Talking ThrillerFest with Author LS Hawker

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Please Welcome Author L.S. Hawker



Lisa Storm Hawker




Lisa’s debut thriller, The Drowning Game, was a finalist in the 2016 ITW Thriller Awards in the Best First Novel category.  She writes in the thriller, suspense, and mystery genre. Her other books are: Body and BoneEnd of the RoadPlease learn more about Lisa by going to






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*Was this your first Thrillerfest?

No–last year was my first. I joined after I learned my debut novel THE DROWNING GAME was a finalist in the Best FIrst Novel category of the ITW Thriller Awards.

That’s awesome for a first book!

The Drowning Game

*Why did you attend and how has it helped you?

It was so exciting, fun, and educational last year (and I met and made instant friends with amazing published authors from all over the country) that I decided I would go every year I possibly could. Even though it is extremely expensive, if you can swing it, I highly recommend it. Think of it as an investment in your career.

Nice. I’m glad you had this opportunity. I’d like to go once in my lifetime. Bucketlist?


*What was some of your highlights?

Watching the literary and film critic Janet Maslin interview Lee Child. He is hilarious, down to earth, uber successful, and always gives the impression that any of us can have the kind of success he has. Also, mega-multi-million selling thriller novelist Lisa Scottoline came to one of my book signings and had me sign my third novel, END OF THE ROAD, for her. Mountain top experience!

Whoa. That’s great! 

Book signing

*Which authors did you meet or interact with?

Lisa Scottoline, of course, Allison Brennan, Laura McHugh, Alex Dolan, Carey Baldwin, Susan Furlong, Anthony Franze, E.Z. RInsky, Nancy Allen (who’s writing with James Patterson now)–all bestselling authors and wonderful friends. I also got to go to my publisher, HarperCollins, and hang out with my editor Chloe Moffett. I also had lunch with my old editor who’s now at Crooked Lane Books, Chelsey Emmelhainz.

Great. There’s so many talented writers that we don’t even know about. 

*Do you have any pictures?

YA Thrillers panel

YA thrillers panel

With Sheila Sobel

sheila sobel

Procrastination Panel


Lisa signing books!

me signing books

With Laura Mchugh

laura mchugh

Journey to publication panel.


Interview with Lee Child


Debut authors.


*Did you gain any sagely advice in the writing craft?

So much…the Craftfest portion of Thrillerfest is always invaluable. I live tweeted a lot of it on Twitter, which is always a lot of fun.

Themes that come up again and again are persistence. Don’t give up. Work on your craft. Listen to what editors and agents have to say.

Swezzeett!! I love it. 

Step into a scene and let it drip from your fingertips. –MJ Bush


*Do you recommend attending?



thank you

It’s’s almost time for Mystery Thriller Week 2018!! 

Sign up and more info here:  MTW 2018



In comparison to other commentary found on this blog, this can be classified as lighter fare. Nonetheless, the following may change one’s perspective on the traditional image of what constitutes the classic espionage candidate, derived from a steady diet of decades of James Bond films. Unlikely as it may seem, some of the public’s most beloved celebrities have been employed by CIA and large corporations as spies and counter-intelligence agents. Before one scoffs and snickers, consider the possibilities.

To agencies like CIA, celebrities have two distinct advantages over an agent coming off the training ‘farm’ in Langley. One, celebrities, particularly accomplished and veteran actors and actresses, have greater access and plausible deniability with regard to counter-intelligence activities. Two, because they are accomplished at their craft, transitioning to an assumed identity in the service of a counter-intelligence operation is a rather simple matter. Portraying tailored roles with accompanying disguises and assumed…

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Author Interview with Lyrical Pens

MTW author meets up with cj petterson and shares his new release and main character Mac McClellan.

e. michael helms

LYRICAL PENS Spotlights author E. Michael Helms Today!

cj Sez: Lyrical Pens’ guest today is Mystery Thriller Week author E. Michael Helms, who writes the popular Mac McClellan mystery series. The latest in the series from Coffeetown/Camel Press is the brand-new deadly spirits, which launched on Jan 15, 2017. (Congratulations, Michael.)

This busy author graciously stopped by for a few minutes and answered some questions for us. Let’s get right to it…

Lyrical Pens: Where did you get the inspiration for your Mac McClellan series?

hardy-boys-1E. Michael Helms: My previous books had all dealt with war, mostly drawn from my own experiences. It was draining and I knew I needed a change. I grew up reading and loving the Hardy Boys books, and had recently renewed my interest in mysteries. One day I thought: Why not try my hand at writing a mystery? It took off from there.

LP: What…

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Mystery Mondays: Damon L. Wakes on Planning Your Novel


It’s Monday again, and we’re here with Damon L. Wakes author of Ten Little Astronauts.

Planning Your Novel by Damon L. Wakes.

Personally, I don’t like to plan my books in too much detail. Knowing (at least in your head) how you get from beginning to end is essential, but for me summarising individual scenes seems excessive: I feel as though I might as well just write the scenes themselves.

What I find does help is to take a pack of record cards and note down all the major plot points, one per card. This makes for a really quick way to put together an outline of the story, and you’re free to add or remove cards as necessary, even while you’re working. There are other advantages to this sort of plan too, but I think those are best left for another post.

I first tried this approach when…

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How to write a mystery thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock by Tony Lee Moral


As the author of three books on Alfred Hitchcock, the Master of Suspense, including a ‘how to’ write a thriller, called Alfred Hitchcock’s Movie Making Masterclass, I was naturally inspired by his stories when writing my mystery thriller, Ghost Maven, about a teenage girl who falls in love with a ghost in Monterey Bay, California.








Continue reading “How to write a mystery thriller in the style of Alfred Hitchcock by Tony Lee Moral”

My GRL – By John W. Howell

MTW author relaunched My Girl.

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

Today, it’s my pleasure to bring this re-launch of a great thriller to my readers. John W. Howell is a wonderful storyteller and I loved this trilogy! I highly recommend these books as great reads!

Announcing the re-launch of My GRL


The cover is new and the book edited once again to enhance the experience. What is really nice is the price has been cut for the introduction. You can buy the kindle version for a special introduction price of


Here’s the blurb.

John J. Cannon successful San Francisco lawyer takes a well-deserved leave of absence from the firm and buys a boat he names My GRL. He is unaware that his newly purchased boat had already been targeted by a terrorist group. John’s first inkling of a problem is when he wakes up in the hospital where he learns he was found unconscious next to the dead body…

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Award and After Party for Mystery Thriller Week

The Page Turner

Last night I was up with so many of the authors, bloggers, fans, readers, experts and organizers of the Mystery Thriller Week.  After 4 months of planning, 11 days of reviews, guest posts, interview posting, and hosting live events, the week came to a close.

Did we learn a lot during this colossal event? Yes! We did!

  1. If you built it, they will come, bringing books, reviews, interviews, and laughter.
  2.  You can never laugh at your own mistakes enough.
  3. Authors and bloggers love a good party together.
  4. Guests look better in Armani, Oscar De La Renta, and other designers clothing.
  5. Champagne flows like champagne.
  6. You can never have enough trailers in a screening room.
  7. No one wants to the party to end.

The party began at 10:00 pm and the red carpet started filling up at about 9:30. There was crush at the auditorium door but everyone made it in safely…

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Historical Division: Marie Silk on Historical Fiction Writing: Life in America 100 Years Ago

Someone recently asked me, “What is ‘historical fiction’?”  I never realized it was a confusing phrase until I really thought about it and concluded that it sounds like an oxymoron.  Here, I will do my best to explain historical fiction and the process that goes into writing it.

Continue reading “Historical Division: Marie Silk on Historical Fiction Writing: Life in America 100 Years Ago”

Why the beep do people like Fantasy? by a Fantasy Writer

What is something you hate? What is something you love?
The thing about opinions is that somebody always disagrees with you. There is somebody that loves what you hate and hates what you love.
What does this have to do with the Fantasy genre? You might have guessed by now. If you hate it, there’s somebody that likes it. If you like it, there’s somebody that absolutely despises it.

Continue reading “Why the beep do people like Fantasy? by a Fantasy Writer”

The Value of a Cliffhanger by R.M. Gauthier

Writing Mysteries intrigued me because I love a good cliff-hanger. There I’ve said it, so shoot me, as for anyone who says they don’t like them or don’t do them they’re not being completely honest.

There is mystery and cliffhangers in almost everything people write, if there wasn’t then your story won’t be worth reading. Whether you think so or not, everyone’s writing has cliff-hangers. Continue reading “The Value of a Cliffhanger by R.M. Gauthier”