263: When Big Suspense Happens in Small Towns – ThrillerFest Debut Round Table Interview


Hey there word nerds!

Today is one of my absolute favorite episodes of the year because it’s our annual ThrillerFest Debut Authors panel and I am so delighted to have August Norman, D.A. Bartley, Paula Munier, and John McMahon on the show.

Every year, I have the pleasure of attending ThrillerFest, which is a fabulous conference put on by the International Thriller Writers (ITW). I’ve attended every year since 2012 (except 2014 because Lady Bug had just been born) and this is one of my favorite conferences of the season. It’s a very collegial event, with seasoned writers and debuts supporting each other.

This particular debut authors panel has been a tradition at DIY MFA Radio for a few years and I always have a blast chatting with the debut authors about the craft and business of writing. Each year, we choose a theme and this year it’s “when big suspense happens in small town settings.” As you’ll hear in this interview, each of these authors has a unique take on this topic.

In this episode August, D.A., Paula, John and I discuss:

  • Building a compelling setting for suspense.
  • The fine art of choosing what to leave in and leave out.
  • Pacing techniques to ratchet up suspense.
  • Challenges of small town settings.
  • The debut author experience.

Plus, each of their #1 tips for writers.

For more info and shownotes: DIYMFA.com/263

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