The Kill Zone mission
The Kill Zone is the home of 11 top suspense writers and publishing professionals. We cover the publishing biz, marketing how-to’s, and the craft of writing. Each day, we’ll open the doorway into the world of the working writer.
Clare Langley-Hawthorne was raised in England and Australia. She was an attorney in Melbourne before moving to the United States, where she began her career as a writer. Her first novel, Consequences of Sin, featuring the Oxford graduate, heiress, and militant suffragette Ursula Marlow, was published in 2007. This was followed by two more books in the series, The Serpent and The Scorpion (2008) and Unlikely Traitors (2014). Consequences of Sin was a San Francisco Chronicle Bay Area bestseller and a Macavity Award nominee for best historical mystery. Clare now lives in Denver, Colorado, with her husband, twin boys, and collie, Hamish. http://www.clarelangleyhawthorne.com/
Larry Brooks is the author of three books on writing fiction, including the #1 bestseller Story Engineering: Mastering the Six Core Competencies of Successful Writing, and the award-winning Story Physics: Harnessing the Underlying Forces of Storytelling. His new writing book, Story Fix: Transform Your Novel from Broken to Brilliant will be released in October 2015 by Writers Digest Books.
He is also the USA Today bestselling author of six critically-acclaimed thrillers (Darkness Bound, Bait and Switch, with a PW starred review by TKZ’s own Joe Hartlaub, Deadly Faux, and his latest, The Seventh Thunder), and has been called (by James Frey, author of How to Write a Damned Good Novel) the new incarnation of Raymond Chandler, which makes him blush but he’s happy to toss that in.
He is also the creator of the award-winning website, Storyfix.com, named six years running by Writers Digest Magazine to their annual “101 Best Websites for Writers” list. Brooks lives in Scottsdale, Arizona, and travels frequently as a speaker and workshop teacher at conferences and at the behest of writing groups who like their instruction served hot, and straight-up.
Kathryn Lilley is a crime writer, former journalist, and author of IMBA-bestselling mystery series, The Fat City Mysteries. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two neurotic cats. http://www.kathrynlilley.com/
PJ Parrish is the sister team of Kris Montee and Kelly Nichols. Their Louis Kincaid series and stand alone thrillers have been New York Times and USAToday bestsellers and been published in twelve countries. They have won two Shamus Awards, two Anthony awards, the International Thriller Writers Award, and have been nominated for the Edgar, bestowed by Mystery Writers of America. Kris lives in Fort Lauderdale, FL with her husband Daniel and dogs, Bailey and Phoebe. Kelly lives in Elk Rapids, MI with her dog Pearl and is the mother of three great children. Website and Facebook
John Gilstrap is the ITW Thriller Award-winning author of 16 thrillers, including nine books in the critically-acclaimed Jonathan Grave series. His professional writing career began in 1996 with the publication of the worldwide bestseller, Nathan’s Run. After three more standalone thrillers, John entered the world of nonfiction with his book, Six Minutes to Freedom, written with Kurt Muse. Four of his books have been purchased or optioned for the big screen, including SixMin, which, according to IMDB, is scheduled for a 2017 release. In addition to his novel-writing career, John has also penned four screenplays for Hollywood studios, adapting the works of authors including Nelson DeMIlle, Thomas Harris and Norman Maclean. Before becoming a writer, John spent 15 years as a firefighter and EMT, and 35 years as a safety engineer with expertise in explosives, firearms and hazardous materials. johngilstrap.com
Laura Benedict is the author of six novels of dark suspense, including the Bliss House gothic novels: Bliss House, Charlotte’s Story (Booklist starred review), and the forthcoming The Abandoned Heart. Her other novels are Devil’s Oven, an Appalachian Frankenstein story, Calling Mr. Lonely Hearts and Isabella Moon. Her short fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, PANK, on NPR, and in numerous anthologies like Thrillers: 100 Must-Reads, The Lineup: 20 Provocative Women Writers, and St. Louis Noir. A native of Cincinnati, Ohio, she grew up in Louisville, Kentucky and claims both as hometowns. She currently lives with her family in the southern wilds of a Midwestern state, surrounded by bobcats, coyotes, and other less picturesque predators. Get to know Laura better at laurabenedict.com, on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
HarperCollins launched Jordan Dane’s suspense novels back to back in 2008 after the 3-book series sold in auction. Ripped from the headlines, Jordan's gritty plots weave a tapestry of vivid settings, intrigue, and dark humor. Publishers Weekly compared her intense thrillers to Lisa Jackson, Lisa Gardner, and Tami Hoag. This national best selling, critically acclaimed author’s debut novel NO ONE HEARD HER SCREAM was named Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2008. Dane also created romantic thrillers for HarperCollins – the Sweet Justice series. Her young adult novels with Harlequin Teen are: IN THE ARMS OF STONE ANGELS, ON A DARK WING, and the Hunted series INDIGO AWAKENING & CRYSTAL FIRE. Formerly an energy sales manager, she now writes full time. Jordan shares her Texas residence with two very lucky rescue dogs. Website http://www.JordanDane.com, Twitter http://www.twitter.com/JordanDane, Facebook https://www.facebook.com/JordanDaneAuthor, Pinterest http://pinterest.com/jordandane/, YA Blog: Fringe Dweller http://jordandanebooks.blogspot.com
First Page Critiques (Thursday)
Elaine Viets has written 27 mysteries in three series, including the bestselling Dead-End Job mysteries, featuring South Florida private detectives Helen Hawthorne and her husband, Phil Sagemont. Elaine has also written the Josie Marcus, Mystery Shopper mysteries, and the dark Francesca Vierling mysteries, both set in her hometown, St. Louis. Elaine is returning to her hardboiled roots with the Angela Richman Death Investigator series, and recently took the MedicoLegal Death Investigators Course given by St. Louis University.
The Fort Lauderdale writer won the Anthony, Agatha, and Lefty Awards. She is director at large and national secretary of the Mystery Writers of America. Connect with her at http://www.elaineviets.com on Facebook at ElaineVietsMysteryWriter, and @evmysterywriter on Twitter.
Joe Hartlaub is an attorney, author, reviewer, and actor. He practices intellectual property law in the areas of literature, music, and film. Joe has had his short stories published in several anthologies and his work has been translated into several languages. He had a featured roll in the film drama LA-308 and co-starred in the short film “Seducing the Shrink.” Joe is also the senior writer/reviewer for bookreporter.com, where he has reviewed mystery and thriller novels for almost eighteen years. He lives with his wife Lisa and family in Westerville, Ohio.
Mark Alpert, a contributing editor at Scientific American, writes thrillers that weave real science and technologies into the story. His first novel, Final Theory (Touchstone/Simon & Schuster, 2008), was published in 23 languages and became an international bestseller. His next three science thrillers were The Omega Theory (Touchstone, 2011), Extinction (Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin’s Press, 2013) and The Furies (Thomas Dunne, 2014).
Mark’s first Young Adult novel, The Six, will be published in July 2015. It’s about six dying teenagers whose lives are “saved” when their minds are downloaded into U.S. Army robots. Mark lives with his family (a wife and two non-robotic teenagers) in New York City. He’s a proud member of Scientific American’s softball team, The Big Bangers. http://www.markalpert.com/
James Scott Bell is the author of the #1 bestseller for writers, Plot & Structure, and numerous thrillers, including Romeo’s Rules, Don’t Leave Me, Try Dying and Watch Your Back. His novella One More Lie was the first self-published work to be nominated for an International Thriller Writers Award. He served as the fiction columnist for Writer’s Digest magazine and has written highly popular craft books including: Write Your Novel From the Middle, The Art of War for Writers and Super Structure. Jim has taught writing at Pepperdine University and at numerous writers conferences in the United States, Canada, Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and London. He attended the University of California, Santa Barbara where he studied writing with Raymond Carver, and graduated with honors from the University of Southern California Law Center. He lives and writes in Los Angeles.
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