Thursday, June 28, 2012

What is the ITW Debut Author Program?

The International Thriller Writers membership includes some of the world’s best-selling authors: David Morrell, Gayle Lynds, Lee Child, Sandra Brown, Clive Cussler, Jeffery Deaver, Tess Gerritsen, James Patterson and many, many more. All of these authors’ careers began with their first book.
The ITW Debut Author Program, under the aegis of the International Thriller Writers main organization, seeks to support our first-book members through the publication process by providing a friendly, interactive community for the purposes of networking, mentoring, promotion, and camaraderie.
Interested in becoming an ITW Debut Author member?
Please note: Membership in the Debut Authors program is for Active-status ITW members only. Before you can apply to the Debut Authors program, you must first apply for ITW membership. More information about ITW membership here
An author may apply to be included in the current or future class, if they are an active ITW Author member, and their novel meets the following qualifications:
  • published by an ITW-recognized publisher
  • is their first novel published in any format, anywhere
  • their book has been released since the previous ThrillerFest, or has yet to be published.
Non-fiction books will be considered on a case-by-base basis. To apply for membership, please contact Anthony Franze.
Join now so that you get the honor to attend these upcoming debut author mentoring sessions:
• AUG 14 - Guest Mentor: GAYLE LYNDS • SEPT 16 - Guest Mentor: LISA GARDNER

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Where Is Linc’s Backpack? (Or: Lessons Learned From Brilliant Editors)



By F.T. Bradley

Editors don’t edit anymore. That’s what I heard more than once before I signed my book contract for Double Vision, my middle-grade series with HarperCollins Children’s. It’s one of those publishing myths that came from some unknown source, and you sort of assume it’s true when you’re a newbie.

Whoever said editors don’t edit is wronger than wrong (is wronger a word?). When I turned in my second (or it may have been third, or fourth…) draft of Double Vision, I thought the heavy lifting had to be done soon. Just a few minor edits, right?FB Double Vision front cover

Wrong (again). My editors—I have two: the brilliant Barbara Lalicki and awesome Andrew Harwell—sent me yet another copy of my manuscript, littered with notes and questions, like: What time is it here? Where is Linc’s (my main character) backpack? Why does he do this—oh, and shouldn’t he be wearing a coat in December? I would thumb through the pages thinking: this is going to be, like, a lot of work.

And it was—for all parties involved. If anyone can dispel this myth that editors don’t edit, it would be me. I have a stack of marked-up manuscripts, and emails well past office hours from my amazing editors at Harper to prove it. And I haven’t even told you about the copyediting and proofreading yet…

All this work might sound kind of depressing if you’re still waiting for that book contract—but guess what happened once I sat down to write the sequel to Double Vision? I started asking questions like: where’s Linc’s backpack? And it led to an unexpected plot twist.

Editors really do edit. And they’ll make you a stronger writer—at least, I’d like to think so.

Fleur Bradley-photoBIO:

F.T. Bradley is the author of Double Vision (Harper Children's, Oct. 2012), the first in the middle-grade adventure series featuring Lincoln Baker. Her husband's Air Force career has F.T. and their two daughters moving all around the world, but for the moment the family lives on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. To find out more about F.T. and Double Vision, visit, or find F.T. Bradley on Twitter @FTBradleyAuthor.


Undercover spies, codes and ciphers, a secret painting with unimaginable powers... It's all in a day's work when you're one of the world's top kid agents. But Linc Baker isn't a kid agent at all. He just happens to look exactly like one of them. And when this lookalike goes missing, Linc will have to impersonate him on a mission that plunges him into a world of intrigue, danger, and great pastries. 
No pressure, right?

Thursday, June 14, 2012

What to Expect your 1st Year as a Published Author


This month marks my first full year as a published author. My debut novel A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD released this time last year, the sequel SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE releases in two weeks, and book three sits on my editor’s desk being edited as I write this post to you. In honor of my small anniversary I wanted to share some helpful truths about this first year to you.
  1. Know when to pick your battles with your editorial team
    • Have a flexible and jolly attitude about your story.  After you turn in your finished manuscript your editor will come back to you with a list of edits they would like for you to do, in order to make a better book. Be cool about it and make the changes.  The quicker the better.
    • But don’t be afraid to defend certain important things. For instance in my state we called the middle part of Georgia “Middle Georgia.” However, I had a copyeditor who kept wanting to change Middle Georgia to “the middle of Georgia.” I had to express in a respectful and firm way that that phrasing must stand. So know when to pick your battles.
  2. Read through that final proof with a fine tooth comb.
    • sbsb7A lot of hands and eyes will be in your book. Yet, some mistakes still don’t caught. So you have to drop what you’re doing and comb through the pages. Usually you get a few weeks or less to read through that. Don’t take it lightly.
  3. Don’t be afraid to talk to your editor, but don’t stalk them either.
    • One of my biggest mistakes this year was not communicating with my editor at the right time or at all. My mom had become sick and I foolishly thought I could care for her, my family, my business, and write a thriller. Really?! What I should have done was contact her the moment after my mom was diagnosed and talked to her about what was going on. Instead my health suffered and my story. I know I could have written a better story if I weren’t stressed with that looming deadline on my head. She gave me the extension and helped me to write a better cleaner novel. So Don’t make my mistake. Keep your editor in your loop. Be realistic about what you can do.
  4. Get to your publicity team at least nine months before your book releases.
    • You need to know if you have one or not, so that you can identify any shortfalls you will have to catch in your own marketing campaign
    • You also want to work with them on your campaign. They are pros at this and can shed a new light on how your book is perceived to your reader.
    • If your PH doesn’t have a publicity department, then build a relationship with sales and marketing. They will use the same marcomm (marketing communications) to sell your books to distributers.
  5. You will have to do some direct selling whether you want to or not.
    • Public library systems are on a strict budget. They are going to acquire books they believe their patrons will read. If you want to get into your local library, you will need to connect with the collections department manager and the branch manager. And be prepared it is going to take a while.
  6. Author Appearances at Bookstores
    • Promote that event a month before it happens. Folks won’t know you’re there unless you blow the trumpet early.
  7. Yes, you will have to write book two, while promoting book one, and pitching book three, so figure out a way to focus, write and deliver.
  8. Do not use an independent editor at this stage, because you do not have time to write copy then send it to an outside editor for clean up. It’s best your editor feels confident in your writing. You don’t want then questioning whether they should have acquired your editor instead of you.
  9. Do not use Facebook Fan Page as your website.
  10. If your publisher creates audiobooks of your novel, listen to it. It will help you read your story aloud to readers at public events.
miranda8I have plenty more truths, but I will end at that. Enjoy your first year, Debuts!
MIRANDA PARKER is the Kensington Books author of the Angel Crawford Series: A GOOD EXCUSE TO BE BAD (July 2011) and SOMEONE BAD and SOMETHING BLUE (July 2012).  She has appeared at the 2011 National Book Club Convention, the 2011 Decatur Book Festival, the 2012 SC Book Festival and has been featured in the Atlanta Journal Constitution, RT Book Reviews and Publishers Weekly. She also contributes to THE BIG THRILL and is the Social Media Person for ITW’s Debut Author Program.  Visit her at
If you would like to join the International Thriller Writer’s Debut Author Program please click this link.
If you would like to contribute to THE THRILL BEGINS contact Miranda at mparkerbooks at gmail dot com or Twitter @itwdebutauthors

Thursday, June 7, 2012

June 2012 Debut Releases

Happy June and Happy Thrilling Thursday. The first of every month we will feature members of our Debut Authors Program. We are excited to announce that five members have books being released in June 2012. Please take a look and let’s celebrate their success!

Carter Wilson
FINAL CROSSING (Vantage Point)
June 2012
Rudiger has committed atrocities even he cannot explain. God has told him he must crucify The One to bring about the Final Judgment. Thus sets off Rudiger's horrifying journey across continents in hopes bringing an end to the world, one crucifixion after another.

Gary Lawrence
Q: AWAKENING (Variance)
June 2012
Q: Awakening is the provocative tale of the lost Christian gospel called Q--for the German word "quelle" (the source)--and the brilliant but damaged scholar Declan Stewart, whose destiny is inextricably intertwined with it. From the stormy coasts of New Zealand to the deserts of the Sinai, from the cobbled streets of Zurich to the desolate mountains of Syria, Declan Stewart must locate the scattered clues to solve a 2,000-year-old puzzle in a race against hostile forces that would turn Q to their own dark ends.
Blues Highway Blues

Eyre Price
June 2012

Music promoter Daniel Erickson has the blues. There’s a Russian mobster wearing his finger on a necklace, two hitmen hot on his trail, an FBI agent obsessed with his capture and a rogue motorcycle gang hunting him down as he desperately races cross-country following the musical clues he hopes will lead him to the stolen million dollars that might not be enough to save him. Or his son. His only hope for saving them both is to find the spirit of the blues.

Matthew Quirk
THE 500 (Little, Brown)
June 2012
A year ago, fresh out of Harvard Law School, Mike Ford landed his dream job at the Davies Group, Washington's most powerful consulting firm. Now, he's staring down the barrel of a gun, pursued by two of the world's most dangerous men. To get out, he'll have to do all the things he thought he'd never do again: lie, cheat, steal-and this time, maybe even kill.

Robin Gainey
JACK OF HEARTS (Untreed Reads)
June 2012
JACK OF HEARTS is a novel of literary fiction told from the point of view of a small, aristocratic dog named Shimoni.  This imaginative first novel explores themes of fidelity and honor and offers a fresh perspective of Italian culture and amore.