The Back Room thanks all our stellar award-winning, bestselling authors for their participation and support. We couldn’t do this without you!
Brian Andrews is a US Navy veteran, nuclear engineer, and former submarine officer. He graduated from Vanderbilt University with a degree in psychology, holds a Master’s in business from Cornell, and is a Park Leadership Fellow.
Brian co-authors the Wall Street Journal and #1 Amazon best-selling TIER ONE thriller series with Jeffrey Wilson. Starting 2021, he and Jeff have been tapped to write the W.E.B Griffin Presidential Agent Series.
Learn more at www.brianandrewsauthor.com
Finola Austin’s debut historical fiction novel, Brontë’s Mistress, was released by Atria Books in August 2020. Finola is an England-born, Northern Ireland-raised, Brooklyn-based historical novelist and lover of the 19th century.
Her masters dissertation focused on the works of Victorian sensation novelists Mary Elizabeth Braddon and Wilkie Collins. Her interest in literature continued beyond her academic studies and she founded the Secret Victorianist, an award-winning blog dedicated to nineteenth-century literature and culture.
By day, she works in digital advertising. She lives in Brooklyn, with her Siberian cat, Arabella, and too many books. Find her online at finolaaustin.com.
Melanie Benjamin is the author of the New York Times and USA Today bestselling historical novels The Swans of Fifth Avenue, about Truman Capote and his society swans, and The Aviator’s Wife, a novel about Anne Morrow Lindbergh. Her latest novel, Mistress of the Ritz, is a taut tale of suspense wrapped up in a love story for the ages, the inspiring story of a woman and a man who discover the best in each other amid the turbulence of war.
Melanie’s novels have been translated in over fifteen languages, featured in national magazines such as Good Housekeeping, People, and Entertainment Weekly, and optioned for film.
When she isn’t writing or speaking, she’s reading. And always looking for new stories to tell. Learn more at melaniebenjamin.com.
James R. Benn is the author of Billy Boyle: A World War II Mystery, selected by Book Sense as one of the top five mysteries of 2006 and nominated for a Dilys Award. The First Wave was a Book Sense Notable title.
Benn did not begin his writing career until age fifty. Prior to that he served as head of information for the West Hartford Public Schools in West Hartford, Connecticut. Benn retired as the director of the Godfrey Memorial Library, a private family history library in Middletown, Connecticut, to write full-time in 2010. Benn is a librarian and lives in Hadlyme, Connecticut.
Visit his website at www.jamesrbenn.com.
Lucy Burdette is the author of the Key West food critic mystery series, including An Appetite for Murder, Death in Four Courses, and Topped Chef (NAL.), Murder with Ganache, Death with All the Trimmings, Fatal Reservations, and Killer Takeout.
Lucy’s alter-ego, clinical psychologist Roberta Isleib, has published eight mysteries including the golf lover’s mystery series and the advice column mysteries. Her books and stories have been short-listed for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards. She’s a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime, and a past-president of Sisters in Crime. Visit her at lucyburdette.com.
Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.
She is the internationally bestselling author of several thrillers, including top ten Sunday Times bestseller It’s Always the Husband; A Stranger on the Beach, which was recently optioned for film by Anonymous Content; and The Wife Who Knew Too Much, which Newsweek called, “the perfect escape.”
Learn more at www.michelecampbellbooks.com.
Jennifer J. Chow is a Chinese-American author who writes multicultural mysteries and fantastical YA. Her Asian-American novels include Dragonfly Dreams (a Teen Vogue pick), The 228 Legacy, and the Winston Wong cozy mystery series.
Her short fiction has most recently appeared in the STEM anthology, Brave New Girls: Tales of Heroines who Hack, Hyphen Magazine, and Yay! LA Magazine.
Learn more at jenniferjchow.com.
Megan Collins is the author of The Winter Sister and Behind the Red Door (Atria/Simon & Schuster). She received her B.A. in English and Creative Writing from Wheaton College in Norton, Massachusetts, and she holds an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Boston University, where she was a teaching fellow.
She has taught creative writing at the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts and Central Connecticut State University, and she is Managing Editor of 3Elements Review.
A Pushcart Prize and two-time Best of the Net nominee, her work has appeared in many print and online journals, including Compose, Linebreak, Off the Coast, Spillway, Tinderbox Poetry Journal, and Rattle. She lives in Connecticut. Learn more about Megan at www.megancollins.com.
Liv Constantine is the pen name of USA Today, Wall Street Journal, and international bestselling authors and sisters Lynne Constantine and Valerie Constantine. Their debut thriller, THE LAST MRS. PARRISH, was a Reese Witherspoon book club selection, a People Magazine book of the week, a Target book club selection, and is in development for television. Their second book, THE LAST TIME I SAW YOU, was published by HarperCollins in May and is in development for film. THE WIFE STALKER, their third book, published on May 19, 2019. Their books are available in over 32 countries.
Separated by three states, they spend hours plotting via Facetime and burning up each other’s emails. They attribute their ability to concoct dark storylines to the hours they spent listening to tales handed down by their Greek grandmother. Learn more at livconstantine.com.
Fiona Davis is the New York Times bestselling author of historical novels set in iconic New York City buildings, including The Lions of Fifth Avenue (a Good Morning America book club pick) and The Chelsea Girls.
She began her career in New York City as an actress, working on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a master’s degree at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down to write fiction.
Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages and she’s based in New York City. Learn more at fionadavis.net.
Karen Dionne is the USA Today and #1 internationally bestselling author of the award-winning psychological suspense novel The Marsh King’s Daughter, published by G.P. Putnam’s Sons in the US and in 25 other countries, and The Wicked Sister (August 2020), also from G.P. Putnam’s Sons. The Marsh King’s Daughter was named a 2018 Michigan Notable Book, took home the Barry and the Crimson Scribe Awards for Best Novel, and was chosen as one of the best books of 2017 by many booksellers and reviewers.
In a starred review, Publishers Weekly calls The Wicked Sister “A devastating, magic realism–dusted psychological thriller . . . Dionne paints a haunting portrait of a family hurtling toward the tragic destiny they can foresee but are powerless to stop.” Visit Karen at www.karen-dionne.com
Samantha Downing is the author of the bestselling My Lovely Wife, nominated for Edgar, ITW, Macavity, and CWA awards. Amazon Studios and Nicole Kidman’s Blossom Films have partnered to produce a feature film based on the novel.
Her second book, He Started It, was released on July 21, 2020 and became an instant international bestseller. She currently lives in New Orleans.
Learn more at www.samanthadowning.com.
Tori Eldridge is the Anthony, Lefty, and Macavity Awards-nominated author of The Ninja Daughter, which was named one of the “Best Mystery Books of the Year”by The South Florida Sun Sentinel and awarded 2019 Thriller Book of the Year by Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.
Tori holds a fifth-degree black belt in To-Shin Do ninjutsu and has traveled the USA teaching seminars on the ninja arts, weapons, and women’s self-protection. Find her online at ToriEldridge.com.
Joseph Finder is the New York Times bestselling author of fifteen previous suspense novels, including Judgement, The Switch, The Fixer and Suspicion. He introduced “private spy” Nick Heller in Vanished, an instant bestseller, and the continuing series includes Buried Secrets, Guilty Minds and House on Fire. 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.
Find him on the web at josephfinder.com.
A writer since childhood, Alexia Gordon won her first writing prize in the 6th grade. She continued writing through college but put literary endeavors on hold to finish medical school and Family Medicine residency training. She established her medical career then returned to writing fiction.
Raised in the southeast, schooled in the northeast, she relocated to the west where she completed Southern Methodist University’s Writer’s Path program. She admits Texas brisket is as good as Carolina pulled pork. She practices medicine in North Chicago, IL. She enjoys the symphony, art collecting, embroidery, and ghost stories.
Learn more at alexiagordon.net.
Heather Gudenkauf is the Edgar Award nominated, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Weight of Silence, These Things Hidden and Not A Sound.
Heather was born in Wagner, South Dakota, the youngest of six children. Having been born with a profound unilateral hearing loss (there were many evenings when Heather and her father made a trip to the bus barn to look around the school bus for her hearing aids that she often conveniently would forget on the seat beside her), Heather tended to use books as a retreat, would climb into the toy box that her father’s students made for the family with a pillow, blanket, and flashlight, close the lid, and escape the world around her. Heather became a voracious reader and the seed of becoming a writer was planted.
Heather lives in Iowa with her family and a very spoiled German Shorthaired Pointer named Lolo. In her free time Heather enjoys spending time with her family, reading and hiking. Learn more at heathergudenkauf.com.
Edwin Hill is the author of the critically-acclaimed Hester Thursby mystery series, the first of which, Little Comfort, was an Agatha Award finalist, a selection of the Mysterious Press First Mystery Club and a Publishers Marketplace Buzz Books selection.
Formerly the vice president and editorial director for Bedford/St. Martin’s (Macmillan), he now teaches at Emerson College and has written for the LA Review of Books, The Life Sentence, Publisher’s Weekly, and Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine. He lives in Roslindale, Massachusetts with his partner Michael and their lab, Edith Ann.
Visit him online at www.Edwin-Hill.com.
Rachel Howzell Hall, author of the bestseller and Anthony-, ITW- and Lefty Award-nominated They All Fall Down (Forge), writes the acclaimed Lou Norton series, including Land of Shadows, Skies of Ash, Trail of Echoes, and City of Saviors. She is also the co-author of The Good Sister with James Patterson, which was included in the New York Times bestseller The Family Lawyer.
She is currently on the board of directors for the Southern California chapter of Mystery Writers of America, and lives in Los Angeles. Her next novel And Now She’s Gone (Forge) will be published in September 2020. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter. Visit her at www.rachelhowzell.com.
Hammett Award and Nero Prize-winning novelist Stephen Mack Jones is the author of the critically acclaimed thrillers August Snow and Lives Laid Away. Lives Laid Away was short-listed for the CWA-UK “Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award.”
Once-upon-a-time he worked in advertising and marketing communications for which he is deeply sorry and promises never to do that again. Mr. Jones lives in suburban Detroit and has three adult children that mostly like him. Visit his website at www.stephenmackjones.com.
Ausma Zehanat Khan is a British-born Canadian living in the United States, whose own parents are heirs to a complex story of migration to and from three different continents. A former adjunct professor at American and Canadian universities, she holds a Ph.D. in International Human Rights Law, with the 1995 Srebrenica massacre as the main subject of her dissertation.
Previously the Editor in Chief of Muslim Girl Magazine, Ausma Zehanat Khan has moved frequently, traveled extensively, and written compulsively. She is the author of the Esa Khattak/Rachel Getty mystery series and The Khorasan Archives fantasy series. Learn more at www.ausmazehanatkhan.com.
Angie Kim is the author of the international bestseller and Edgar winner Miracle Creek, named a “Best Book of the Year” by Time, The Washington Post, Kirkus, and The Today Show, among others.
A Korean immigrant, former editor of the Harvard Law Review, and one of Variety Magazine’s inaugural “10 Storytellers to Watch,” Kim has written for Vogue, TheNew York Times Book Review, TheWashington Post, Glamour, and numerous literary journals. She lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and three sons. Visit her at angiekimbooks.com.
William Kent Krueger is the author of the New York Times bestselling Cork O’Connor mystery series, set in the great Northwoods of Minnesota. His work has received the Edgar Award, Macavity Award, multiple Anthony, Barry, and Dilys Awards, the Friends of the American Writers Prize, and has been translated into more than twenty languages.
He lives in Saint Paul and does all his creative writing in local, author-friendly coffee shops. His most recent novel This Tender Land has spent more than three months on the New York Time bestseller list. Visit his website at williamkentkrueger.com.
Strong Enough to Die, Strong Justice, Strong at the Break, Strong Vengeance, Strong Rain Falling (winner of the 2014 International Book Award and 2013 USA Best Book Award for Mystery-Suspense), Strong Darkness (winner of the 2014 USA Books Best Book Award and the 2015 International Book Award for Thriller, and Strong Light of Day which won the 2016 International Book Award for Best Thriller-Adventure, the 2015 Books and Author Award for Best Mystery Thriller, and the 2016 Beverly Hills Book Award for Best Mystery.
Learn more at www.jonlandbooks.com.
Raised in the Midwest, Greer Macallister is a novelist, poet and playwright who earned her MFA in creative writing from American University. Her debut novel The Magician’s Lie was a USA Today bestseller, an Indie Next pick, and a Target Book Club selection.
Her novels Girl in Disguise (“a rip-roaring, fast-paced treat to read” – Booklist) and Woman 99 (“a nail biter that makes you want to stand up and cheer” – Kate Quinn) were inspired by pioneering 19th-century private detective Kate Warne and fearless journalist Nellie Bly, respectively.
Her next book, The Arctic Fury, is forthcoming from Sourcebooks in December 2020.
A regular contributor to Writer Unboxed and the Chicago Review of Books, she lives with her family in Washington, DC. Learn more at www.greermacallister.com.
Christina McDonald is the USA Today bestselling author of Behind Every Lie and The Night Olivia Fell (Simon & Schuster/Gallery Books), which has been optioned for television by a major Hollywood studio. Her third book, Do No Harm, is available February 2021.
Her writing has been featured in The Sunday Times, Dublin, USAToday.com, and Expedia. Originally from Seattle, WA, she has an MA in Journalism from the National University of Ireland Galway, and now lives in London, England with her husband, two sons, and their dog, Tango. She’s currently working on her next novel. Visit her at christina-mcdonald.com.
Kristina McMorris is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author published by Sourcebooks Landmark, Penguin Random House, HarperCollins, and Kensington Books. Her novels have garnered more than two dozen prestigious awards and nominations, including the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, RWA’s RITA® Award, and a Goodreads Choice Award for Best Historical Fiction.
Since her debut released in 2011, Kristina’s published works have expanded to include the novels Bridge of Scarlet Leaves, The Pieces We Keep, and The Edge of Lost, and Sold on a Monday in addition to her novellas in the anthologies A Winter Wonderland and Grand Central. Rights to her books have also been sold to numerous foreign publishers, Readers Digest, Doubleday, the Literary Guild, and more.
A frequent guest speaker and workshop presenter, McMorris holds a B.S. in International Marketing from Pepperdine University. For her diverse achievements, she has been named one of Portland’s “Forty Under 40” by The Business Journal. She lives with her husband and two sons in Oregon, where she is still sleep deprived but eagerly working on her next novel. Learn more at kristinamcmorris.com.
Jenn McKinlay is the New York Times, USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of several mystery and romance series. She is also the winner of the RT Reviewer’s Choice Award for romantic comedy and the Fresh Fiction award for best cozy mystery.
A TEDx speaker, she is always happy to talk books, writing, reading, and the creative process to anyone who cares to listen. She lives in sunny Arizona in a house that is overrun with kids, pets, and her husband’s guitars.
Visit her website at: www.jennmckinlay.com
Hannah Mary McKinnon was born in the UK, grew up in Switzerland and moved to Canada in 2010. After a successful career in recruitment, she quit the corporate world in favor of writing. While her debut, Time After Time, was a rom com, she transitioned to the dark side thereafter.
Her bestselling suspense novels include The Neighbors, Her Secret Son, and Sister Dear. Hannah Mary lives in Oakville, Ontario, with her husband and three sons. For more information visit www.hannahmarymckinnon.com
Paula Munier is the USA Today bestselling author of the Mercy Carr mysteries. A Borrowing of Bones, the first in the series, was nominated for the Mary Higgins Clark Award and named the Dogwise Book of the Year. Blind Search was inspired by the real-life rescue of a little boy with autism who got lost in the woods. The Hiding Place debuts in March 2021.
Paula credits the hero dogs of Mission K9 Rescue, her own rescue dogs, and a deep love of New England as her series’ major influences. Paula has also written three popular books on writing: Plot Perfect, The Writer’s Guide to Beginnings, and Writing with Quiet Hands, as well as Fixing Freddie and Happier Every Day. Visit her website at paulamunier.com.
Weaned on the images of Kirby and Steranko in comics and Hammet and Himes in prose, Gary Phillips was born under a bad sign and only through writing does he hope to get out from under. His latest novel is Matthew Henson and the Ice Temple of Harlem.
For more of his work, please visit his website at: www.gdphillips.com.
Lori Rader-Day is the Edgar Award-nominated and Anthony and Mary Higgins Clark award-winning author of The Lucky One, Under a Dark Sky, The Day I Died, Little Pretty Things, and The Black Hour. She lives in Chicago, where she is co-chair of the mystery readers’ conference Murder and Mayhem in Chicago and the national president of Sisters in Crime.
Learn more at loriraderday.com.
New York Times and USA Today bestselling novelist Deanna Raybourn is a 6th-generation native Texan. Her novels have been nominated for numerous awards including five RITAs, two RT Reviewers’ Choice awards, the Agatha, two Dilys Winns, a Last Laugh, and three du Mauriers.
Her Lady Julia Grey novels are currently in development as a television series in the UK and she launched a new Victorian mystery series with the 2015 release of A Curious Beginning, featuring intrepid butterfly-hunter and amateur sleuth, Veronica Speedwell. Veronica’s most recent adventure is A Perilous Undertaking (January 2017), and book three, A Treacherous Curse, was published in January 2018.
Married to her college sweetheart and the mother of one, Raybourn makes her home in Virginia. Learn more at www.deannaraybourn.com.
Hank Phillippi Ryan is the USA Today bestselling author of eleven award winning novels of suspense. National reviews have called her a “master at crafting suspenseful mysteries” and “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her 2020 book is The First to Lie. The Publishers Weekly Starred Review calls it “Stellar.” Hank is also an award-winning investigative reporter at Boston’s WHDH-TV. In addition to 36 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow awards, Hank’s won dozens of other honors for her ground-breaking journalism.
Hank is a founding teacher at Mystery Writers of America University and served as 2013 president of national Sisters in Crime. She blogs at Jungle Red Writers and Career Authors. Learn more about Hank at www.HankPhillippiRyan.com.
Julia Spencer-Fleming is The New York Times bestselling author of One Was A Soldier, and an Agatha, Anthony, Dilys, Barry, Macavity, and Gumshoe Award winner. She studied acting and history at Ithaca College and received her J.D. at the University of Maine School of Law.
Her books have been shortlisted for the Edgar, Nero Wolfe, and Romantic Times RC awards. Julia lives in a 190-year-old farmhouse in southern Maine.
Learn more at us.macmillan.com/author/juliaspencerfleming
Sarah Stewart Taylor is the author of the Sweeney St. George series and the Maggie D’arcy series. She grew up on Long Island, and was educated at Middlebury College in Vermont and Trinity College, Dublin, where she studied Irish Literature.
She has worked as a journalist and writing teacher and now lives with her family on a farm in Vermont where they raise sheep and grow blueberries.
Visit Sarah at www.sarahstewarttaylor.com.
Lisa Unger is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. With books published in twenty-six languages and millions of copies sold worldwide, she is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her new release is Confessions on the 7:45.
Unger’s critically acclaimed books have been named on “Best Book” lists from the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, People, Amazon, Goodreads, and many others. She has been nominated for, or won, numerous awards including the Hammett Prize, Macavity, Thriller Award, and Goodreads Choice. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few authors, including Agatha Christie. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure.
She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family. Learn more at lisaunger.com.
Wendy Walker is the author of the psychological suspense novels All is Not Forgotten, Emma In The Night, The Night Before and Don’t Look For Me. Her novels have been translated into 23 foreign languages and have topped bestseller lists both nationally and abroad. They have been featured on The Today Show, The Reese Witherspoon Book Club, and The Book of the Month Club and have been optioned for television and film.
Prior to her writing career, Wendy practiced both corporate and family law, and as a financial analyst at Goldman, Sachs & Co. Wendy is currently finishing her next thriller and managing a busy household in Connecticut. Find her at WendyWalkerBooks.com
David Heska Wanbli Weiden, an enrolled member of the Sicangu Lakota nation, is author of the novel Winter Counts (Ecco/HarperCollins, 2020). Winter Counts has been selected as an Amazon Best Book of August, Best of the Month by Apple Books, a September main selection of the Book of the Month Club, and is an Indie Next Great Reads pick for September.
The novel received rave reviews from New York Times, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, Washington Post, Shelf Awareness, Booklist, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Denver Post, USA Today, San Francisco Chronicle, BookPage, Air Mail, Fredricksburg Free-Lance Star, and Los Angeles Times. It was mentioned as one of 2020’s most anticipated books by Library Journal, O, the Oprah Magazine, USA Today, Washington Post, Time, Salon, CrimeReads, Mystery Tribune, BuzzFeed, The Rumpus, Electric Lit, Betches, Shondaland, Dandelion Chandelier, Popsugar, Debutiful, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Observer, Lit Hub, AARP Magazine, The Millions, The Writer, and Book Riot.
Learn more at davidweiden.com.
Lauren Willig is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty works of historical fiction, including Band of Sisters, The Summer Country, The English Wife, the RITA Award-winning Pink Carnation series, and three novels co-written with Beatriz Williams and Karen White.
Her books have been translated into over a dozen languages, awarded the RITA, Booksellers Best, and Golden Leaf awards, and chosen for the American Library Association’s annual list of the best genre fiction.
An alumna of Yale University, she has a graduate degree in history from Harvard and a JD from Harvard Law School. She lives in New York City with her husband, two young children, and vast quantities of coffee. Learn more at laurenwillig.com.