universe and featuring the main characters from the novel OUTLANDER), but told from the viewpoint of Jamie Fraser and his godfather, Murtagh.

Dr. Diana J. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology. (Plus she was granted an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters, which entitles her to be Diana Gabaldon, Ph.D., D.H.L.”  She supposes this is better than “Diana Gabaldon, Phd.X.”)

Diana worked a dozen years as a university professor before beginning to write her first novel, OUTLANDER, in 1989. Through the late 1980s, she wrote scientific articles and textbooks, worked as a contributing editor on the MacMillan ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMPUTERS, founded the scientific-computation journal SCIENCE SOFTWARE QUARTERLY, contributed articles to tech magazines such as INFOWORLD, and wrote numerous comic-book scripts for Walt Disney. None of this has anything whatever to do with her novels, but there it is.

Diana and her husband, Douglas Watkins, have three adult children, and two grandchildren.

A native of Flagstaff, Arizona, Diana wrote a touching story about her parents for an Arizona newspaper titled “Myth and Mountain Birthdays.”


2022 Spotlight Guest: Veronica Roth

Veronica Roth is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Divergent Series (Divergent, Insurgent, Allegiant, and Four: A Divergent Collection) and the Carve the Mark series (Carve the Mark, The Fates Divide). Her short stories and essays have appeared in the anthologies Summer Days and Summer NightsShards and Ashes, and Three Sides of a Heart. The Divergent Series was developed into three major motion pictures.

Veronica grew up outside of Chicago and graduated from Northwestern University. She now lives in Chicago proper with her husband and dog and writes full-time.


2022 Spotlight Guest: Joseph Finder

Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen previous suspense novels, including THE SWITCH, THE FIXER and SUSPICION. He introduced “private spy” Nick Heller in VANISHED, an instant bestseller, and the continuing series includes BURIED SECRETS and GUILTY MINDS.

Joe’s novels HIGH CRIMES and PARANOIA have been adapted as major motion pictures. GUILTY MINDS and COMPANY MAN won the Barry Award for Best Thriller. An international bestseller, KILLER INSTINCT won the International Thriller Writers’ Thriller Award for Best Novel. BURIED SECRETS won the Strand Critics Award for Best Novel.

A founding member of the International Thriller Writers, Joe is also a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and the Association of Former Intelligence Officers. He is a graduate of Yale College and the Harvard Russian Research Center, and lives in Boston.


2022 Spotlight Guest: Alafair Burke

Alafair Burke is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels.

Her most recent psychological thriller, THE BETTER SISTER, has been praised as “twisty” (BookBub), “cunning” (Washington Post), “gripping” (Karin Slaughter), “mesmerizing” (Publishers Weekly), “sizzling” (South Florida Sun Sentinal) and “tantalizing” (Booklist).

Her previous novel, THE WIFE, was selected as a best-of-the-month pick by Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Entertainment Weekly, O (Oprah Magazine), and others. It is being adapted as a feature film by Amazon Studios, with Alafair hired to write the screenplay.

Her novel, THE EX, was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Novel.

In addition to the standalone novels that have earned her a reputation as “a genius for plot” (Oprah Magazine) and “a virtuoso” of domestic suspense (Minneapolis Star Tribune), she authors “two power house series” (Sun-Sentinel) featuring NYPD Detective Ellie Hatcher and Portland Deputy District Attorney Samantha Kincaid. Alafair is also the co-author of the “Under Suspicion” series with Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark.


2022 Thriller Legend: Writers House, A Literary Agency

The Thriller Legend award was created to extend a special thank you to those who’ve made an extraordinary contribution to International Thriller Writers. People who’ve showed us consistent and unwavering support.


2022 ThrillerFans: Theresa Lee & Rosie Stroy


2019 ThrillerMaster: John Sandford

John Sandford is the pseudonym of John Roswell Camp, an American author and journalist. Camp won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1986, and was one of four finalists for the prize in 1980. He also was the winner of the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors for 1985.

Camp is the author of 40 published novels, all of which have appeared, in one format or another, on the New York Times bestseller lists. He is also the co-author of three young adult books in the Singular Menace series, with Michele Cook, and co-author of the science-fiction thriller SATURN RUN with Ctein.

He is the author of two non-fiction books, one on art (THE EYE AND THE HEART: THE WATERCOLORS OF JOHN STUART INGLE) and one on plastic surgery (PLASTIC SURGERY: THE KINDEST CUT).

He is the principal financial backer of the Beth-Shean Valley Archaeological Project in the Jordan River Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org. A major show of the expedition’s findings is currently being held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Camp was born February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His maternal grandparents were immigrants from Lithuania and he spent many of his early years living on, or visiting, their rural acreage.

He attended Cedar Rapids Catholic and public schools, graduating from Washington Senior High School in 1962. He received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies in 1966, and a master’s degree in journalism in 1971, both from the University of Iowa. Between his two stints at the University of Iowa, he served two years in the U.S. Army in Korea with the 4th U.S. Army Missile Command.

Camp was married to Susan Lee Jones in 1966, and has two children, Roswell Camp and Emily Curtis, and three grandchildren, Benjamin, Daniel and Gabriel Curtis. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007.
In October, 2013, he married Michele Cook, a journalist and screenwriter. They currently have homes in Santa Fe, NM, and the countryside near Hayward, WI. In addition to co-authoring the three books in the Singular Menace series, Cook has done the initial editing of all the Sandford books since 2010.

Camp’s journalism career began as an Army reporter (he is included in the ‘Hall of Fame’ at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, MD.) After getting out of the Army, he then worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Southeast Missourian for a year, covering such stories as the Cairo, IL, race riots.

He was a reporter and an editor at The Miami Herald from 1971-1978, and a reporter and columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1978-1990. He continues to do occasional journalism, and was embedded with the 2-147 Air Assault Battalion during the Iraq War, and covered the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.


2019 Spotlight Guest: Lisa Unger

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling, award-winning author of sixteen novels. Her new release UNDER MY SKIN is named one of the most anticipated and top thrillers of fall 2018 by BookBubBookishLibrary JournalBooklistPopSugar and CrimeReads.

Her books are published in twenty-six languages worldwide, have sold millions of copies and have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, Indie Booksellers, Goodreads and Sun Sentinel to name a few.

Her essays have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR and Travel+Leisure Magazine. Lisa Unger lives in the Tampa Bay area of Florida with her husband, daughter and labradoodle.


2019 Spotlight Guest: Stephen Hunter

Stephen Hunter has written eighteen novels. The retired chief film critic for The Washington Post, where he won the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Distinguished Criticism, he has also published two collections of film criticism and a nonfiction work, American Gunfight. He lives in Baltimore, Maryland.


2019 Silver Bullet Recipient: Harlan Coben

With over 70 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the perennial #1 New York Times author of thirty novels including FOOL ME ONCE, TELL NO ONE, NO SECOND CHANCE and the renowned Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Harlan is the creator and executive producer for several television shows including the upcoming Netflix Original drama SAFE starring Michael C. Hall, Audrey Fleurot and Amanda Abbington. Harlan was showrunner and executive producer for two French TV shows, UNE CHANCE DE TROP (NO SECOND CHANCE) with Alexandra Lamy and JUST UN REGARD (JUST ONE LOOK) with Virginie Ledoyen, both six-part French series based on his novels for TF1, produced with Sydney Gallonde. He is also the creator and executive producer of THE FIVE, an original 10-episode crime drama from Sky1 now airing on Netflix. Recently, KEINE ZWEIT CHANCE, also based on Harlan’s novel, aired in Germany on Sat1.

Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS A PERSONNE) was turned into the renowned French film, directed by Guillaume Canet and starring Francois Cluzet. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. The movie with subtitles is now available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and DVD/Blu-Ray.

Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).


2019 Thriller Legend: Margaret Marbury

Margaret Marbury is Vice President of Editorial for four Harlequin Trade Publishing imprints: MIRA Books, Park Row Books, Hanover Square Press, and Inkyard Press, Harlequin’s YA imprint. With over 25 years in the business, she is still energized by the prospect of acquiring, developing and publishing great authors and books. She holds a B.A. in Literature, Science and the Arts from the University of Iowa and an M.A. in Journalism from Syracuse University.


2019 Thriller Fan: Mike Bursaw

Mystery Mike’s was born in 1986, but Mike Bursaw’s passion for books began way before that.

As a child the Bookmobile in Minneapolis would park across from his house and Mike would check out as many books were allowed. He would read all of the books while waiting for the Bookmobile to show up again and again each week.

Mike began working in the book business when he was 15 years old. He convinced a wholesale bookseller that even though he was a high school student, and they weren’t interested in hiring anyone that age, he would be an exemplary employee and could even start that second. After calling his mother to let her know he wouldn’t be home for dinner that night, Mike’s book career took off!

In 2018, Tom Boyden joined the Mystery Mike’s Team and has loved going on book hunting trips as well as devouring any books by Andy Rooney. Business runs as smoothly as it does thanks to Tom since he keeps us so organized.

Mike was interviewed for the February 2018 edition of Indianapolis Monthly Magazine. To read the article and learn more about Mystery Mike himself, visit here. Interested in learning about the time Mike purchased his largest collection of books and was interviewed for a Huffington Post article? Click here.

Happy Booking!


2018 ThrillerMaster: George R.R. Martin

George R.R. Martin sold his first story in 1971 and has been writing professionally since then. He spent ten years in Hollywood as a writer-producer, working on The Twilight ZoneBeauty and the Beast, and various feature films and television pilots that were never made. In the mid ‘90s he returned to prose, his first love, and began work on his epic fantasy series, A Song of Ice and Fire. He has been in the Seven Kingdoms ever since. Whenever he’s allowed to leave, he returns to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives with the lovely Parris, and two cats named Augustus and Caligula, who think they run the place.


2018 Spotlight Guest: Megan Abbott

Megan Abbott is the Edgar®-winning author of the novels DIE A LITTLEBURY ME DEEPTHE END OF EVERYTHINGDARE ME and THE FEVER. Her most recent book is YOU WILL KNOW MEYOU WILL KNOW ME

chosen one of Best Books of 2016 by NPR, the Wall Street Journal, the Boston GlobeTime Out NY, the Washington PostGooglePublishers Weekly and Kirkus Reviews.

Her writing has appeared in the New York Times, Salon, the Guardian, Wall Street Journal, the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and The Believer. Her stories hav appeared in multiple collections, including the Best American Mystery Stories of 2014 and 2016.

Her work has won or been nominated for the CWA Steel Dagger, the International Thriller Writers Award, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and five Edgar awards, Currently, she is a staff writer on HBO’s new David Simon show, The Deuce, and is adapting two of her novels for television and feature film.

Born in the Detroit area, she graduated from the University of Michigan and received her Ph.D. in English and American literature from New York University. She has taught at NYU, the State University of New York and the New School University. In 2013-14, she served as the John Grisham Writer in Residence at Ole Miss.

She is also the author of a nonfiction book, THE STREET WAS MINE: WHITE MASCULINITY IN HARDBOILED FICTION AND FILM NOIR, and the editor of A HELL OF A WOMAN, an anthology of female crime fiction. She has been nominated for many awards, including three Edgar® Awards, Hammett Prize, the Shirley Jackson Prize, the Los Angeles Times Book Prize and the Folio Prize.


2018 Silver Bullet Recipient: James Rollins

James Rollins is a #1 New York Times bestselling author of international thrillers, translated into more than forty languages. His Sigma series has been lauded as one of the “top crowd pleasers” (New York Times) and one of the “hottest summer reads” (People Magazine). In each novel, acclaimed for its originality, Rollins unveils unseen worlds, scientific breakthroughs, and historical secrets–and he does it all at breakneck speed and with stunning insight.

As a boy immersed in the scientific adventures of Doc Savage, the wonders of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, and pulps such as The ShadowThe Spider, and The Avenger, James Rollins decided he wanted to be a writer. He honed his storytelling skills early, spinning elaborate tales that were often at the heart of pranks played on his brothers and sisters.

Before he would set heroes and villains on harrowing adventures, Rollins embarked on a career in veterinary medicine, graduating from the University of Missouri and establishing a successful veterinary practice. He continues to volunteer his time and veterinary skills in support of the local SPCA. His hands-on knowledge of medicine and science helps shape the research and scientific speculation that set James Rollins books apart.


2018 Thriller Legends: Robert and Patricia Gussin

Robert Gussin had a highly successful career as a medical researcher, including 14 years as Chief Scientific Officer of Johnson & Johnson. Bob graduated from Duquesne University and received a doctorate from the University of Michigan Medical School. He serves on many hospital and company and community boards and volunteers at a senior citizens center. With his wife, Patricia Gussin, he co-founded Oceanview Publishing where he is the CEO. He is listed in Marquis Who’s Who in America and he’s an avid sports enthusiast.

 

Patricia Gussin is a New York Times and USA Today best-selling author who is also Board Certified in Family Medicine and has had a career as an executive in the pharmaceutical industry. She and her husband, Robert Gussin, founded Oceanview Publishing, where she was the President and Editor in Chief for 20 years. As of January 2024, they officially retired from the publishing business.

Patricia’s award-winning novels tell the stories of normal people under extraordinary stress. The choices they make. The consequences that follow. The process of endurance and recovery. Shadow of Death, nominated best first novel by International Thriller Writers, is followed by Twisted Justice, Weapon of Choice, and After the Fall. They comprise Medicine and Mayhem: The Dr. Laura Nelson Files. Her standalone thrillers include And Then There Was One, The Test, and Come Home. Both After the Fall and Come Home won the Florida Book Award Gold Medal in Popular Fiction.

 


2018 ThrillerFans: Tom and Marie O’Day

 


2017 ThrillerMaster: Lee Child

Lee Child was born in 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV’s “golden age.” During his tenure his company made Brideshead RevisitedThe Jewel in the CrownPrime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars’ worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, KILLING FLOOR, the first in the Jack Reacher series.

KILLING FLOOR was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment.

Lee has several homes—an apartment in Manhattan, country houses in England and the south of France, and whatever airplane cabin he happens to be in while traveling between the two. In the US he drives a supercharged Jaguar, which was built in Jaguar’s Browns Lane plant, thirty yards from the hospital in which he was born.

Lee spends his spare time reading, listening to music, and watching the Yankees, Aston Villa, or Marseilles soccer. He is married with a grown-up daughter. He is tall and slim, despite an appalling diet and a refusal to exercise.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of seventy-three New York Times bestsellers, including Blind Tiger, Thick As Thieves, Seeing Red, Outfox, Tailspin, Seeing Red, Sting and Mean Streak.

Writing professionally since 1981, Brown has published over eighty novels and has upwards of eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.

Her episode on truTV’s “Murder by the Book” premiered the series in 2008. She appeared in 2010 on Investigation Discovery’s series, “Hardcover Mysteries.” Television movies have been made of her novels French Silk, Smoke Screen, Ricochet, and White Hot.

Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University, where she and her husband Michael Brown, have instituted the ELF, a scholarship awarded annually. She has served as president of Mystery Writers of America, and in 2008 she was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other honors include the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has gone on two USO tours, to Afghanistan and Cuba.


2017 Spotlight Guest: C.J. Box

C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 21 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel (BLUE HEAVEN, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum. His novels have been translated into 27 languages. Over ten million copies of his novels have been sold in the U.S. alone.

In 2016, OFF THE GRID debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in March. Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the “BIG WYO” Award from the state tourism industry. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and currently serves on the Wyoming Office of Tourism Board. He and his wife Laurie split their time between their home and ranch in Wyoming.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Val McDermid

Dubbed the Queen of Crime, Val McDermid has sold over 19 million books to date across the globe and is translated into more than 40 languages. She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green and Hermione Norris. She has written three other series: private detective Kate Brannigan, journalist Lindsay Gordon and, most recently, cold-case detective Karen Pirie, whose debut appearance in The Distant Echo became a major ITV series. She has also published in several award-winning standalone novels, books of non-fiction, short story collections and a children’s picture book, My Granny is a Pirate.

Her latest Karen Pirie novel Past Lying was published in 2023. A graphic novelisation of Resistance, her critically acclaimed 2017 radio drama series, illustrated by Kathryn Briggs and published by the Wellcome Collection in 2021.

McDermid continues to be a remarkably versatile writer for stage, microphone and screen as well as books. In early 2017 Val’s latest BBC Radio 4 drama series, Resistance, aired to great acclaim. BBC Radio 4 has also broadcast five series of her comedy crime ‘Dead’ serial, starring Julie Hesmondhalgh. And in the last couple of years, she has returned to writing for the theatre with Margaret Saves Scotland as well as creating the TV series Traces based on her original idea and starring Molly Windsor and Martin Compston which was well received in late 2019 and was most recently aired in a primetime BBC One slot in January 2021. Series two went into production later in 2021 as did the ITV adaptation of the new drama Karen Pirie based on Val’s eponymous series character.

She is also an experienced broadcaster with regular and hugely popular appearances on TV and radio. Val has guest-edited BBC Radio 4’s Front Row, fronted features for BBC Two’s The Culture Show, written and presented many radio documentaries and appeared on a remarkable range of TV shows from Question Time to Have I Got News For You. She further added to her broadcasting credentials in late 2016 by captaining the winning University Challenge alumnae team, having previously become Celebrity Mastermind champion! She has also been a member of winning teams in Eggheads and Only Connect Sport Relief.

She is lead singer of the Fun Lovin’ Crime Writers, possibly the only band made up of crime writers ever to play at Glastonbury. And her entertaining lockdown video series, Cooking The Books: Recipes from the Fiction Kitchen garnered tens of thousands of fans on YouTube and Facebook.

Val has won many awards internationally, including the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, the CWA Cartier Diamond Dagger, the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure, the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award, the Stonewall Writer of the Year and the LA Times Book of the Year Award. Uniquely, she has been shortlisted in four different categories in the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards. In 2016 she received the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction award at the Theakston’s Old Peculiar Harrogate Crime Festival and in 2017 she was elected a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and the Royal Society of Edinburgh. Val has previously served as a judge for both the Man Booker Prize and the Women’s Prize for Fiction, and was the Chair of the Wellcome Book Prize in 2017. She is the recipient of six Honorary Doctorates and is an Honorary Fellow of St Hilda’s College, Oxford. She is Visiting Professor in the Centre for Irish and Scottish Studies at the University of Otago in New Zealand. She is Patron of the Scottish Book Trush and a Trustee of the Homeless World Cup Foundation. Her story Resurrection: Message from the Skies was a landmark conceptual installation in Edinburgh in January 2018.

Val was born in Kirkcaldy, a coastal town in the heart of the Scottish mining community. She graduated in English from St Hilda’s College, Oxford – the first from a Scottish state school to do so – before going on to be an award-winning journalist for sixteen years. She is a lifelong Raith Rovers Football Club supporter, has served as a board director, and is the home strip shirt sponsor. Val’s other loves in life include walking, music, gaming and cooking.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Peter James

Peter James is a UK No.1 bestselling author, best known for his Detective Superintendent Roy Grace series, now a hit ITV drama starring John Simm as the troubled Brighton copper.

Much loved by crime and thriller fans for his fast-paced page-turners full of unexpected plot twists, sinister characters, and accurate portrayal of modern day policing, he has won over 40 awards for his work including the WHSmith Best Crime Author of All Time Award and Crime Writers’ Association Diamond Dagger. In 2024, it was announced that he is the creator of Her Majesty Queen Camilla’s favourite fictional detective.

To date, Peter has written an impressive total of 20 Sunday Times No. 1s, sold over 23 million copies worldwide and been translated into 38 languages. Her Majesty Queen Camilla has announced that Detective Superintendent Roy Grace is her favourite fictional detective. His books are also often adapted for the stage, with his six stage shows grossing over £17 million at the box office – the most recent being Wish You Were Dead.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Katy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, and Bones of the Lost, and the Temperance Brennan e-short, Bones In Her Pocket. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, and Exposure, along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Diana Gabaldon

Diana Gabaldon is the author of the award-winning, #1 NYT-bestselling OUTLANDER novels, described by Salon magazine as “the smartest historical sci-fi adventure-romance story ever written by a science Ph.D. with a background in scripting ‘Scrooge McDuck’ comics.”

As of January, 2022, Diana’s books are published in thirty-eight languages and sold in one hundred and fourteen countries.

The adventure began in 1991 with the classic OUTLANDER (“historical fiction with a Moebius twist”), and has continued through eight more internationally bestselling novels in the series so far. These books feature the story of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser and Jamie Fraser, and include elements of time travel and lots of real Scottish and American history.

The latest novel in Diana’s Outlander series of major novels is GO TELL THE BEES THAT I AM GONE, which was first published in the U.S.A., Canada, the U.K., and Germany on November 23, 2021. BEES debuted at number one on the New York Times list and is also an international bestseller. She is currently writing and doing the background research for Book Ten of the Outlander novels, as yet untitled.

Diana serves as a co-producer and advisor for the popular Outlander TV series, which is produced by the Starz network and Tall Ship Productions and distributed by Sony International. The show is an adaptation of her OUTLANDER series of novels. She has also written the scripts for several episodes and made a cameo appearance in the first season.

Lord John Grey (a major minor character from the Outlander series of novels, is featured in a novel, THE SCOTTISH PRISONER and short stories and novellas.

Diana has written a number of short stories and novellas that are related to her Outlander and Lord John works. Her Chronology of the Outlander Series webpage shows how the novels and short fiction are interwoven in time.

THE OUTLANDISH COMPANION, Volumes One and Two, are nonfiction (well, relatively) which provide details on the settings, background, characters, research, and writing of the first eight novels in the Outlander series of novels. Authorized publications by various authors have also celebrated the Outlander novels including a coloring book, cookbook, and others.

Returning to her comic-book roots, she wrote a graphic novel titled THE EXILE (set within the OUTLANDER universe and featuring the main characters from the novel OUTLANDER), but told from the viewpoint of Jamie Fraser and his godfather, Murtagh.

Dr. Diana J. Gabaldon holds three degrees in science: Zoology, Marine Biology, and a Ph.D. in Quantitative Behavioral Ecology. (Plus she was granted an honorary degree as Doctor of Humane Letters, which entitles her to be Diana Gabaldon, Ph.D., D.H.L.”  She supposes this is better than “Diana Gabaldon, Phd.X.”)

Diana worked a dozen years as a university professor before beginning to write her first novel, OUTLANDER, in 1989. Through the late 1980s, she wrote scientific articles and textbooks, worked as a contributing editor on the MacMillan ENCYCLOPEDIA OF COMPUTERS, founded the scientific-computation journal SCIENCE SOFTWARE QUARTERLY, contributed articles to tech magazines such as INFOWORLD, and wrote numerous comic-book scripts for Walt Disney. None of this has anything whatever to do with her novels, but there it is.

Diana and her husband, Douglas Watkins, have three adult children, and two grandchildren.

A native of Flagstaff, Arizona, Diana wrote a touching story about her parents for an Arizona newspaper titled “Myth and Mountain Birthdays.”


2017 Spotlight Guest: Steve Berry

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson KeyThe Emperor’s TombThe Paris VendettaThe Charlemagne PursuitThe Venetian BetrayalThe Alexandria LinkThe Templar LegacyThe Third SecretThe Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 15 million printed copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York TimesUSA Today, and Indie bestseller lists.

The following FACEOFF contributors were showcased at ThrillerFest IX:

David Baldacci, Linwood Barclay, Steve Berry, Lee Child, Lincoln Child, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Linda Fairstein, Joseph Finder, Lisa Gardner, Heather Graham, Peter James, Raymond Khoury, Dennis Lehane, John Lescroart, Steve Martini, T. Jefferson Parker, Douglas Preston, Ian Rankin, James Rollins, M.J. Rose, John Sandford, R.L. Stine, and F. Paul Wilson.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Gayle Lynds

Gayle Lynds is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of 10 spy novels, including The Book of Spies, The Assassins, and Masquerade. Library Journal calls her “the reigning queen of espionage fiction.” Her books have been published in 30 languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. She’s been interviewed on CBS Sunday Morning as well as by other media. Among her many awards is the Military Writers Society of America Award for Best Novel. With Robert Ludlum, she created the Covert-One series. The first book, The Hades Factor, was a CBS miniseries. With David Morrell, she cofounded International Thriller Writers and ThrillerFest.

Gayle began her writing career as a reporter for The Arizona Republic, where her investigative reporting made such an impact that it led to changes in state legislation. Later she was an editor with rare Top Secret security clearance at a government think tank, where assorted shadowy figures passed through. She was intrigued and inspired.

Soon she began writing literary short stories, which were published in literary journals, and at the same time in what some considered to be surely schizophrenic, she also wrote male pulp adventure novels set around the world in the Nick Carter and Mack Bolan series.

Her first Gayle Lynds novel, Masquerade, was a New York Times bestseller and a People magazine “Page-Turner of the Week.” The Last Spymaster won Best Novel from both the American Authors Association and the Military Writers Society of America. The Coil won Best Contemporary Novel from Affaire de Coeur. Mosaic was RT Thriller of the Year. Mesmerized was a Daphne du Maurier Award best novel finalist. The Assassins won the Founder’s Award for Best Novel from MWSA. About her work, reviewers have written: “superb,” Chicago Tribune; “immensely satisfying,” Wall Street Journal; “a potent storyteller,” Denver Post; “teeth-grinding suspense,” Publishers Weekly; “roller-coaster thrills,” Los Angeles Times; “terrific,” Cosmopolitan magazine; and “authentic,” Chicago Sun-Times.

With Robert Ludlum, she created the Covert-One Series and wrote three of the novels. Besides The Hades Factor becoming a CBS miniseries, The Paris Option, was a People magazine “Beach Read of the Week.”

A member of the Association for Former Intelligence Officers, she cofounded International Thriller Writers with David Morrell and was copresident for several years. ITW’s annual convention is ThrillerFest, which is held in New York City. She lives in Maine with her husband, retired judge John C. Sheldon, three computers, and one old, opinionated cat.

 


2017 Spotlight Guest: David Morrell

David Morrell is the critically author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created. He holds a Ph. D. in American literature from Penn State and was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic spy novel, The Brotherhood of the Rose(the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl). An Edgar and Anthony finalist, a Nero and Macavity winner, Morrell is a recipient of three Bram Stoker awards from the Horror Writers Association and the prestigious Thriller Master award from the International Thriller Writers organization. His writing book, The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing, discusses what he has learned in his more than four decades as an author. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is the number one international bestseller of several novels, including the Grant County series. A long-time resident of Atlanta, she splits her time between the kitchen and the living room.

The Silver Bullet Award was created by the International Thriller Writers in conjunction with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to recognize outstanding and meritorious achievement in the pursuit of literacy and the love of reading. Past recipients include authors Sandra Brown, R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, publisher Tom Doherty, actor Tony Plana (UGLY BETTY), the Nestle Company, Capital One, and Macy’s.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta (pronounced Ko-ree-ta) is a New York Times-bestselling author whose work has been lauded by Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Lee Child, Lisa Unger, Dean Koontz, James Patterson, Dennis Lehane, Laura Lippman, and Sandra Brown among many others, and has been translated into more than 20 languages. His books have won or been nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Edgar® Award, Shamus Award, Barry Award, Quill Award, International Thriller Writers Award, and the Golden Dagger. They’ve been selected as “best books of the year” by publications including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Amazon.com, O the Oprah Magazine, Entertainment Weekly, People, Reader’s Digest, iBooks, and Kirkus Reviews.

Before turning to writing full-time, Michael worked as a private investigator, a newspaper reporter, and taught at the Indiana University School of Journalism. He began working for a private investigator as an intern while in high school and turned this into his day job in the early stages of his writing career. As a journalist, he won numerous awards from the Society of Professional Journalists.

Michael’s first novel, the Edgar-nominated Tonight I Said Goodbye, was accepted for publication when he was 20 years old. He wrote his first two novels before graduating from college and was published in nearly 10 languages before he fulfilled the “writing requirement” classes required for his diploma.

Michael has written for the screen in both feature film and television, writing scripts for Fox, Universal, and Amazon Studios. Those Who Wish Me Dead was released in 2020 as a major motion picture starring Angelina Jolie, Nicholas Hoult, Tyler Perry, Jon Bernthal and Aidan Gillen, directed by Taylor Sheridan. The film version of So Cold the River was released in 2022, directed by Paul Shoulberg and starring Bethany Joy Lenz, Alysia Reiner, and Andrew J. West.

Michael was raised in Bloomington, Indiana, where he graduated from Indiana University with a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. In 2008, he was honored as a “distinguished young alumni” by Indiana University, and in 2010 he was named “distinguished alumni’ by the criminal justice department.

Hiking, camping, boating, and fishing are all likely to occupy his free time when he’s not working on a new book. Some of his favorite spots are the Beartooth Mountains of Montana, the flowages of the Northwoods in Wisconsin, St. Petersburg, Florida, and the Maine midcoast.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris was born in the Mississippi Delta. Her father was a farmer and then a school principal, and her mother was a librarian. Charlaine was educated at public schools and attended Rhodes College in Memphis, TN.

Two thousand twenty-one will mark Charlaine’s fortieth year as a published writer. She has written two stand-alones, and her series include the Aurora Teagarden mysteries, the Lily Bard mysteries, the Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasies, the Harper Connelly urban fantasies, the Midnight, Texas novels, the Cemetery Girl graphic novels (with Christopher Golden), and the Gunnie Rose books, set in an alternate history America. Charlaine has also written many short stories, and together with Toni L.P. Kelner she edited seven themed anthologies (and had great fun).

The television series “True Blood” was based on Charlaine’s Sookie Stackhouse novels. Hallmark Movies and Mysteries is still showing a series of movies created about the Aurora Teagarden character, and for two seasons “Midnight, Texas” was on the air. Two of her other series are in production.

Charlaine belongs to several professional organizations and is an avid reader. She and her husband live on a cliff overlooking the Brazos River with their rescue dogs. Charlaine has the joy of being a grandmother, and she attends the Episcopalian church.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Andrew Gross

Andrew Gross is the author of the New York Times and international bestsellers Everything to Lose, No Way Back, 15 Seconds, Eyes Wide Open, Reckless, Don’t Look Back, The Dark Tide, and The Blue Zone. He is also coauthor of five number one bestsellers with James Patterson, including Judge & Jury and Lifeguard. His books have been translated into more than twenty-five languages. His latest novel, Button Man, is an historical thriller coming Sept 18, 2018 from Minotaur Books.

 


2017 Spotlight Guest: Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson is the number-one New York Times bestselling author of over ninety-five novels, including the Rick Bentz and Reuben Montoya Series, the Pescoli and Alvarez Series, the Savannah Series, and numerous stand alone novels. She also is the co-author of One Last Breath, Last Girl Standing, and the Colony Series, written with her sister and bestselling author Nancy Bush, as well as the collaborative novels Sinister and Ominous, written with Nancy Bush and Rosalind Noonan. There are over thirty million copies of her novels in print and her writing has been translated into twenty languages.

Before she became a nationally bestselling author, she was a mother struggling to keep food on the table by writing novels, hoping against hope that someone would pay her for them. Today, neck deep in murder, her books appear on The New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly national bestseller lists.

With dozens of bestsellers to her name, Lisa Jackson is a master of taking readers to the edge of sanity — and back — in novels that buzz with dangerous secrets and deadly passions. She continues to be fascinated by the minds and motives of both her killers and their pursuers—the personal, the professional, and the downright twisted. As she builds the puzzle of relationships, actions, clues, lies, and personal histories that haunt her protagonists, she must also confront the fear and terror faced by her victims and the harsh and enduring truth that, in the real world, terror and madness touch far too many lives and families.


2017 Spotlight Guest: John Sandford

John Sandford is the pseudonym of John Roswell Camp, an American author and journalist. Camp won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1986, and was one of four finalists for the prize in 1980. He also was the winner of the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors for 1985.

Camp is the author of 40 published novels, all of which have appeared, in one format or another, on the New York Times bestseller lists. He is also the co-author of three young adult books in the Singular Menace series, with Michele Cook, and co-author of the science-fiction thriller SATURN RUN with Ctein.

He is the author of two non-fiction books, one on art (THE EYE AND THE HEART: THE WATERCOLORS OF JOHN STUART INGLE) and one on plastic surgery (PLASTIC SURGERY: THE KINDEST CUT).

He is the principal financial backer of the Beth-Shean Valley Archaeological Project in the Jordan River Valley of Israel, with a website at www.rehov.org. A major show of the expedition’s findings is currently being held at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.

Camp was born February 23, 1944, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His maternal grandparents were immigrants from Lithuania and he spent many of his early years living on, or visiting, their rural acreage.

He attended Cedar Rapids Catholic and public schools, graduating from Washington Senior High School in 1962. He received a bachelor’s degree in American Studies in 1966, and a master’s degree in journalism in 1971, both from the University of Iowa. Between his two stints at the University of Iowa, he served two years in the U.S. Army in Korea with the 4th U.S. Army Missile Command.

Camp was married to Susan Lee Jones in 1966, and has two children, Roswell Camp and Emily Curtis, and three grandchildren, Benjamin, Daniel and Gabriel Curtis. His wife, Susan, died of metastasized breast cancer in May, 2007.
In October, 2013, he married Michele Cook, a journalist and screenwriter. They currently have homes in Santa Fe, NM, and the countryside near Hayward, WI. In addition to co-authoring the three books in the Singular Menace series, Cook has done the initial editing of all the Sandford books since 2010.

Camp’s journalism career began as an Army reporter (he is included in the ‘Hall of Fame’ at the Defense Information School at Fort Meade, MD.) After getting out of the Army, he then worked as a reporter for the Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Southeast Missourian for a year, covering such stories as the Cairo, IL, race riots.

He was a reporter and an editor at The Miami Herald from 1971-1978, and a reporter and columnist for the St. Paul Pioneer Press from 1978-1990. He continues to do occasional journalism, and was embedded with the 2-147 Air Assault Battalion during the Iraq War, and covered the 2008 Republican National Convention in St. Paul.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Lara Adrian

With nearly 4 million books in circulation around the world and translations in more than 20 countries, Lara Adrian is a New York Times and #1 international best-selling author whose popular romance books have touched countless readers since her first title, Kiss of Midnight, released from Random House in 2007 and became an instant bestseller. With her long-running vampire romance series, Midnight Breed, she has cemented her place as “one of the premier authors of paranormal romance” (Fresh Fiction). Her steamy contemporary billionaire romance books in the 100 Series have reviewers crowning her “a new queen of erotica” (The Sub Club Books).

Lara Adrian is represented by Nalini Akolekar and Karen Solem of Spencerhill Associates Literary Agency.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Christopher Rice

Christopher Rice is the recipient of the Lambda Literary Award and is the Amazon Charts and New York Times bestselling author of A Density of Souls; Bone Music, Blood Echo, and Blood Victory in the Burning Girl series; and Bram Stoker Award finalists The Heavens Rise and The Vines. An executive producer for television, he collaborated with his mother Anne Rice on the novel Ramses the Damned: The Passion of Cleopatra and Ramses The Damned: The Reign of Osiris. Together with his best friend and producing partner, New York Times bestselling novelist Eric Shaw Quinn, Christopher runs the production company Dinner Partners. Among other projects, they produce the podcast and video network TDPS, which can be found at www.TheDinnerPartyShow.com. He lives in West Hollywood, California, and writes tales of romance between men under the pseudonym C. Travis Rice. Visit him at www.christopherricebooks.com.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is a #1 Bestselling Author, The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 35 novels, including her latest work, Loyalty.

Her kindle exclusive book, Pigeon Tony’s Last Stand: A Rosato and DiNunzio Short Story, was nominated for a Macavity Awards Best Mystery Short Story, 2024.

She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. After running in the Philadelphia Inquirer for fifteen years, Chick Wit is now available online. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses, and earlier books, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool; I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places; Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?; Have a Nice Guilt Trip; Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim; Best Friends, Occasional Enemies; My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space; and Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV.

Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as president of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, “Justice and Fiction” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. Lisa is a regular and much-sought-after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Francesca Serritella and Lisa Scottoline
Lisa’s books have solidly landed on all the major bestseller lists including The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, and Look Again was named “One of the Best Novels of the Year” by The Washington Post, and one of the best books in the world as part of World Book Night 2013.

Lisa’s novels are known for their emotionality and their warm and down-to-earth characters, which resonate with readers and reviewers long after they have finished the books. When writing about Lisa’s Rosato & Associates series, Janet Maslin of The New York Times applauds Lisa’s books as “punchy, wisecracking thrillers” whose “characters are earthy, fun and self-deprecating” and distinguishes her as having “one of the best-branded franchise styles in current crime writing.”

Lisa’s contributions through her writing has been recognized by organizations throughout the country. She is the recipient of the Edgar Award, the Mystery Writer’s of America most prestigious honor, the Fun, Fearless, Fiction Award by Cosmopolitan magazine, and named a PW Innovator by Publisher’s Weekly. Lisa was honored with AudioFile’s Earphones Award and named Voice of the Year for her recording of her non-fiction book, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. Each follow up collection, including the most recent, I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses, has garnered both Lisa and her daughter, Francesca, Earphones Awards as well. In addition, she has been honored with a Distinguished Author Award from Scranton University, and a “Paving the Way” award from the University of Pennsylvania, Women in Business.

Lisa’s accomplishments all pale in comparison to what she considers her greatest achievement, raising, as a single mom, her beautiful (a completely unbiased opinion) daughter, an honors graduate of Harvard, New York Times bestselling author, and columnist, who is currently working on her first novel.

Lisa believes in writing what you know, and she puts so much of herself into her books. What you may or may not learn about Lisa from her books is that she is an incredibly generous person, an engaging and entertaining speaker, a die-hard Eagles fan, a good cook, and a vegetarian. She loves the color pink, has an incredible design sense, has recently taken up gardening and golf, and her musical taste includes everything from U2 to Sinatra to 50 Cent, she is proud to be an American, and nothing makes her happier than spending time with her daughter.

Lisa Scottoline and pets
Lisa is also a regular softie when it comes to her furry family. Nothing can turn Lisa from a professional, career-minded author, to a mushy, sweet-talking, ball-throwing woman like her beloved dogs. Although she has owned and loves various dog breeds, including her amazing goldens, she has gone crazy for her collection of King Charles Spaniels.

Lisa first fell in love with the breed when Francesca added her Blehneim Cavalier, Pip, to the mix. This prompted Lisa to get her own, and she started with the adorable, if not anatomically incorrect, Little Tony, her first male dog (Lisa wrote a “Chick Wit” column about this). Little Tony is a black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But Lisa couldn’t stop at just one and soon added her little Peach, a Blehneim King Charles Cavalier. Lisa is now beyond thrilled to be raising Peach’s puppies, Daniel Boone and Kit Carson, and for pictures, be sure to follow Lisa on Facebook or Twitter. Herding together the entire pack is Lisa’s spunky spit-fire of a Corgi named Ruby. The solitude of writing isn’t very quiet with her furry family, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Not to be outshined by their canine counterparts, Lisa’s cats, Vivi and Mimi, are the princesses of the house, and have no problem keeping the rest of the brood in line. Vivi is a grey and white beauty and is more aloof than her cuddly, black and white partner, Mimi. When Lisa’s friend and neighbor passed, Lisa adopted his beloved cat, Spunky, a content and beautiful ball of fur, who lived to a ripe old age.

Lisa loves the coziness of her farmhouse, and no farm is complete without chickens. She has a chicken coop which she populated with chicks of different types, and is overjoyed with each and every colorful egg they produce. Watching over Lisa’s flock are her horses, which gladly welcome the chickens and all the excitement they bring.


2017 Spotlight Guest: Nelson DeMille

Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69). He saw action in Vietnam as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division and was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry, and was awarded the Combat Infantry Badge.

After his discharge, DeMille returned to Hofstra University where he received his bachelor’s degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and resides on Long Island.

DeMille’s first major novel was By the Rivers of Babylon, published in 1978, and is still in print as are all his succeeding novels. He is a member of American Mensa, The Authors Guild, past president of the Mystery Writers of America, and Book-of-the-Month Club Judge. He is also a member of International Thriller Writers and was chosen as ThrillerMaster of the Year 2015. DeMille is an Honorary Trustee of the Walt Whitman Birthplace Association and holds three honorary doctorates: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, Doctor of Literature from Long Island University, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College.

Nelson DeMille is the author of: By the Rivers of Babylon, Mayday (co-authored with Thomas Block ), Cathedral, The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, The General’s Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion’s Game, Up Country, Night Fall, Wild Fire, The Gate House, The Lion, The Panther, The Quest, Radiant Angel, The Cuban Affair, The Deserter (co-authored with his son, Alex DeMille), The Maze, and Blood Lines (co-authored with Alex DeMille). Nelson DeMille has also contributed short stories to anthologies, and book reviews and articles to magazines and newspapers.

 


2017 Spotlight Guest: J.A. Vance

As a second-grader in Mrs. Spangler’s Greenway School class, I was introduced to Frank Baum’s Wizard of Oz series. I read the first book and was hooked. I knew, from that moment on, that I wanted to be a writer.

The third child in a large family, I was four years younger than my next older sister and four years older than the next younger sibling. Being both too young and too old left me alone in a crowd and helped turn me into an introspective reader and a top student. When I graduated from Bisbee High School in 1962, I received an academic scholarship that made me the first person in my family to attend a four year college. I graduated from the University of Arizona in 1966 with a degree in English and Secondary Education. In 1970 I received my M. Ed. in Library Science. I taught high school English at Tucson’s Pueblo High School for two years and was a K-12 librarian at Indian Oasis School District in Sells, Arizona for five years.

My ambitions to become a writer were frustrated in college and later, first because the professor who taught creative writing at the University of Arizona in those days thought girls “ought to be teachers or nurses” rather than writers. After he refused me admission to the program, I did the next best thing: I married a man who was allowed in the program that was closed to me. My first husband imitated Faulkner and Hemingway primarily by drinking too much and writing too little. Despite the fact that he was allowed in the creative writing program, he never had anything published either prior to or after his death from chronic alcoholism at age forty-two. That didn’t keep him from telling me, however, that there would be only one writer in our family, and he was it.

My husband made that statement in 1968 after I had received a favorable letter from an editor in New York who was interested in publishing a children’s story I had written. Because I was a newly wed wife who was interested in staying married, I put my writing ambitions on hold. Other than writing poetry in the dark of night when my husband was asleep I did nothing more about writing fiction until eleven years later when I was a single, divorced mother with two children and no child support as well as a full time job selling life insurance. My first three books were written between four a.m. and seven a.m. In the morning, I would wake my children and send them off to school. Then, I would get myself ready to go sell life insurance.

I started writing in the middle of March of 1982. The first book I wrote, a slightly fictionalized version of a series of murders that happened in Tucson in 1970, was never published.

For one thing, it was twelve hundred pages long. Since I was never allowed in the creative writing classes, no one had ever told me there were some things I needed to leave out. For another, the editors who turned it down said that the parts that were real were totally unbelievable, and the parts that were fiction were fine. My agent finally sat me down and told me that she thought I was a better writer of fiction than I was of non-fiction. Why, she suggested, didn’t I try my hand at a novel?

The result of that conversation was the first Detective Beaumont book, Until Proven Guilty, published in 1985. Since then there have been 24 more Beau books. My work also includes 19 Joanna Brady books set in southeastern Arizona where I grew up, 16 Ali Reynolds books, set in Sedona, AZ, and five novellas. The Walker Family series includes five thrillers, starting with Hour of the Hunter and Kiss of the Bees, that reflect what I learned during the years when I was teaching on the Tohono O’Odham reservation west of Tucson, Arizona.

The week before Until Proven Guilty was published, I did a poetry reading of After the Fire at a widowed retreat sponsored by a group called WICS (Widowed Information Consultation Services) of King County. By June of 1985, it was five years after my divorce in 1980 and two years after my former husband’s death. ᅠI went to the retreat feeling as though I hadn’t quite had my ticket punched and didn’t deserve to be there. After all, the other people there were all still married when their spouses died. I was divorced. At the retreat I met a man whose wife had died of breast cancer two years to the day and within a matter of minutes of the time my husband died. We struck up a conversation based on that coincidence. Six months later, to the dismay of our five children, we told the kids they weren’t the Brady Bunch, but they’d do, and we got married. We now have four new in-laws, six grandchildren, and three great-grandchildren.

When my second husband and I first married, he supported all of us–his kids and mine as well as the two of us. It was a long time before my income from writing was anything more than fun money–the Improbable Cause trip to Walt Disney World; the Minor in Possession memorial powder room; the Payment in Kind honorary hot tub. Eventually, however, the worm turned. My husband was able to retire at age 54 and took up golf and oil painting.

One of the wonderful things about being a writer is that everything–even the bad stuff–is usable. The eighteen years I spent while married to an alcoholic have helped shape the experience and character of Detective J. P. Beaumont. My experiences as a single parent have gone into the background for Joanna Brady–including her first tentative steps toward a new life after the devastation of losing her husband in Desert Heat. And then there’s the evil creative writing professor in Hour of the Hunter and Kiss of the Bees, but that’s another story.

Another wonderful part of being a writer is hearing from fans.

I learned on the reservation that the ancient, sacred charge of the storyteller is to beguile the time. I’m thrilled when I hear that someone has used my books to get through some particularly difficult illness either as a patient or as they sit on the sidelines while someone they love is terribly ill. It gratifies me to know that by immersing themselves in my stories, people are able to set their own lives aside and live and walk in someone else’s shoes. It tells me I’m doing a good job at the best job in the world.

JAJ


2017 Spotlight Guest: Eric Van Lustbader

Eric Van Lustbader’s first novel, The Sunset Warrior, was published in 1975. Since then, he has published more than thirty-five best-selling novels, beginning with The Ninja, a New York Times Bestseller for 24 consecutive weeks. The Ninja introduced Nicholas Linnear, one of modern fiction’s most beloved and enduring heroes, continuing his exploits in five subsequent best-sellers. It also introduced the Western world to the Japanese term itself.

Mr. Lustbader is also the author of two successful and highly regarded major fantasy series, The Pearl, published by Tor Books in the US and HarperCollins/Voyager in the UK and The Sunset Warrior Cycle. He is the author of a number of short stories, screenplays and novellas. Three of the short stories appeared in 1999: “Hush,” in Off The Beaten Path: Stories of Place for Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, “Slow Burn,” in Murder And Obsession for Delacourt Press, and “An Exultation of Termagants” in the millennial supernatural mega-collection 1999 for Avon Books. A highly successful short novel, Art Kills, was published in 2000 by Carroll & Graf. He also has two stories in anthologies from the International Thriller Writers, an organization of which he is a long-time member.

In 2000 he was asked by DC Comics to write a graphic novel. Mr. Lustbader chose to write about his favorite childhood comic character, Batman. The result was “Batman — The Dark Angel,” which was the only graphic novel to be chosen as a Monthly Choice of the Quality Paperback Book Club.

In 2003, he was asked by Estate of the late Robert Ludlum to continue the series based on Jason Bourne. The Bourne Legacy, published in 2004 continues and updates the adventures of Robert Ludlum’s famous international assassin. Mr. Lustbader has gone on to write twelve more Bourne novels in the span of fourteen years.

In 2008, Mr. Lustbader wrote First Daughter to wide acclaim. The novel features Jack McClure and Alli Carson, Mr. Lustbader’s first continuing characters since Nicholas Linnear and Jake Maroc. There are five books in the McClure series.

Afterward, Mr. Lustbader turned his hand to writing three sequels to his internationally bestselling novel The Testament.

At the beginning of 2020 he stepped away from the Bourne franchise to concentrate on a new series, starring Evan Ryder, a female field agent with a complicated and surprising past. The Nemesis Manifesto, the first novel in the series was published in 2020. The follow-up, The Kobalt Dossier, will be published in June 2021. The third Evan Ryder novel, Omega Rules, is due in May 2022.

His novels have been translated into over twenty languages; his books are bestsellers worldwide and are so popular whole sections of bookstores from Bangkok to Dublin are devoted to them.

Mr. Lustbader was born and raised in Greenwich Village, where he developed an interest in art as well as in writing. He lived downstairs from the young Lauren Bacall and built orange-crate racers in Washington Square Park with Keith and David Carradine. He is a graduate of Columbia College, with a degree in Sociology, but his real education came much earlier at The City & Country School where, as Mr. Lustbader, is fond of saying, “I learned all the important lessons that would stay with me for life.”

Before turning to writing full time, he enjoyed highly successful careers in the New York City public school system where he holds licenses in both elementary and early childhood education, and in the music business where he worked for Elektra Records and CBS Records among other companies. He was the first writer in the US to write about Elton John and to predict his success. As a consequence he, Elton and Elton’s lyricist Bernie Taupin became friends. Writing for Cash Box Magazine, he also predicted the successes of such bands as Santana, Roxy Music, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, David Bowie, and The Who, among others.

Eric Van Lustbader served on the Board of Trustees and is Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the City & Country School in Greenwich Village. He also tends his prized collection of Japanese maples and beech trees (which have been written up in The New York Times and Martha Stewart Living). He is a second-level Reiki master. He listens to music constantly and is ever on the lookout for new bands and artists. To see his picks, please visit his Spotify account. He and his wife, the author and editor Victoria Lustbader, live on the eastern end of Long Island.


2017 Silver Bullet Recipient: Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times crime thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, her work as a research analyst for an international consulting firm parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of internationally bestselling suspense novels, including her most recent release, FIND HER.

With over 22 million books in print, Lisa is published in 30 countries. Her success crosses into the small screen with four of her novels becoming movies (AT THE MIDNIGHT HOUR; THE PERFECT HUSBAND; THE SURVIVORS CLUB; HIDE) and personal appearances on television shows (TruTVCNN).

Lisa Gardner’s novels have also received awards from across the globe. Her novel THE NEIGHBOR was recognized as the Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers in the United States and Grand Prix des lectrices de Elle, prix du policier in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne duMaurior Award presented by RWA in 2000 for THE OTHER DAUGHTER.

Readers are invited to get in on the fun by entering the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy” Sweepstakes at LisaGardner.com, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa’s latest novel. Every year, one Lucky Stiff is selected for Literary Immortality. It’s cheaper than therapy, and you get a great book besides.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire with her auto-racing husband and black-diamond skiing daughter. She spends her days writing in her loft with a young silly sheltie and a adventurous terrier.


2017 Thriller Legend: Tom Doherty

Tom Doherty is an American publisher and the founder of the science fiction and fantasy book publisher Tor Books. He started as a salesman for Pocket Books and rose to be Division Sales Manager. From there, he went to Simon & Schuster as National Sales Manager, then became publisher of paperbacks at Grosset & Dunlap, including Tempo Books, in 1969. In 1975, he became publisher for Ace Books. In 1979, he left Ace to establish his own company, Tom Doherty Associates, publishing under the Tor Books imprint starting in 1980, which has grown to become the largest publisher of science fiction and fantasy in the United States.


2016 ThrillerMaster: Heather Graham

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Heather Graham majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write, working on short horror stories and romances.

After some trial and error, she sold her first book, WHEN NEXT WE LOVE, in 1982 and since then, she has written over one hundred novels and novellas including category, romantic suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, and Christmas holiday fare. She wrote the launch books for the Dell’s Ecstasy Supreme line, Silhouette’s Shadows, and for Harlequin’s mainstream fiction imprint, Mira Books.

Heather was a founding member of the Florida Romance Writers chapter of RWA and, since 1999, has hosted the Romantic Times Vampire Ball, with all revenues going directly to children’s charity.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty languages, and to have been honored with awards from Waldenbooks, B. Dalton, Georgia Romance Writers, Affaire de Coeur, Romantic Times, and more.

She has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, People, and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including local television and Entertainment Tonight.

Heather loves travel and anything having to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.


2016 Spotlight Guest: C.J. Box

C. J. Box is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of 21 novels including the Joe Pickett series. He won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel (BLUE HEAVEN, 2009) as well as the Anthony Award, Prix Calibre 38 (France), the Macavity Award, the Gumshoe Award, the Barry Award, and the 2010 Mountains & Plains Independent Booksellers Association Award for fiction. He was recently awarded the 2016 Western Heritage Award for Literature by the National Cowboy Museum. His novels have been translated into 27 languages. Over ten million copies of his novels have been sold in the U.S. alone.

In 2016, OFF THE GRID debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list in March. Box is a Wyoming native and has worked as a ranch hand, surveyor, fishing guide, a small town newspaper reporter and editor, and he owned an international tourism marketing firm with his wife Laurie. In 2008, Box was awarded the “BIG WYO” Award from the state tourism industry. He served on the Board of Directors for the Cheyenne Frontier Days Rodeo and currently serves on the Wyoming Office of Tourism Board. He and his wife Laurie split their time between their home and ranch in Wyoming.


2016 Spotlight Guest: Gillian Flynn

Gillian Flynn was born in Kansas City, Missouri to two community college professors—her mother taught reading; her father, film. Thus she spent an inordinate amount of her youth nosing through books and watching movies. It was a good childhood. Flynn’s 2006 debut novel, the literary mystery SHARP OBJECTS, was an Edgar Award finalist and the winner of two of Britain’s Dagger Awards—the first book ever to win multiple Daggers in one year. Flynn’s second novel, the 2009 New York Times bestseller DARK PLACES, was a New Yorker Reviewers’ Favorite, Weekend TODAY Top Summer Read, Publishers Weekly Best Book of 2009, and Chicago Tribune Favorite Fiction choice.

Flynn’s third novel, GONE GIRL, was an international sensation and a runaway hit that has spent more than one hundred weeks on the New York Times bestseller lists. GONE GIRL was named one of the best books of the year by People Magazine and Janet Maslin at the New York Times. Nominated for both the Edgar Award and the Anthony Award for Best Novel, Flynn wrote the screenplay for David Fincher’s 2014 adaptation of GONE GIRL for the big screen, starring Ben Affleck and Rosamund Pike.

Her newest release, THE GROWNUP, is an Edgar Award-winning short story and an homage to the classic ghost story. This is the first time it is being published as a standalone. Flynn’s work has been published in 41 languages.


2016 Spotlight Guest: Walter Mosley

Walter Mosley is one of the most versatile and admired writers in America today. He is the author of more than 43 critically acclaimed books, including the major bestselling mystery series featuring Easy Rawlins.

Mosley’s work has been translated into 23 languages and includes literary fiction, science fiction, political monographs, and a young adult novel. His short fiction has been widely published, and his nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times Magazine and The Nation, among other publications.

He is the winner of numerous awards, including an O. Henry Award, a Grammy and PEN America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. He lives in New York City.


2016 Silver Bullet Recipient: John Lescroart

John Lescroart (pronounced “less-kwah”) is the author of twenty-six novels, eighteen of which have been New York Times Bestsellers. Libraries Unlimited has named him among “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors.” With sales of over twelve million copies, his books have been translated into twenty-two languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies.

John’s first novel, SUNBURN, won the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson Award; DEAD IRISH, THE 13TH JUROR and THE KEEPER were nominees for the Shamus, Anthony and Silver Falchion Best Mystery/Crime Novel, respectively; THE 13TH JUROR is included in the International Thriller Writers publication “100 Must-Read Thrillers Of All Time.”

HARD EVIDENCE appears in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Ultimate Reading List.” GUILT was a Readers Digest Select Edition choice. THE MOTIVE was an Audie Finalist of the Audio Publishers Association. THE MERCY RULE, NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH, THE SUSPECT, and THE FALL have been major market Book Club selections. THE SUSPECT was the 2007 One Book Sacramento choice, and the American Author’s Association chose it as its 2007 Book of the Year. THE OPHELIA CUT, BETRAYAL, and A PLAGUE OF SECRETS were each Top Five selections of Strand Magazine’s “Books of the Year.” Several of John’s books have been Main Selections of one or more of the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Book of the Month Club.

He lives in Northern California with his wife, Lisa Sawyer.


2015 ThrillerMaster: Nelson DeMille

Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an infantry platoon leader with the First Cavalry Division in Vietnam. He was decorated with the Air Medal, Bronze Star, and the Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry.

DeMille returned to the States and went back to Hofstra University where he received his degree in Political Science and History. He has three children, Lauren, Alexander, and James, and still lives on Long Island.

DeMille’s earlier books were NYPD detective novels. His first major novel was By the Rivers of Babylon, published in 1978 and still in print, as are all his succeeding novels. He is a member of The Authors Guild, the Mystery Writers of America, and American Mensa. He holds three honorary doctorates: Doctor of Humane Letters from Hofstra University, Doctor of Literature from Long Island University, and Doctor of Humane Letters from Dowling College.

Nelson DeMille is the author of: By the Rivers of Babylon, Cathedral, The Talbot Odyssey, Word of Honor, The Charm School, The Gold Coast, The General’s Daughter, Spencerville, Plum Island, The Lion’s Game, Up Country, Night Fall, Wild Fire, The Gate House, The Lion, The Panther and The Quest. He also co-authored Mayday with Thomas Block and has contributed short stories, book reviews, and articles to magazines and newspapers.


2015 Spotlight Guest: Charlaine Harris

Charlaine Harris is a New York Times bestselling author who has been writing for over thirty years. She was born and raised in the Mississippi River Delta area. Though her early works consisted largely of poems about ghosts and teenage angst, she began writing plays when she attended Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee. She switched to novels a few years later, and achieved publication in 1981 with Sweet and Deadly.

After publishing two stand-alone mysteries, Harris launched the lighthearted Aurora Teagarden books with Real Murders, a Best Novel 1990 nomination for the Agatha Awards. Harris wrote eight books in her series about a Georgia librarian. In 1996, she released the first in the much darker Shakespeare mysteries, featuring the amateur sleuth Lily Bard, a karate student who makes her living cleaning houses. Shakespeare’s Counselor, the fifth—and final—Lily Bard novel, was printed in fall 2001.

By then, Harris was feeling the call of new territory. Starting with the premise of a young woman with a disability who wants to try inter-species dating, she created The Sookie Stackhouse urban fantasy series before there was a genre called “urban fantasy.” Telepathic barmaid Sookie Stackhouse works in a bar in the fictional northern Louisiana town of Bon Temps. The first book in the series, Dead Until Dark, won the Anthony Award for Best Paperback Mystery in 2001. Each subsequent book follows Sookie through adventures involving vampires, werewolves, and other supernatural creatures. The series, which ended in 2013, has been released in over thirty languages.

Professionally, Harris is a member of the Mystery Writers of America, the American Crime Writers League, Sisters in Crime, and the International Crime Writers Association. She is a past member of the boards of Sisters in Crime and MWA, and she has served as president of the MWA. She is also a member of Science Fiction Writers of America, Horror Writers Association, and Romance Writers of America, just to make sure she’s covered.

Personally, Harris has been married for many years. She’s the mother of three wonderful children and the grandmother of two. She lives in central Texas, and when she is not writing her own books, she reads omnivorously. Her house is full of rescue dogs.


2015 Spotlight Guest: Mark Billingham

Mark Billingham was born and brought up in Birmingham. Having worked for some years as an actor and more recently as a TV writer and stand-up comedian his first crime novel was published in 2001.

Sleepyhead was an instant bestseller in the UK. It has been sold widely throughout the world and was published in the USA in the summer of 2002.

The series of crime novels featuring London-based detective Tom Thorne continued with Scaredy Cat and was followed by LazybonesThe Burning GirlLifelessBuriedDeath MessageBloodlineFrom The DeadGood As DeadThe Dying Hours and the most recent, The Bones Beneath. Mark is also the author of the standalone novels In The Dark and Rush Of Blood, as well as a series of children’s thrillers – Triskellion – written under the pseudonym Will Peterson.

An acclaimed television series based on the Thorne novels was screened on Sky One in Autumn 2010, starring David Morrissey as Tom Thorne. Adaptations of both In The Dark and Rush Of Blood are currently in development at the BBC.

Mark lives in London with his wife and two children. He is currently writing his next novel.


2015 Spotlight Guest: Greg Iles

Greg Iles was born in Germany in 1960, where his father ran the US Embassy Medical Clinic during the height of the Cold War. Iles spent his youth in Natchez, Mississippi, and graduated from the University of Mississippi in 1983. While attending Ole Miss, Greg lived in the cabin where William Faulkner and his brothers listened to countless stories told by “Mammy Callie,” their beloved nanny, who had been born a slave. Iles wrote his first novel in 1993, a thriller about Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess, which became the first of twelve New York Times bestsellers.

Iles’s novels have been made into films, translated into more than twenty languages, and published in more than thirty-five countries worldwide. His new epic trilogy continues the story of Penn Cage, protagonist of The Quiet Game, Turning Angel, and New York Times #1 bestseller The Devil’s Punchbowl.

Iles is a member of the legendary lit-rock group “The Rock Bottom Remainders.” Like bandmate Stephen King, Greg returned to the musical stage after recovering from his injuries, and joined the band for their final two shows in Los Angeles in 2012. A nonfiction memoir by the band, titled Hard Listening, was published this past summer. Hard Listening also contains a short story Greg wrote as an homage to King.

Iles lives in Natchez, Mississippi. He has two teenaged children, at least one of whom aspires to both literary and film endeavors.


2015 Silver Bullet Recipient: Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan novels include Death du Jour, Deadly Décisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, and Bones of the Lost, and the Temperance Brennan e-short, Bones In Her Pocket. In addition, Kathy co-authors the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, and Exposure, along with two Virals e-novellas, Shift and Swipe. These books follow the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs is also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina, and continues to do so for the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has travelled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted with identifying remains found at ground zero of the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.


2014 ThrillerMaster: Scott Turow

Scott Turow is a writer and attorney. He is the author of nine best-selling works of fiction, including his first novel Presumed Innocent (1987) and its sequel, Innocent (May 4, 2010). His newest novel, Identical, will be published by Grand Central Publishing in October, 2013. His works of non-fiction include One L (1977) about his experience as a law student, and Ultimate Punishment (2003), a reflection on the death penalty. He frequently contributes essays and op-ed pieces to publications such as The New York TimesWashington PostVanity FairThe New YorkerPlayboy and The Atlantic. Mr. Turow’s books have won a number of literary awards, including the Heartland Prize in 2003 for Reversible Errors, the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award in 2004 for Ultimate Punishment and Time Magazine’s Best Work of Fiction, 1999 for Personal Injuries. His books have been translated into more than 25 languages, sold more than 30 million copies world-wide and have been adapted into a full length film and two television miniseries.


2014 Silver Bullet Award Recipient: Brenda Novak

It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s career as a bestselling author–she caught her day-care provider drugging her children with cough syrup to get them to sleep all day. That was when Brenda decided she needed to quit her job as a loan officer and help make a living from home.

“When I first got the idea to become a novelist, it took me five years to teach myself the craft and finish my first book,” Brenda says. But she sold that book, and the rest is history. Her novels have made the New York Times, USA Today and Borders/Waldenbooks bestseller lists and won many awards, including three Rita nominations, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Book Seller’s Best and the National Reader’s Choice Award.

Brenda and her husband, Ted, live in Sacramento and are proud parents of five children–three girls and two boys. When she’s not spending time with her family or writing, Brenda is usually working on her annual fund-raiser for diabetes research–an online auction held on her Web site (www.brendanovak.com) every May. Brenda has raised over $1.6 million to date.


2013 ThrillerMaster: Anne Rice

Anne Rice is one of America’s most read and celebrated authors. She is known for weaving the visible and supernatural worlds together in epic stories that both entertain and challenge readers. Her books are rich tapestries of history, belief, philosophy, religion, and compelling characters that examine and extend our physical world beyond the limits we perceive.

Anne lives and works in California. Anne’s life experiences and intellectual inquisitiveness provide her with constant inspiration for her work.


2013 Spotlight Guest: Michael Connelly

Michael Connelly is the author of the recent #1 New York Times bestsellers The DropThe Fifth Witness, The ReversalThe ScarecrowThe Brass Verdict, and The Lincoln Lawyer, as well as the bestselling Harry Bosch series of novels. He is a former newspaper reporter who has won numerous awards for his journalism and his novels. He spends his time in California and Florida.


2013 Spotlight Guest: T. Jefferson Parker

T. Jefferson Parker is the bestselling author of twenty novels, including L.A. Outlaws and Storm Runners. His novels, Silent Joe and California Girl both won the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Along with Dick Francis and James Lee Burke, he is one of only three two-time recipients of the Edgar Award for Best Novel. Parker lives with his family in Southern California.


2013 Spotlight Guest: Michael Palmer

Michael Palmer is the author of 18 novels of medical and political suspense, all New York Times Best Sellers. His books have been translated into forty languages. Palmer was educated at Wesleyan University and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. His most recent novel, Political Suicide was released in December, 2012. His book Extreme Measures was made into the hit film of the same name starring Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, and Sarah Jessica Parker. Palmer also works as with the Massachusetts Medical Society’s Physician Health Services, helping doctors with physical and mental illness, as well as drug dependence and alcoholism.


2013 Silver Bullet Award Recipient: Steve Berry

Steve Berry is the New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of The Columbus Affair, The Jefferson KeyThe Emperor’s TombThe Paris VendettaThe Charlemagne PursuitThe Venetian BetrayalThe Alexandria LinkThe Templar LegacyThe Third SecretThe Romanov Prophecy, and The Amber Room. His books have been translated into 40 languages with more than 15 million printed copies in 51 countries. They consistently appear in the top echelon of The New York TimesUSA Today, and Indie bestseller lists.

The following FACEOFF contributors were showcased at ThrillerFest IX:

David Baldacci, Linwood Barclay, Steve Berry, Lee Child, Lincoln Child, Michael Connelly, Jeffery Deaver, Linda Fairstein, Joseph Finder, Lisa Gardner, Heather Graham, Peter James, Raymond Khoury, Dennis Lehane, John Lescroart, Steve Martini, T. Jefferson Parker, Douglas Preston, Ian Rankin, James Rollins, M.J. Rose, John Sandford, R.L. Stine, and F. Paul Wilson.


2013 Corporate Silver Bullet Award: USO – United Service Organization


2012 ThrillerMaster: Jack Higgins

Jack Higgins is among the world’s most popular authors. Since the publication of The Eagle Has Landed–one of the biggest-selling thrillers of all time–every novel he has written has become an international bestseller, including The White House Connection and Day of Reckoning. He has had simultaneous number-one bestsellers in hardcover and paperback, and has been published in thirty-eight languages worldwide. Many of his books have been made into successful movies, among them The Eagle Has LandedTo Catch A King, and The Valhalla Exchange. He lives in Jersey in the Channel Islands.


2012 Spotlight Guest: Lee Child

Lee Child was born in 1954 in Coventry, England, but spent his formative years in the nearby city of Birmingham. By coincidence he won a scholarship to the same high school that JRR Tolkien had attended. He went to law school in Sheffield, England, and after part-time work in the theater he joined Granada Television in Manchester for what turned out to be an eighteen-year career as a presentation director during British TV’s “golden age.” During his tenure his company made Brideshead RevisitedThe Jewel in the CrownPrime Suspect, and Cracker. But he was fired in 1995 at the age of 40 as a result of corporate restructuring. Always a voracious reader, he decided to see an opportunity where others might have seen a crisis and bought six dollars’ worth of paper and pencils and sat down to write a book, Killing Floor, the first in the Jack Reacher series. Killing Floor was an immediate success and launched the series which has grown in sales and impact with every new installment.


2012 Spotlight Guest: Catherine Coulter

Catherine Coulter wrote her first novel to pass time aboard the ark. She realized writing novels was not only fun, it had the added advantage of earning enough money to feed the cats. She alternates writing suspense thrillers with historical romances to keep her brain unconstipated. To date, she’s written 67 novels, 62 of which have hit the New York Times bestseller list. Her wildly popular FBI series now includes 16 thrillers and thankfully, she says, she sees no end in sight.

Given the incredible insanity of the publishing industry, Coulter thinks the best antidote is a lot of drinking and a big sense of humor.


2012 Spotlight Guest: John Sandford

John Sandford is the pseudonym of John Roswell Camp, an American author and journalist. Camp won the Pulitzer Prize in journalism in 1986, and was one of four finalists for the prize in 1980. He also was the winner of the Distinguished Writing Award of the American Society of Newspaper Editors for 1985.

Camp is the author of thirty-one published novels, all of which have appeared, in one format or another, on the New York Times Best-Seller lists. He is also the author of two non-fiction books, one on plastic surgery and one on art. His books have been translated into most European languages, as well as Japanese and Korean.


2012 True Thriller Award Recipient: Ann Rule

Ann Rule is the author of 30 New York Times bestsellers, all of them still in print. A former Seattle police officer, she knows the crime scene firsthand. She is a certified instructor for police training seminars and lectures to law enforcement officers, prosecutors, and forensic science organizations, including the FBI. For more than two decades, she has been a powerful advocate for victims of violent crime. She has testified before U.S. Senate Judiciary subcommittees on serial murder and victims’ rights, and was a civilian adviser to the VI-CAP (Violent Criminal Apprehension Program). A graduate of the University of Washington, she holds a Ph.D. in Humane Letters from Willamette University.


2012 Silver Bullet Award Recipient: Richard North Patterson

Richard North Patterson is the author of The Devil’s LightIn the Name of HonorThe Spire, and sixteen other bestselling and critically acclaimed novels. Formerly a trial lawyer, he was the SEC liaison to the Watergate special prosecutor and has served on the boards of several Washington advocacy groups. He lives in Martha’s Vineyard, San Francisco, and Cabo San Lucas with his wife, Dr. Nancy Clair.


2011 Thrillermaster: R.L. Stine

R. L. Stine is the author of over 330 books for children. His Goosebumps, Fear Street, and other book series have sold nearly 400 million copies around the world, making him one of the best-selling children’s authors in history.

He was born Robert Lawrence Stine on October 8, 1943 in Columbus, Ohio. Stine started writing when he was 9 years old. He wrote stories and jokes on a typewriter and handed them out at school. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Ohio State University in 1965. Stine taught social studies after college, then moved to New York City to become a writer. He married Jane Waldhorn on June 22, 1969. Jane is an editor and publisher. Their son, Matthew Daniel Stine, was born on June 7, 1980.

Stine’s thrillers and horror tales have proven to be great reading motivation for young people. The YA series, Fear Street, started in 1989 and was followed in 1992 by Goosebumps, which quickly took off around the world. Goosebumps has been translated into 35 languages. These days, Stine continues to add books to the Goosebumps series, scaring a new generation of kids.

He has had three TV series based on his works– Goosebumps, The Nightmare Room, and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, which is currently being seen on The Hub Network. In addition, several TV movies have become perennial Halloween favorites.

Stine has published three thrillers for adults– Superstitious, The Sitter, and Eye Candy. The Sitter is currently being developed as a feature film by Sam Raimi’s company. In 2012, Touchstone Books will publish a new R.L. Stine adult horror novel.

Stine is a three-time winner of the Nickelodeon Children’s Choice Award and a recipient of the American Library Association Award. For his work in promoting literacy, he was also a recipient of the ITW Silver Bullet Award.


2011 Spotlight Guest: Robert Crais

Robert Crais is the author of the best-selling Elvis Cole novels. A native of Louisiana, he grew up on the banks of the Mississippi River in a blue collar family of oil refinery workers and police officers. He purchased a secondhand paperback of Raymond Chandler’s The Little Sister when he was fifteen, which inspired his lifelong love of writing, Los Angeles, and the literature of crime fiction. Other literary influences include Dashiell Hammett, Ernest Hemingway, Robert B. Parker, and John Steinbeck.

After years of amateur film-making and writing short fiction, he journeyed to Hollywood in 1976 where he quickly found work writing scripts for such major television series as Hill Street Blues, Cagney & Lacey, and Miami Vice, as well as numerous series pilots and Movies-of-the-Week for the major networks. He received an Emmy nomination for his work on Hill Street Blues, but is most proud of his 4-hour NBC miniseries, Cross of Fire, which the New York Times declared: “A searing and powerful documentation of the Ku Klux Klan’s rise to national prominence in the 20s.”

In the mid-eighties, feeling constrained by the collaborative working requirements of Hollywood, Crais resigned from a lucrative position as a contract writer and television producer in order to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a novelist. His first efforts proved unsuccessful, but upon the death of his father in 1985, Crais was inspired to create Elvis Cole, using elements of his own life as the basis of the story. The resulting novel, The Monkey’s Raincoat, won the Anthony and Macavity Awards and was nominated for the Edgar Award. It has since been selected as one of the 100 Favorite Mysteries of the Century by the Independent Mystery Booksellers Association.

Crais conceived of the novel as a stand-alone, but realized that—in Elvis Cole—he had created an ideal and powerful character through which to comment upon his life and times. Elvis Cole’s readership and fan base grew with each new book, then skyrocketed in 1999 upon the publication of L. A. Requiem, which was a New York Times and Los Angeles Times bestseller and forever changed the way Crais conceived of and structured his novels. In this new way of telling his stories, Crais combined the classic ‘first person’ narrative of the American detective novel with flashbacks, multiple story lines, multiple points-of-view, and literary elements to better illuminate his themes. Larger and deeper in scope, Publishers Weekly wrote of L. A. Requiem, “Crais has stretched himself the way another Southern California writer—Ross Macdonald—always tried to do, to write a mystery novel with a solid literary base.” Booklist added, “This is an extraordinary crime novel that should not be pigeonholed by genre. The best books always land outside preset boundaries. A wonderful experience.”

Crais followed with his first non-series novel, Demolition Angel, which was published in 2000 and featured former Los Angeles Police Department Bomb Technician Carol Starkey. Starkey has since become a leading character in the Elvis Cole series. In 2001, Crais published his second non-series novel, Hostage, which was named a Notable Book of the Year by the New York Times and was a world-wide bestseller. Additionally, the editors of Amazon.com selected Hostage as the #1 thriller of the year. A film adaptation of Hostage was released in 2005, starring Bruce Willis as ex-LAPD SWAT negotiator Jeff Talley.

Elvis Cole returned in 2003 with the publication of The Last Detective, followed by the tenth Elvis Cole novel, The Forgotten Man, in 2005. Both novels explore with increasing depth the natures and characters of Elvis Cole and Joe Pike. RC’s third stand-alone novel, The Two Minute Rule, was published in 2006, and was followed in 2007 by The Watchman, the first novel in the Elvis Cole/Joe Pike series to feature Joe Pike in the title role.

The novels of Robert Crais have been published in 42 countries and are bestsellers around the world. Robert Crais is the 2006 recipient of the Ross Macdonald Literary Award.

Currently, Robert Crais lives in the Santa Monica mountains with his wife, three cats, and many thousands of books.


2011 Spotlight Guest: Diana Gabaldon

Are they histories? Fantasies? Science fiction? Thrillers? While it may be impossible to categorize the books Diana Gabaldon calls historical fantasias, it hardly matters to the author’s huge and loyal fan base, all of whom are just eager to devour Gabaldon s richly detailed, complexly plotted, extravagantly romantic romps through time, space, and breathtaking landscapes.

To millions of fans, Diana Gabaldon is the creator of a complex, original, and utterly compelling amalgam of 18th-century romantic adventure and 20th-century science fiction. To the publishing industry, she’s a grassroots-marketing phenomenon. And to would-be writers everywhere who worry that they don’t have the time or expertise to do what they love, Gabaldon is nothing short of an inspiration.

Gabaldon wrote her first novel while juggling the demands of motherhood and career: in between her job as an ecology professor, she also had a part-time gig writing freelance software reviews. Gabaldon had never written fiction before, and didn’t intend to publish this first novel, which she decided to call Outlander. This, she decided, would be her “practice novel”. Worried that she might not be able to pull a plot and characters out of thin air, she settled on a historical novel because “it’s easier to look things up than to make them up entirely.”

The impulse to set her novel in 18th-century Scotland didn’t stem — as some fans have assumed from a desire to explore her own familial roots (in fact, Gabaldon isn’t even Scottish). Rather, it came from watching an episode of the British sci-fi series Dr. Who and becoming smitten with a handsome time traveler in a kilt. A time-travel element crept into Gabaldon’s own book only after she realized her wisecracking female lead couldn’t have come from anywhere but the 20th century. The resulting love affair between an intelligent, mature, sexually experienced woman and a charismatic, brave, virginal young man turned the conventions of historical romance upside-down.

Gabaldon has said her books were hard to market at first because they were impossible to categorize neatly. Were they historical romances? Sci-fi adventure stories? Literary fiction? Whatever their genre (Gabaldon eventually proffered the term “historical fantasias”), they eventually found their audience, and it turned out to be a staggeringly huge one.

Even before the publication of Outlander, Gabaldon had an online community of friends who’d read excerpts and were waiting eagerly for more. (In fact, her cohorts at the CompuServe Literary Forum helped hook her up with an agent.) Once the book was released, word kept spreading, both on the Internet and off, and Gabaldon kept writing sequels. (When her fourth book, “Drums of Autumn,” was released, it debuted at No. 1 on the Wall Street Journal bestseller list, and her publisher, Delacorte, raced to add more copies to their initial print run of 155,000.)

With her books consistently topping the bestseller lists, it’s apparent that Gabaldon’s appeal lies partly in her ability to bulldoze the formulaic conventions of popular fiction. Salon writer Gavin McNett noted approvingly, “She simply doesn’t pay attention to genre or precedent, and doesn’t seem to care that identifying with Claire puts women in the role of the mysterious stranger, with Jamie — no wimp in any regard — as the romantic ‘heroine.”‘

In between Outlander novels, Gabaldon also writes historical mysteries featuring Lord John Grey, a popular, if minor, character from the series, and is working on a contemporary mystery series. Meanwhile, the author’s formidable fan base keeps growing, as evidenced by the expanding list of Gabaldon chat rooms, mailing lists, fan clubs and web sites — some of them complete with fetching photos of red-haired lads in kilts.


2011 Spotlight Guest: John Lescroart

John Lescroart (pronounced “less-kwah”) is a big believer in hard work and single-minded dedication, although he’ll acknowledge that a little luck never hurts. Now a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into 16 languages in more than 75 countries, John wrote his first novel in college and the second one a year after he graduated from Cal Berkeley in 1970.

The only hitch was that he didn’t even try to publish either of these books until fourteen years later, when finally, at his wife Lisa’s urging, he submitted Son of Holmes to New York publishers—and got two offers, one in hardcover, within six weeks!

But about six years before that first hardcover publication, John’s ambition to become a working novelist began to take shape. At that time, as Johnny Capo of Johnny Capo and His Real Good Band, he’d been performing his own songs for several years at clubs and honky-tonks in the San Francisco Bay Area. On his 30th birthday, figuring that if he hadn’t made it in music by then, he never would, he retired from the music business.

He’d been writing all along, and didn’t stop now, although his emphasis changed from music first, prose second, to the other way around. Within two months of his last musical gig, he finished a novel, Sunburn, that drew on his experiences in Spain. Since John didn’t know anyone in the publishing world, he sent the manuscript to his old high school English teacher, who was not enthusiastic. Fortunately, the teacher left the pages on his bedside table, and his wife picked them up and read them. She loved the book and submitted it in John’s name to The Joseph Henry Jackson Award, given yearly by the San Francisco Foundation for Best Novel by a California author. Much to John’s astonishment, Sunburn beat out 280 other entrants, including INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, for the prize.

Though Sunburn wasn’t to be published for another four years, and then only in paperback, the award changed John’s approach to writing. He started to think he might make a living as an author, something he’d never previously believed possible for a “regular guy with no connections.” He started paying for his writing habit by working a succession of “day jobs”—everything from a computer programmer with the telephone company, to Ad Director of Guitar Player Magazine, to moving man, house painter, bartender (at the real Little Shamrock bar in San Francisco), legal secretary, fundraising executive, and management consultant writing briefs on coal transportation for the Interstate Commerce Commission!!

John moved to Los Angeles and in the next three years finished three long novels, the last of them featuring a private investigator who shared the name Dismas Hardy (and very little else) with the man who would become John’s well-known attorney/hero. Since he’d gotten SUNBURN published without using a literary agent (an old friend had shown it to a secretary at Pinnacle Books in Los Angeles, who bought it), John went on submitting his work to New York over the transom, receiving many kind rejection letters, but no offers. Finally he realized that even if he wasn’t fated to become a commercially successful author, he wanted to be involved in books and literature. So he enrolled in the Masters Program in Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

While John and his wife, Lisa Sawyer, were preparing that summer to move to New England, he was paying bills by typing technical papers on coal transportation for a consulting firm. Asked by the boss what he thought of the paper, John commented that the argument it made wasn’t very compelling and that it wasn’t very well-written. His boss challenged him: could he do it any better? In a week, John re-wrote the 400-page draft, which went on to win before the ICC. This led to a “day job” offer that John couldn’t refuse. Graduate school fell by the wayside.

But after a year and a half, even a lucrative day job had become a burden. Nothing would do for John by now but to write, but he had little time for writing with his high-paying, career-oriented job. Lisa suggested taking a look at some of the old manuscripts and submitting them—she remembered reading and liking Son of Holmes. How about that one? There was one 14-year-old yellowed and brittle copy of the manuscript left in the world—in the basement of their best man, Don Matheson’s, apartment. Six weeks later, John had his first hardcover book deal.

Over the next seven years, back in Los Angeles again, John and Lisa were finally ready to start their family. During this time, John wrote several screenplays and published three more books while he held down a job as a word processing supervisor at a downtown law firm. He rose each day at 5:30 and went to a room they’d built in their garage, where he wrote four pages of his latest in two hours. Then he worked his nine-to-five, ate a bag lunch, and stayed downtown, typing briefs and pleadings at various other law firms until 10:00 or 11:00 at night.

Finally he was publishing, but he wasn’t making a living. And then in 1989, at the age of forty-one, he took a break to go body-surfing at Seal Beach. The next day, he lay in a Pasadena hospital. From the contaminated sea water where he’d been surfing, he’d contracted spinal meningitis. Doctors gave him two hours to live.

John now looks back on his 11-day battle with death as the turning point in his career. He quit the last of his day jobs to move back to Northern California and to write full-time, with intense focus and a renewed dedication. The resulting books, richer in terms of theme and story, found a devoted readership and propelled him into the elite circle of bestselling authors—only twenty years to overnight success!


2011 True Thriller Award: Joe McGinniss

 


2011 Silver Bullet Award Recipient: Karin Slaughter

Karin Slaughter is the number one international bestseller of several novels, including the Grant County series. A long-time resident of Atlanta, she splits her time between the kitchen and the living room.

The Silver Bullet Award was created by the International Thriller Writers in conjunction with Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) to recognize outstanding and meritorious achievement in the pursuit of literacy and the love of reading. Past recipients include authors Sandra Brown, R.L. Stine, David Baldacci, publisher Tom Doherty, actor Tony Plana (UGLY BETTY), the Nestle Company, Capital One, and Macy’s.


2010 ThrillerMaster: Ken Follett

Ken Follett is one of the world’s best-loved novelists. He has sold more than 130 million copies. His latest book, Fall of Giants, went straight to the No.1 position on bestseller lists in the USA, Spain, Italy, Germany and France.

He burst into the book world in 1978 with Eye of the Needle, a taut and original thriller with a memorable woman character in the central role. The book won the Edgar award and became an outstanding film starring Kate Nelligan and Donald Sutherland.

He went on to write four more best-selling thrillers: TripleThe Key to RebeccaThe Man from St Petersburg; and Lie Down with Lions. Cliff Robertson and David Soul starred in the miniseries of The Key to Rebecca. In 1994 Timothy Dalton, Omar Sharif and Marg Helgenberger starred in the miniseries of Lie Down with Lions.

He also wrote On Wings of Eagles, the true story of how two employees of Ross Perot were rescued from Iran during the revolution of 1979. This book was made into a miniseries with Richard Crenna as Ross Perot and Burt Lancaster as Colonel ‘Bull’ Simons.

He then surprised readers by radically changing course with The Pillars of the Earth, a novel about building a cathedral in the Middle Ages. Published in September 1989 to rave reviews, it was on the New York Times bestseller list for eighteen weeks. It also reached the No. 1 position on lists in Canada, Great Britain and Italy, and was on the German bestseller list for six years.

It was voted the third greatest book ever written by 250,000 viewers of the German television station ZDF in 2004, beaten only by The Lord of the Rings and the Bible. When The Times of London asked its readers to vote for the 60 greatest novels of the last 60 years, The Pillars of the Earth was placed at No.2, after To Kill a Mockingbird. (The sequel, World Without End, was No.23 on the same list.) In November 2007 ‘Pillars’ became the most popular ever choice of the Oprah Winfrey Book Club, returning to No.1 on the New York Times bestseller list. The miniseries, produced by Ridley Scott and starring Ian McShane and Matthew Macfadyen, was broadcast in 2010.

For a while he abandoned the straightforward spy genre, but his stories still had powerful narrative drive, strong women characters, and elements of suspense and intrigue. He followed Pillars with Night over WaterA Dangerous Fortune, and A Place Called Freedom.

Then he returned to the thriller. The Third Twin is a scorching suspense novel about a young woman scientist who stumbles over a secret experiment in genetic engineering. Miniseries rights were sold to CBS for $1,400,000, a record price for four hours of television. The series, starring Kelly McGillis and Larry Hagman (and with Ken appearing briefly as the butler), was broadcast in the USA in November 1997. In Publishing Trends’ annual survey of international fiction bestsellers for 1997, The Third Twin was ranked No. 2 in the world, beaten only by John Grisham’s The Partner.

The Hammer of Eden, another nail-biting contemporary suspense story, came in 1998. Code to Zero (2000), about brainwashing and rocket science in the Fifties, went to No.1 on bestseller lists in the USA, German and Italy, and film rights were snapped up by Doug Wick, producer of Gladiator, in a seven-figure deal.

Ken returned to the WWII era with his next two novels: Jackdaws (2001), a World War II thriller about a group of women parachuted into France to destroy a vital telephone exchange – which won the won the Corine Prize for 2003 – and Hornet Flight (2002), about a daring young Danish couple who escape to Britain from occupied Denmark in a rebuilt Hornet Moth biplane with vital information about German radar.

Whiteout, a contemporary thriller about the theft of a dangerous virus from a laboratory, was published in 2004, and made into a miniseries in 2009. Set in the remote Scottish Highlands over a stormy, snow-bound Christmas,Whiteout crackles with jealousies, distrust, sexual attraction, rivalries, hidden traitors and unexpected heroes.

World Without End, the long-awaited sequel to The Pillars of the Earth, was published in October 2008. It is set in Kingsbridge, the fictional location of the cathedral in Pillars, and features the descendants of the original characters at the time of the Black Death. It was a No.1 bestseller in Italy, the USA, the UK, Germany, France and Spain, where it was the fastest-selling book ever published in the Spanish language, outstripping the last Harry Potter book.

A board game based on The Pillars of the Earth was released worldwide in 2007-2008 and won the following prizes: Deutscher Spielepreis 2007; Game of the year 2007 in the USA (GAMES 100); Jeu d’annee 2007 (Canada); Juego del ano 2007 (Spain); Japan Boardgame Prize 2007; Arets Spill 2007 (Norway); Spiele Hit 2007 (Austria). It was a nominee in Finland, France and the Netherlands and got a recommendation in Germany by the Jury “Spiel des Jahres”.

In 2008 Ken was awarded the Olaguibel Prize by the Colegio Oficial de Arquitectos Vasco-Navarro for contributing to the promotion and awareness of architecture. A statue of him by the distinguished Spanish sculptor Casto Solano was unveiled in January 2008 outside the cathedral of Santa Maria in the Basque capital of Vitoria-Gasteiz in northern Spain.

His current project is his most ambitious yet. The Century Trilogy will tell the entire history of the twentieth century, seen through the eyes of five linked families: one American, one English, one German, one Russian, and one Welsh. The first book, Fall of Giants, focusing on the First World War and the Russian Revolution, was published worldwide simultaneously on 28 September 2010. He is already at work on the second, provisionally titled The Winter of the World, about the Spanish Civil War, the Second World War, and the development of nuclear weapons.

Ken Follett is married to Barbara Follett, a political activist who was the Member of Parliament for Stevenage in Hertfordshire for thirteen years and Minister for Culture in the government of Gordon Brown. They live in a rambling rectory in Stevenage and also have an eighteenth-century town house in London and a beach house in Antigua. Ken Follett is a lover of Shakespeare, and is often to be seen at London productions of the Bard’s plays. An enthusiastic amateur musician, he plays bass guitar in a band called Damn Right I Got the Blues, and appears occasionally with the folk group Clog Iron playing a bass balalaika.

He was Chair of the National Year of Reading 1998-99, a British government initiative to raise literacy levels. He was president of the charity Dyslexia Action for ten years. He is a member of The Welsh Academy, a board director of the National Academy of Writing, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. In 2007 he was awarded an honorary Doctorate in Literature (D.Litt.) by the University of Glamorgan, and similar degrees by Saginaw Valley State University, Michigan, where his papers are kept in the Ken Follett Archive; and (in 2008) by the University of Exeter. He is active in numerous Stevenage charities and was a governor of Roebuck Primary School for ten years, serving as Chair of Governors for four of those years.

He was born on 5 June 1949 in Cardiff, Wales, the son of a tax inspector. He was educated at state schools and graduated from University College, London, with an Honours degree in philosophy. He was made a Fellow of the college in 1995.

He became a reporter, first with his home-town newspaper the South Wales Echo and later with the London Evening News. While working on the Evening News he wrote his first novel, which was published but did not become a bestseller. He then went to work for a small London publishing house, Everest Books, eventually becoming Deputy Managing Director. He continued to write novels in his spare time. Eye of the Needle was his eleventh book, and his first success. Around 130 million copies of his books have been sold worldwide.


2010 Spotlight Guest: Harlan Coben

With over 70 million books in print worldwide, Harlan Coben is the perennial #1 New York Times author of thirty novels including FOOL ME ONCE, TELL NO ONE, NO SECOND CHANCE and the renowned Myron Bolitar series. His books are published in 43 languages around the globe.

Harlan is the creator and executive producer for several television shows including the upcoming Netflix Original drama SAFE starring Michael C. Hall, Audrey Fleurot and Amanda Abbington. Harlan was showrunner and executive producer for two French TV shows, UNE CHANCE DE TROP (NO SECOND CHANCE) with Alexandra Lamy and JUST UN REGARD (JUST ONE LOOK) with Virginie Ledoyen, both six-part French series based on his novels for TF1, produced with Sydney Gallonde. He is also the creator and executive producer of THE FIVE, an original 10-episode crime drama from Sky1 now airing on Netflix. Recently, KEINE ZWEIT CHANCE, also based on Harlan’s novel, aired in Germany on Sat1.

Harlan’s novel TELL NO ONE (NE LE DIS A PERSONNE) was turned into the renowned French film, directed by Guillaume Canet and starring Francois Cluzet. The movie was the top box office foreign-language film of the year in USA, won the Lumiere (French Golden Globe) for best picture and was nominated for nine Cesars (French Oscar) and won four, including best actor, best director and best music. The movie with subtitles is now available on Netflix, Amazon Prime and DVD/Blu-Ray.

Winner of the Edgar Award, Shamus Award and Anthony Award – the first author to win all three – international bestselling author Harlan Coben’s critically-acclaimed novels have been called “ingenious” (New York Times), “poignant and insightful” (Los Angeles Times), “consistently entertaining” (Houston Chronicle), “superb” (Chicago Tribune) and “must reading” (Philadelphia Inquirer).


2010 Spotlight Guest: Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is a #1 Bestselling Author, The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 35 novels, including her latest work, Loyalty.

Her kindle exclusive book, Pigeon Tony’s Last Stand: A Rosato and DiNunzio Short Story, was nominated for a Macavity Awards Best Mystery Short Story, 2024.

She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. After running in the Philadelphia Inquirer for fifteen years, Chick Wit is now available online. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses, and earlier books, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool; I’ve Got Sand in All the Wrong Places; Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?; Have a Nice Guilt Trip; Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim; Best Friends, Occasional Enemies; My Nest Isn’t Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space; and Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV.

Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as president of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, “Justice and Fiction” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. Lisa is a regular and much-sought-after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Francesca Serritella and Lisa Scottoline
Lisa’s books have solidly landed on all the major bestseller lists including The New York Times, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, Publisher’s Weekly, The Washington Post, and The Los Angeles Times, and Look Again was named “One of the Best Novels of the Year” by The Washington Post, and one of the best books in the world as part of World Book Night 2013.

Lisa’s novels are known for their emotionality and their warm and down-to-earth characters, which resonate with readers and reviewers long after they have finished the books. When writing about Lisa’s Rosato & Associates series, Janet Maslin of The New York Times applauds Lisa’s books as “punchy, wisecracking thrillers” whose “characters are earthy, fun and self-deprecating” and distinguishes her as having “one of the best-branded franchise styles in current crime writing.”

Lisa’s contributions through her writing has been recognized by organizations throughout the country. She is the recipient of the Edgar Award, the Mystery Writer’s of America most prestigious honor, the Fun, Fearless, Fiction Award by Cosmopolitan magazine, and named a PW Innovator by Publisher’s Weekly. Lisa was honored with AudioFile’s Earphones Award and named Voice of the Year for her recording of her non-fiction book, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog. Each follow up collection, including the most recent, I See Life Through Rosé-Colored Glasses, has garnered both Lisa and her daughter, Francesca, Earphones Awards as well. In addition, she has been honored with a Distinguished Author Award from Scranton University, and a “Paving the Way” award from the University of Pennsylvania, Women in Business.

Lisa’s accomplishments all pale in comparison to what she considers her greatest achievement, raising, as a single mom, her beautiful (a completely unbiased opinion) daughter, an honors graduate of Harvard, New York Times bestselling author, and columnist, who is currently working on her first novel.

Lisa believes in writing what you know, and she puts so much of herself into her books. What you may or may not learn about Lisa from her books is that she is an incredibly generous person, an engaging and entertaining speaker, a die-hard Eagles fan, a good cook, and a vegetarian. She loves the color pink, has an incredible design sense, has recently taken up gardening and golf, and her musical taste includes everything from U2 to Sinatra to 50 Cent, she is proud to be an American, and nothing makes her happier than spending time with her daughter.

Lisa Scottoline and pets
Lisa is also a regular softie when it comes to her furry family. Nothing can turn Lisa from a professional, career-minded author, to a mushy, sweet-talking, ball-throwing woman like her beloved dogs. Although she has owned and loves various dog breeds, including her amazing goldens, she has gone crazy for her collection of King Charles Spaniels.

Lisa first fell in love with the breed when Francesca added her Blehneim Cavalier, Pip, to the mix. This prompted Lisa to get her own, and she started with the adorable, if not anatomically incorrect, Little Tony, her first male dog (Lisa wrote a “Chick Wit” column about this). Little Tony is a black and tan Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. But Lisa couldn’t stop at just one and soon added her little Peach, a Blehneim King Charles Cavalier. Lisa is now beyond thrilled to be raising Peach’s puppies, Daniel Boone and Kit Carson, and for pictures, be sure to follow Lisa on Facebook or Twitter. Herding together the entire pack is Lisa’s spunky spit-fire of a Corgi named Ruby. The solitude of writing isn’t very quiet with her furry family, but she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Not to be outshined by their canine counterparts, Lisa’s cats, Vivi and Mimi, are the princesses of the house, and have no problem keeping the rest of the brood in line. Vivi is a grey and white beauty and is more aloof than her cuddly, black and white partner, Mimi. When Lisa’s friend and neighbor passed, Lisa adopted his beloved cat, Spunky, a content and beautiful ball of fur, who lived to a ripe old age.

Lisa loves the coziness of her farmhouse, and no farm is complete without chickens. She has a chicken coop which she populated with chicks of different types, and is overjoyed with each and every colorful egg they produce. Watching over Lisa’s flock are her horses, which gladly welcome the chickens and all the excitement they bring.


2010 Spotlight Guest: Mark Bowden

Mark Bowden is the bestselling author of Black Hawk Down: A Story of Modern War, as well as The Best Game Ever, Bringing the Heat, Killing Pablo, and Guests of the Ayatollah. He reported at The Philadelphia Inquirer for twenty years and now writes for Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, and other magazines. He lives in Oxford, Pennsylvania.


2010 Literary Silver Bullet Award: Linda Fairstein

Linda Fairstein was chief of the Sex Crimes Unit of the district attorney’s office in Manhattan for more than two decades and is America’s foremost legal expert on sexual assault and domestic violence. Her Alexandra Cooper novels are international bestsellers and have been translated into more than a dozen languages. She lives in Manhattan and on Martha’s Vineyard.


2010 Corporate Silver Bullet Award: US Airways

 


2009 ThrillerMaster: David Morrell

David Morrell is the critically author of First Blood, the novel in which Rambo was created. He holds a Ph. D. in American literature from Penn State and was a professor in the English department at the University of Iowa. His numerous New York Times bestsellers include the classic spy novel, The Brotherhood of the Rose(the basis for the only television mini-series to be broadcast after a Super Bowl). An Edgar and Anthony finalist, a Nero and Macavity winner, Morrell is a recipient of three Bram Stoker awards from the Horror Writers Association and the prestigious Thriller Master award from the International Thriller Writers organization. His writing book, The Successful Novelist: A Lifetime of Lessons about Writing and Publishing, discusses what he has learned in his more than four decades as an author. He lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.


2009 Spotlight Guest: Katherine Neville

Katherine Neville’s 20-year data processing career, in the fields of energy and transportation, took her to live and work in seven countries on three continents, and half the states of the USA. Between jobs, she supported herself as a busboy and waiter, fashion model, commercial photographer, and professional artist. When her first book, The Eight, was published (1988) she left the computer world and became a full-time author.

Neville’s groundbreaking work defies categorization. She has been dubbed “the female” Umberto Eco, Charles Dickens, Alexandre Dumas, and Stephen Spielberg. The Washington Post called her first book, The Eight, “a feminist answer to Raiders of the Lost Ark.” Publishers Weekly predicted that The Eight was “destined to become a cult classic,” and more recently, credited her work as having “paved the way for books like The Da Vinci Code.”

Her colorful, complex adventure/quest novels have been translated into 40 languages, have received multiple awards and honors, and have remained on bestseller lists around the world. (See Awards, Honors & Bestsellers.)

As a great supporter of libraries and books, Neville was the first author ever invited onto the Advisory Board of the Smithsonian Libraries in Washington, DC, where she has served a full three terms and is now emerita. She currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Authors Guild Foundation in New York. She is co-creator and sponsor of two international Library Awards, and co-producer of a series of short film clips by famous authors, celebrating the 50th anniversary of the Smithsonian Libraries.

Katherine Neville resides in Washington, DC and Virginia where she has restored the fabled 1960s house and studio of an award-winning Japanese potter, and where she is completing her new novel about artists in the 1600s.


2009 Spotlight Guest: Robin Cook

Robin Cook was born on May 4, 1940 in Brooklyn, New York, and spent his early years in Woodside, Queens. At the age of eight he moved with his parents and older brother to Leonia, New Jersey. His sister arrived two years later, changing him from the baby of the family to the middle child.

Robin Cook BikingIn the sixth grade Dr. Cook became fascinated with archeology and selected it as a career goal. By the time he reached the tenth grade, however, he realized, humorously, he’d been born a century too late as far as the fabled, major buried cities were concerned. When he graduated from high school as valedictorian of his class, his interests had switched to medicine. Putting himself through school, he graduated from Wesleyan University summa cum laude with a major in chemistry and a distinction in government. He then went on to attend the Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons while he worked running a blood/gas chemistry laboratory in support of the cardiac surgery team at the Columbia Presbyterian Hospital during nights and weekends. The bright side of those difficult years was that he’d been invited as a consequence of his necessary gainful employment to spend his medical school summer electives setting up a similar blood/gas lab for the Jacques Cousteau Oceanographic Institute in Monaco.

After surgical residency training, Dr. Cook was drafted into the Navy, where he attended submarine school and navy diving school. Following a tour of duty in the South Pacific on the USS Kamehameha, a ballistic missile submarine and the flagship of the Pacific submarine fleet, he was transferred to the Deep Submergence Systems Project (Sea Lab), where he trained as a navy aquanaut medical officer. In that position he participated in research in diving, and published his first book: A Medical Watch Standers Guide to Saturation Diving.

Following his completion of his military service and subsequent discharge from the Navy as a Lieutenant Commander, Dr. Cook undertook a second residency. This was in ophthalmology at Harvard. Upon its completion, he then matriculated as a full time student at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government while at the same time opening a private practice of ophthalmology in Marblehead, Massachusetts, and accepting a clinical position at Harvard Medical School to teach residents and to see patients at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary.

Robin Cook’s literary career began with his first novel, The Year of the Intern, which he wrote underwater while on board the nuclear submarine, Kamehameha. It was written to illustrate the less than salubrious psychological impact of graduate medical education on the psyche of young physicians. It was followed 5 years later in 1977 with Coma, which had been written at night while he was a senior ophthalmology resident and which was published while Dr. Cook was a student at the Kennedy School of Government. This novel created the genre of the medical mystery-thriller, and changed the public’s perception as well as the media’s portrayal of medicine. Prior to Coma, medicine was on the proverbial pedestal (e.g. Dr. Ben Casey and Marcus Welby, M.D.); post Coma, there were questions, meaning bad doctors and bad hospitals exist and should be avoided.

To date Robin Cook has written a total of thirty-seven worldwide bestsellers, which have sold hundreds of millions of copies. Most all of Dr. Cook’s books have been written to elucidate various medical/biotech ethical and public policy issues, particularly about the problem of business interests and the maximization of profit taking over medicine. From his first novel on, this has been Dr. Cook’s intention by using entertainment in novels and movies as a method of raising the concern of the general public. The issues have included the supply of organs for transplantation (Coma), stem cells and egg donation (Shock), the collision of politics and bioscience regarding therapeutic cloning (Seizure), food poisoning (Toxin), bio-terrorism (Vector), xeno-transplantation (Chromosome 6), managed care (Fatal Cure), the impact of the decipherment of the human genome on the economics and sociology of medicine (Marker), medical nanotechnology (Nano), spread of disease (Outbreak, Contagion, Pandemic), Dr. Cook’s most recent book is Genesis, which deals with using ancestral DNA to aid forensics..

There have been almost a dozen theatrical movies, television movies, and mini-series made from Robin Cook’s work. In 2009 Robin Cook created and produced with Michael Eisner the world’s first full-length V-cast movie in 50 three-minute segments as a prequel to his book, Foreign Body. Recently Dr. Cook has teamed up with several successful businessmen to form Cook-Blackwood Productions to make feature movies and TV series from his work. It is expected that filming will begin on his first TV series shortly and involve his recurrent characters, Laurie Montgomery and Jack Stapleton.

In the business arena Dr. Cook is a cofounder of an Internet software company, a partner of a New Hampshire sports complex, an investor in a New Hampshire ski area, and he has significant real estate holdings. His relatively unique investment strategies were recognized in a lengthy article on the front page of the business section of the New York Times in the ‘80s. In the past he has partnered in a restaurant and a construction company and is seriously considering partnering in another restaurant.

Dr. Cook’s hobbies mainly have involved interior and architectural design, period renovation, and athletics. Although daily basketball and tennis had been his main athletic endeavors, today it is biking. He divides his time mostly between Naples, Florida, his home base; Waterville Valley, New Hampshire; Martha’s Vineyard in the summer, and Boston, Massachusetts.

Recognition of Dr. Cook’s work include: A Distinguished Alumni Award 1982 from his alma mater, Wesleyan University; the James McConaughy Award 2012 given by the same institution; Author of Vision Award 2002 by the RP International; and the 2014 Literary Legend Award given by the Florida Heritage Book Festival. In 2014 he was also the recipient of the first annual Robert B. Parker mystery writer’s award. In 2004 he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson Center in Washington, D.C. by President George W. Bush. He also served on the Board of the Foundation of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.


2009 Literary Silver Bullet Award: Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer is the Emmy-nominated, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lightning Rod, The Escape Artist, and eleven other bestselling thrillers. He also writes non-fiction books like The Nazi Conspiracy, about a secret plot to kill FDR, Stalin, and Winston Churchill at the height of WWII – and the Ordinary People Change the World kids book series, which he does with Chris Eliopoulos and inspired the PBS KIDS TV show, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. His newest kids books are I am Mister Rogers and I am Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (The First Conspiracy), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.

He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, and is responsible for helping find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero, making national news on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Meltzer unveiled the flag at the 9/11 Museum in New York, where it is now on display. See the video here. The Hollywood Reporter recently put him on their list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.

For sure, it’s tough to find anyone being so successful in so many different mediums of the popular culture. But why does Brad thrive in all these different professions? His belief that ordinary people change the world. It is that core belief that runs through every one of his projects.


2009 Corporate Silver Bullet Award: Dollar General


2008 ThrillerMaster: Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of seventy-three New York Times bestsellers, including Blind Tiger, Thick As Thieves, Seeing Red, Outfox, Tailspin, Seeing Red, Sting and Mean Streak.

Writing professionally since 1981, Brown has published over eighty novels and has upwards of eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.

Her episode on truTV’s “Murder by the Book” premiered the series in 2008. She appeared in 2010 on Investigation Discovery’s series, “Hardcover Mysteries.” Television movies have been made of her novels French Silk, Smoke Screen, Ricochet, and White Hot.

Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University, where she and her husband Michael Brown, have instituted the ELF, a scholarship awarded annually. She has served as president of Mystery Writers of America, and in 2008 she was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other honors include the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has gone on two USO tours, to Afghanistan and Cuba.


2008 Spotlight Guest: Eric Van Lustbader

Eric Van Lustbader’s first novel, The Sunset Warrior, was published in 1975. Since then, he has published more than thirty-five best-selling novels, beginning with The Ninja, a New York Times Bestseller for 24 consecutive weeks. The Ninja introduced Nicholas Linnear, one of modern fiction’s most beloved and enduring heroes, continuing his exploits in five subsequent best-sellers. It also introduced the Western world to the Japanese term itself.

Mr. Lustbader is also the author of two successful and highly regarded major fantasy series, The Pearl, published by Tor Books in the US and HarperCollins/Voyager in the UK and The Sunset Warrior Cycle. He is the author of a number of short stories, screenplays and novellas. Three of the short stories appeared in 1999: “Hush,” in Off The Beaten Path: Stories of Place for Farrar, Strauss and Giroux, “Slow Burn,” in Murder And Obsession for Delacourt Press, and “An Exultation of Termagants” in the millennial supernatural mega-collection 1999 for Avon Books. A highly successful short novel, Art Kills, was published in 2000 by Carroll & Graf. He also has two stories in anthologies from the International Thriller Writers, an organization of which he is a long-time member.

In 2000 he was asked by DC Comics to write a graphic novel. Mr. Lustbader chose to write about his favorite childhood comic character, Batman. The result was “Batman — The Dark Angel,” which was the only graphic novel to be chosen as a Monthly Choice of the Quality Paperback Book Club.

In 2003, he was asked by Estate of the late Robert Ludlum to continue the series based on Jason Bourne. The Bourne Legacy, published in 2004 continues and updates the adventures of Robert Ludlum’s famous international assassin. Mr. Lustbader has gone on to write twelve more Bourne novels in the span of fourteen years.

In 2008, Mr. Lustbader wrote First Daughter to wide acclaim. The novel features Jack McClure and Alli Carson, Mr. Lustbader’s first continuing characters since Nicholas Linnear and Jake Maroc. There are five books in the McClure series.

Afterward, Mr. Lustbader turned his hand to writing three sequels to his internationally bestselling novel The Testament.

At the beginning of 2020 he stepped away from the Bourne franchise to concentrate on a new series, starring Evan Ryder, a female field agent with a complicated and surprising past. The Nemesis Manifesto, the first novel in the series was published in 2020. The follow-up, The Kobalt Dossier, will be published in June 2021. The third Evan Ryder novel, Omega Rules, is due in May 2022.

His novels have been translated into over twenty languages; his books are bestsellers worldwide and are so popular whole sections of bookstores from Bangkok to Dublin are devoted to them.

Mr. Lustbader was born and raised in Greenwich Village, where he developed an interest in art as well as in writing. He lived downstairs from the young Lauren Bacall and built orange-crate racers in Washington Square Park with Keith and David Carradine. He is a graduate of Columbia College, with a degree in Sociology, but his real education came much earlier at The City & Country School where, as Mr. Lustbader, is fond of saying, “I learned all the important lessons that would stay with me for life.”

Before turning to writing full time, he enjoyed highly successful careers in the New York City public school system where he holds licenses in both elementary and early childhood education, and in the music business where he worked for Elektra Records and CBS Records among other companies. He was the first writer in the US to write about Elton John and to predict his success. As a consequence he, Elton and Elton’s lyricist Bernie Taupin became friends. Writing for Cash Box Magazine, he also predicted the successes of such bands as Santana, Roxy Music, the Jimi Hendrix Experience, David Bowie, and The Who, among others.

Eric Van Lustbader served on the Board of Trustees and is Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee of the City & Country School in Greenwich Village. He also tends his prized collection of Japanese maples and beech trees (which have been written up in The New York Times and Martha Stewart Living). He is a second-level Reiki master. He listens to music constantly and is ever on the lookout for new bands and artists. To see his picks, please visit his Spotify account. He and his wife, the author and editor Victoria Lustbader, live on the eastern end of Long Island.


2008 Spotlight Guest: Kathy Reichs

Kathy Reichs’s first novel Déjà Dead catapulted her to fame when it became a New York Times bestseller and won the 1997 Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Her other Temperance Brennan books include Death du Jour, Deadly Decisions, Fatal Voyage, Grave Secrets, Bare Bones, Monday Mourning, Cross Bones, Break No Bones, Bones to Ashes, Devil Bones, 206 Bones, Spider Bones, Flash and Bones, Bones Are Forever, Bones of the Lost, Bones Never Lie, Speaking in Bones and the Temperance Brennan short story collection, The Bone Collection. In addition, Kathy co-authored the Virals young adult series with her son, Brendan Reichs. The best-selling titles are: Virals, Seizure, Code, Exposure, Terminal, and the novella collection Trace Evidence. The series follows the adventures of Temperance Brennan’s great niece, Tory Brennan. Dr. Reichs’ latest novel, Two Nights, was released July 11 and features Sunday Night, a tough-talking, scarred heroine. Dr. Reichs was also a producer of the hit Fox TV series, Bones, which is based on her work and her novels.

From teaching FBI agents how to detect and recover human remains, to separating and identifying commingled body parts in her Montreal lab, as a forensic anthropologist Kathy Reichs has brought her own dramatic work experience to her mesmerizing forensic thrillers. For years she consulted to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in North Carolina and to the Laboratoire de Sciences Judiciaires et de Médecine Légale for the province of Québec. Dr. Reichs has traveled to Rwanda to testify at the UN Tribunal on Genocide, and helped exhume a mass grave in Guatemala. As part of her work at JPAC (Formerly CILHI) she aided in the identification of war dead from World War II, Korea, and Southeast Asia. Dr. Reichs also assisted in the recovery of remains at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

Dr. Reichs is one of only 100 forensic anthropologists ever certified by the American Board of Forensic Anthropology. She served on the Board of Directors and as Vice President of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the American Board of Forensic Anthropology, and is currently a member of the National Police Services Advisory Council in Canada. She is a Professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.

Dr. Reichs is a native of Chicago, where she received her Ph.D. at Northwestern. She now divides her time between Charlotte, NC and Montreal, Québec.


2008 Spotlight Guest: Brad Thor

BRAD THOR is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of twenty-three thrillers, including DEAD FALL, BLACK ICE (ThrillerFix Best Thriller of the Year), NEAR DARK (one of Suspense Magazine’s Best Books of the Year), BACKLASH (nominated for the Barry Award for Best Thriller of the Year), SPYMASTER (“One of the all-time best thriller novels” —The Washington Times), THE LAST PATRIOT (nominated Best Thriller of the Year by the International Thriller Writers Association), and BLOWBACK (one of the “Top 100 Killer Thrillers of All Time” —NPR).

Brad has appeared on ABC, CBS, NBC, PBS, FOX News Channel, FOX Business Channel, CNN, CNN Headline News, and MSNBC (among others) to discuss terrorism, as well as how closely his novels of international intrigue parallel the real threats facing the world today.

Brad has served as a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s Analytic Red Cell Unit. He has also lectured to law enforcement organizations on over-the-horizon/future threats, and has been a keynote speaker for the National Tactical Officers Association annual conference.

In 2008, Brad shadowed a Black Ops team in Afghanistan to research his thriller, The Apostle.

Brad graduated cum laude from the University of Southern California where he studied creative writing, film, and television production. Prior to becoming a novelist, Brad was the award-winning creator, producer, writer and host of the critically acclaimed national public television series, Traveling Lite.


2008 Literary Silver Bullet Award: David Baldacci

David Baldacci has been writing since childhood, when his mother gave him a lined notebook in which to write down his stories. (Much later, when David thanked her for being the spark that ignited his writing career, she revealed that she’d given him the notebook to keep him quiet, “because every mom needs a break now and then.”)

David published his first novel, Absolute Power, in 1996. The feature film adaptation followed, with Clint Eastwood as its director and star. In total, David has published 49 novels for adults; all have been national and international bestsellers, and several have been adapted for film and television. His novels are published in over 45 languages and in more than 80 countries, with 150 million copies sold worldwide. David has also published seven novels for young readers.

A lifelong Virginian, David received his Bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and his law degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, after which he practiced law in Washington, D.C.

In addition to being a prolific writer, David is a devoted philanthropist, and his greatest efforts are dedicated to his family’s Wish You Well Foundation®. Established by David and his wife, Michelle, the Wish You Well Foundation supports family and adult literacy programs in the United States. In 2008 the Foundation partnered with Feeding America to launch Feeding Body & Mind, a program to address the connection between literacy, poverty and hunger. Through Feeding Body & Mind, more than 1 million new and gently used books have been collected and distributed through food banks to families in need.

David and his family live in Virginia.


2008 Corporate Silver Bullet Award: Macy’s Inc.


2007 ThrillerMaster: James Patterson

James Patterson is the most popular storyteller of our time. He is the creator of unforgettable characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Jane Smith, and Maximum Ride, and of breathtaking true stories about the Kennedys, John Lennon, and Tiger Woods, as well as our military heroes, police officers, and ER nurses. Patterson has coauthored #1 bestselling novels with Bill Clinton and Dolly Parton, and collaborated most recently with Michael Crichton on the blockbuster Eruption. He has told the story of his own life in James Patterson by James Patterson and received an Edgar Award, ten Emmy Awards, the Literarian Award from the National Book Foundation, and the National Humanities Medal.


2007 Spotlight Guest: Jeffery Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages. He has served two terms as president of Mystery Writers of America, and was recently named a Grand Master of MWA, whose ranks include Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Mary Higgins Clark and Walter Mosely.

The author of more than forty novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards.

His The Bodies Left Behind was named Novel of the Year by the International Thriller Writers association, and his Lincoln Rhyme thriller The Broken Window and a stand-alone, Edge, were also nominated for that prize. The Garden of Beasts won the Steel Dagger from the Crime Writers Association in England. He’s also been nominated for eight Edgar Awards by the MWA.

Deaver has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy.

His book A Maiden’s Grave was made into an HBO movie starring James Garner and Marlee Matlin, and his novel The Bone Collector was a feature release from Universal Pictures, starring Denzel Washington and Angelina Jolie. Lifetime aired an adaptation of his The Devil’s Teardrop. NBC television recently aired the nine-episode prime-time series, Lincoln Rhyme: Hunt for the Bone Collector. CBS TV is airing Tracker, a prime-time series based on his novel The Never Game, featuring his character Colter Shaw.

Learn more about Jeffery Deaver by reading the Q & A with the most frequently asked questions.

(Jeff’s sister, Julie Reece Deaver, is also an author, focusing on young adult novels. Her titles include The Night I Disappeared and Say Goodnight, Gracie.)


2007 Spotlight Guest: Vince Flynn

The fifth of seven children, Vince Flynn was born in St. Paul, Minnesota, in 1966. He graduated from the St. Thomas Academy in 1984, and the University of St. Thomas with a degree in economics in 1988.

After college he went to work for Kraft General Foods where he was an account and sales marketing specialist.

In 1990 he left Kraft to accept an aviation candidate slot with the United States Marine Corps. One week before leaving for Officers Candidate School, he was medically disqualified from the Marine Aviation Program, due to several concussions and convulsive seizures he suffered growing up. While trying to obtain a medical waiver for his condition, he started thinking about writing a book. This was a very unusual choice for Flynn since he had been diagnosed with dyslexia in grade school and had struggled with reading and writing all his life.

Having been stymied by the Marine Corps, Flynn returned to the nine-to-five grind and took a job with United Properties, a commercial real estate company in the Twin Cities. During his spare time he worked on an idea he had for a book. After two years with United Properties he decided to take a big gamble. He quit his job, moved to Colorado, and began working full time on what would eventually become Term Limits.

Like many struggling artists before him, he bartended at night and wrote during the day. Five years and more than sixty rejection letters later he took the unusual step of self-publishing his first novel. The book went to number one in the Twin Cities, and within a week had a new agent and two-book deal with Pocket Books, a Simon & Schuster imprint.


2007 Spotlight Guest: Lisa Gardner

Lisa Gardner, a #1 New York Times crime thriller novelist, began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, her work as a research analyst for an international consulting firm parlayed her interest in police procedure, cutting edge forensics and twisted plots into a streak of internationally bestselling suspense novels, including her most recent release, FIND HER.

With over 22 million books in print, Lisa is published in 30 countries. Her success crosses into the small screen with four of her novels becoming movies (AT THE MIDNIGHT HOUR; THE PERFECT HUSBAND; THE SURVIVORS CLUB; HIDE) and personal appearances on television shows (TruTVCNN).

Lisa Gardner’s novels have also received awards from across the globe. Her novel THE NEIGHBOR was recognized as the Best Hardcover Novel from the International Thriller Writers in the United States and Grand Prix des lectrices de Elle, prix du policier in France. She was also recognized with the Daphne duMaurior Award presented by RWA in 2000 for THE OTHER DAUGHTER.

Readers are invited to get in on the fun by entering the annual “Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy” Sweepstakes at LisaGardner.com, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa’s latest novel. Every year, one Lucky Stiff is selected for Literary Immortality. It’s cheaper than therapy, and you get a great book besides.

Lisa lives in New Hampshire with her auto-racing husband and black-diamond skiing daughter. She spends her days writing in her loft with a young silly sheltie and a adventurous terrier.


2007 Spotlight Guest: Heather Graham

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, sci-fi, young adult, and Christmas family fare.

She is pleased to have been published in approximately thirty languages and has written over 200 novels and has 70 million books in print. Heather has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is the proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers and was awarded the prestigious Thriller Master Award in 2016. She is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA. Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight, and local television.

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. She has hosted events to benefits to aid pediatric children’s hospital and 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region. She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

Genres: Mystery, Paranormal Romance, Romantic Suspense, Romance, Historical Romance, Horror, Science Fiction


2006 ThrillerMaster: Clive Cussler

Clive Cussler began writing novels in 1965 and published his first work featuring his continuous series hero, Dirk Pitt®, in 1973. His first nonfiction, The Sea Hunters, was released in 1996. The Board of Governors of the Maritime College, State University of New York, considered The Sea Hunters in lieu of a Ph.D. thesis and awarded Cussler a Doctor of Letters degree in May, 1997. It was the first time since the College was founded in 1874 that such a degree was bestowed.

Cussler is an internationally recognized authority on shipwrecks and the founder of the National Underwater and Marine Agency, (NUMA) a 501C3 non-profit organization (named after the fictional Federal agency in his novels) that dedicates itself to preserving American maritime and naval history, searching for lost ships of historic significance. He and his crew of marine experts and NUMA volunteers have discovered more than sixty historically significant underwater wreck sites including the first submarine to sink a ship in battle, the Confederacy’s Hunley, and its victim, the Union’s Housatonic; the U-20, the U-boat that sank the Lusitania; the Cumberland, which was sunk by the famous ironclad, Merrimack; the renowned Confederate raider Florida; the Navy airship, Akron, the Republic of Texas Navy warship, Zavala, found under a parking lot in Galveston, and the Carpathia, which sank almost six years to-the-day after plucking Titanic‘s survivors from the sea.

NUMA—which turns over all artifacts to state and Federal authorities, or donates them to museums and universities—has its own website for those interested in learning more about maritime history or wishing to make a donation. Please visit www.numa.net.

In addition to being the Chairman of NUMA, Cussler is also a fellow in both the Explorers Club of New York and the Royal Geographic Society in London. He has been honored with the Lowell Thomas Award for outstanding underwater exploration.

Cussler is the author or coauthor of more than fifty previous books in five best-selling series, including Dirk Pitt, NUMA Files, Oregon Files, Isaac Bell, and Fargo. His nonfiction works include Built for AdventureThe Classic Automobiles of Clive Cussler and Dirk Pitt, plus The Sea Hunters and The Sea Hunters II; these describe the true adventures of the real NUMA.

Cussler’s books have been published in more than 40 languages in more than 100 countries. Past New York Times and international bestsellers include Pacific VortexMediterranean CaperIcebergRaise the Titanic, Atlantis Found, and Trojan Odyssey; more recent bestsellers include Piranha (written with Boyd Morrison), The Assassin (written with Justin Scott), Ghost Ship (written with Graham Brown), The Eye of Heaven (written with Russell Blake), Crescent DawnPoseidon’s Arrow and Havana Storm (the last three written with his son Dirk Cussler).

Clive Cussler passed away in 2020.


2006 Spotlight Guest: Sandra Brown

Sandra Brown is the author of seventy-three New York Times bestsellers, including Blind Tiger, Thick As Thieves, Seeing Red, Outfox, Tailspin, Seeing Red, Sting and Mean Streak.

Writing professionally since 1981, Brown has published over eighty novels and has upwards of eighty million copies of her books in print worldwide. Her work has been translated into thirty-four languages.

Her episode on truTV’s “Murder by the Book” premiered the series in 2008. She appeared in 2010 on Investigation Discovery’s series, “Hardcover Mysteries.” Television movies have been made of her novels French Silk, Smoke Screen, Ricochet, and White Hot.

Brown holds an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University, where she and her husband Michael Brown, have instituted the ELF, a scholarship awarded annually. She has served as president of Mystery Writers of America, and in 2008 she was named Thriller Master, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other honors include the Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award. She has gone on two USO tours, to Afghanistan and Cuba.


2006 Spotlight Guest: Brad Meltzer

Brad Meltzer is the Emmy-nominated, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Lightning Rod, The Escape Artist, and eleven other bestselling thrillers. He also writes non-fiction books like The Nazi Conspiracy, about a secret plot to kill FDR, Stalin, and Winston Churchill at the height of WWII – and the Ordinary People Change the World kids book series, which he does with Chris Eliopoulos and inspired the PBS KIDS TV show, Xavier Riddle and the Secret Museum. His newest kids books are I am Mister Rogers and I am Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

In addition to his fiction, Brad is one of the only authors to ever have books on the bestseller list for Non-Fiction (The First Conspiracy), Advice (Heroes for My Son and Heroes for My Daughter), Children’s Books (I Am Amelia Earhart and I Am Abraham Lincoln) and even comic books (Justice League of America), for which he won the prestigious Eisner Award.

He is also the host of Brad Meltzer’s Lost History and Brad Meltzer’s Decoded on the History Channel, and is responsible for helping find the missing 9/11 flag that the firefighters raised at Ground Zero, making national news on the 15th anniversary of 9/11. Meltzer unveiled the flag at the 9/11 Museum in New York, where it is now on display. See the video here. The Hollywood Reporter recently put him on their list of Hollywood’s 25 Most Powerful Authors.

For sure, it’s tough to find anyone being so successful in so many different mediums of the popular culture. But why does Brad thrive in all these different professions? His belief that ordinary people change the world. It is that core belief that runs through every one of his projects.


2006 Spotlight Guest: Doug Preston

Douglas Preston has published thirty-six books of both nonfiction and fiction, of which twenty-nine have been New York Times bestsellers. He is the co-author, with Lincoln Child, of the Pendergast series of thrillers. He writes about archaeology and anthropology for the New Yorker Magazine, and he worked as an editor at the American Museum of Natural History in New York and taught nonfiction writing at Princeton University. He currently serves as President of the Authors Guild, the nation’s oldest and largest association of authors and journalists.


2006 Spotlight Guest: R.L. Stine

R. L. Stine is the author of over 330 books for children. His Goosebumps, Fear Street, and other book series have sold nearly 400 million copies around the world, making him one of the best-selling children’s authors in history.

He was born Robert Lawrence Stine on October 8, 1943 in Columbus, Ohio. Stine started writing when he was 9 years old. He wrote stories and jokes on a typewriter and handed them out at school. He graduated with a B.A. in English from Ohio State University in 1965. Stine taught social studies after college, then moved to New York City to become a writer. He married Jane Waldhorn on June 22, 1969. Jane is an editor and publisher. Their son, Matthew Daniel Stine, was born on June 7, 1980.

Stine’s thrillers and horror tales have proven to be great reading motivation for young people. The YA series, Fear Street, started in 1989 and was followed in 1992 by Goosebumps, which quickly took off around the world. Goosebumps has been translated into 35 languages. These days, Stine continues to add books to the Goosebumps series, scaring a new generation of kids.

He has had three TV series based on his works– Goosebumps, The Nightmare Room, and R.L. Stine’s The Haunting Hour, which is currently being seen on The Hub Network. In addition, several TV movies have become perennial Halloween favorites.

Stine has published three thrillers for adults– Superstitious, The Sitter, and Eye Candy. The Sitter is currently being developed as a feature film by Sam Raimi’s company. In 2012, Touchstone Books will publish a new R.L. Stine adult horror novel.

Stine is a three-time winner of the Nickelodeon Children’s Choice Award and a recipient of the American Library Association Award. For his work in promoting literacy, he was also a recipient of the ITW Silver Bullet Award.


2006 Spotlight Guest: John Lescroart

John Lescroart (pronounced “less-kwah”) is a big believer in hard work and single-minded dedication, although he’ll acknowledge that a little luck never hurts. Now a New York Times bestselling author whose books have been translated into 16 languages in more than 75 countries, John wrote his first novel in college and the second one a year after he graduated from Cal Berkeley in 1970.

The only hitch was that he didn’t even try to publish either of these books until fourteen years later, when finally, at his wife Lisa’s urging, he submitted Son of Holmes to New York publishers—and got two offers, one in hardcover, within six weeks!

But about six years before that first hardcover publication, John’s ambition to become a working novelist began to take shape. At that time, as Johnny Capo of Johnny Capo and His Real Good Band, he’d been performing his own songs for several years at clubs and honky-tonks in the San Francisco Bay Area. On his 30th birthday, figuring that if he hadn’t made it in music by then, he never would, he retired from the music business.

He’d been writing all along, and didn’t stop now, although his emphasis changed from music first, prose second, to the other way around. Within two months of his last musical gig, he finished a novel, Sunburn, that drew on his experiences in Spain. Since John didn’t know anyone in the publishing world, he sent the manuscript to his old high school English teacher, who was not enthusiastic. Fortunately, the teacher left the pages on his bedside table, and his wife picked them up and read them. She loved the book and submitted it in John’s name to The Joseph Henry Jackson Award, given yearly by the San Francisco Foundation for Best Novel by a California author. Much to John’s astonishment, Sunburn beat out 280 other entrants, including INTERVIEW WITH A VAMPIRE, for the prize.

Though Sunburn wasn’t to be published for another four years, and then only in paperback, the award changed John’s approach to writing. He started to think he might make a living as an author, something he’d never previously believed possible for a “regular guy with no connections.” He started paying for his writing habit by working a succession of “day jobs”—everything from a computer programmer with the telephone company, to Ad Director of Guitar Player Magazine, to moving man, house painter, bartender (at the real Little Shamrock bar in San Francisco), legal secretary, fundraising executive, and management consultant writing briefs on coal transportation for the Interstate Commerce Commission!!

John moved to Los Angeles and in the next three years finished three long novels, the last of them featuring a private investigator who shared the name Dismas Hardy (and very little else) with the man who would become John’s well-known attorney/hero. Since he’d gotten SUNBURN published without using a literary agent (an old friend had shown it to a secretary at Pinnacle Books in Los Angeles, who bought it), John went on submitting his work to New York over the transom, receiving many kind rejection letters, but no offers. Finally he realized that even if he wasn’t fated to become a commercially successful author, he wanted to be involved in books and literature. So he enrolled in the Masters Program in Creative Writing at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

While John and his wife, Lisa Sawyer, were preparing that summer to move to New England, he was paying bills by typing technical papers on coal transportation for a consulting firm. Asked by the boss what he thought of the paper, John commented that the argument it made wasn’t very compelling and that it wasn’t very well-written. His boss challenged him: could he do it any better? In a week, John re-wrote the 400-page draft, which went on to win before the ICC. This led to a “day job” offer that John couldn’t refuse. Graduate school fell by the wayside.

But after a year and a half, even a lucrative day job had become a burden. Nothing would do for John by now but to write, but he had little time for writing with his high-paying, career-oriented job. Lisa suggested taking a look at some of the old manuscripts and submitting them—she remembered reading and liking Son of Holmes. How about that one? There was one 14-year-old yellowed and brittle copy of the manuscript left in the world—in the basement of their best man, Don Matheson’s, apartment. Six weeks later, John had his first hardcover book deal.

Over the next seven years, back in Los Angeles again, John and Lisa were finally ready to start their family. During this time, John wrote several screenplays and published three more books while he held down a job as a word processing supervisor at a downtown law firm. He rose each day at 5:30 and went to a room they’d built in their garage, where he wrote four pages of his latest in two hours. Then he worked his nine-to-five, ate a bag lunch, and stayed downtown, typing briefs and pleadings at various other law firms until 10:00 or 11:00 at night.

Finally he was publishing, but he wasn’t making a living. And then in 1989, at the age of forty-one, he took a break to go body-surfing at Seal Beach. The next day, he lay in a Pasadena hospital. From the contaminated sea water where he’d been surfing, he’d contracted spinal meningitis. Doctors gave him two hours to live.

John now looks back on his 11-day battle with death as the turning point in his career. He quit the last of his day jobs to move back to Northern California and to write full-time, with intense focus and a renewed dedication. The resulting books, richer in terms of theme and story, found a devoted readership and propelled him into the elite circle of bestselling authors—only twenty years to overnight success!

ITW Community

  • patrons
  • sponsors
  • supporters
  • Actives

    • Sandra Brannan

    • Clive Cussler*

    • Dirk Cussler*

    • Shane Gericke*

    • Faye and Jonathan Kellerman*

    • John Lescroart

    • Joanie McDonell

    • Karin Slaughter

    • Larry D. Thompson

    Associates

    • Tucker Andersen

    • Andrew Kimball

  • Actives

    • Kathleen Antrim*

    • David Baldacci*

    • Neal Baer

    • Steve Berry*

    • J. Jackson Bentley

    • Gary Braver*

    • Sandra Brown*

    • Dale Brown*

    • John Case*

    • Lee Child*

    • James Comey

    • Michael Connelly

    • Glenn Cooper

    • Richard Curtis*

    • Jack F. Du Brul*

    • David Dun*

    • Joseph Finder

    • Brian Garfield*

    • Tess Gerritsen*

    • Leslie Glass*

    • Jeff Gunhus

    • Vicki Hinze*

    • Lisa Jackson

    • Alex Kava*

    • Raymond Khoury

    • Deborah LeBlanc

    • Eric Van Lustbader*

    • D. P. Lyle M.D.*

    • Gayle Lynds*

    • Steve Martini

    • Brad Meltzer

    • David Morrell*

    • Katherine Neville*

    • Michael Palmer (2004-2013)*

    • James Patterson*

    • Andrew Peterson

    • Douglas Preston*

    • Lissa Price

    • Keith Raffel

    • Christopher Reich*

    • James Rollins*

    • M.J. Rose*

    • JoAnn Ross

    • Hank Phillippi Ryan

    • John Saul*

    • Andy Siegel

    • Susan Arnout Smith

    • R.L. Stine*

    • Brad Thor*

    • Lisa Unger

    • Paul Vidich

    Associates

    • Maria Carvainis

    • Leisure Books*

    • JK Franko*

    • Ed Mitchell*

    • Henry Morrison*

    • Adrian Muller*

    • Bill Sewell

    • Tor/Forge Books*

    • Your Book Is Your Hook!

  • Actives

    • Steve Alten*

    • Ashok Banker

    • Ted Bell*

    • Emily Benedek

    • Janet Berliner-Gluckman*

    • Gary Birken

    • Mike Bond

    • Sandra Brannan

    • Allison Brennan

    • Mike Brogan

    • Jan Burke*

    • Lorenzo Carcaterra

    • Lincoln Child*

    • Stephen Coonts*

    • Brian D’Amato

    • B. J. Daniels

    • Nelson DeMille

    • Eileen Dreyer*

    • Joanna Elm

    • Linda Fairstein*

    • Vince Flynn (2004-2013)*

    • Chris Fox

    • Joel Goldman*

    • Howard Gordon

    • Heather Graham*

    • Thomas Greanias

    • Gary Grossman

    • Humphrey Hawksley

    • Bonnie Hearn Hill*

    • Mark Imhof

    • Alan Jacobson

    • Judith Kelman*

    • Harley Jane Kozak

    • Jon Land

    • Dennis Lynds (2004-2005)*

    • Patricia McLinn

    • Michael McMenamin

    • Francine Mathews*

    • Nan McCann

    • Kyle Mills*

    • Twist Phelan

    • Christopher Rice*

    • Wendy Roberts

    • John Sandford

    • James Siegel*

    • Carl T. Smith*

    • Deborah Smith*

    • Taylor Smith*

    • L.A. Starks

    • Mariah Stewart*

    • Peter Straub*

    • Lee Strobel

    • M. Diane Vogt*

    • Thomas Waite

    • Stuart Woods*

    Associates

    • Linda Adams*

    • Brilliance Audio*

    • Mike Brogan

    • Brian Godden

    • Steve Hadden*

    • Emory Hackman

    • Inkwell Management, LLC*

    • Jennifer Kreischer

    • Mario Mastro*

    • Vicki Montet

    • Amy Rivers

    • Mike Trigg

*original member joined by June 4, 2005