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Kathleen Antrim


Outliers Co-Creator and CEO

Kathleen Antrim is the award-winning and bestselling author of the political thrillers "Capital Offense" and "Through a Veil Darkly.” A former national correspondent and columnist for the "San Francisco and Washington, D.C. Examiner Newspapers," she also hosted the nationally syndicated radio show "Silk & Antrim." And was a regular guest on HotTalk 560 KSFO; and “Battleline.”


She has served on various boards of directors including the San Francisco Writers Conference and International Thriller Writers.She is the past Co-President and Vice President of various roles at International Thriller Writers, and now channels her passion for writing education as the Co-Creator and CEO of Outliers-A Writing University.

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DP Lyle


Outliers Co-Creator and Program/Education Director


DP Lyle is the Amazon #1 Bestselling; Macavity and Benjamin Franklin Award-winning; and Edgar(2), Agatha, Anthony, Shamus, Scribe, and USA Today Best Book(2) Award-nominated author of 23 books, both fiction and non-fiction. He hosts the Crime Fiction Writer’s Blog and the Criminal Mischief: The Art and Science of Crime Fiction podcast series. As a founding member of International Thriller Writers he created and directed CraftFest and the Online Thriller school, and co-created and directed the Master Class program. He has worked with many novelists and with the writers of popular television shows such as Law & Order, CSI: Miami, Diagnosis Murder, Monk, Judging Amy, Peacemakers, Cold Case, House, Medium, Women’s Murder Club, 1-800-Missing, The Glades, and Pretty Little Liars.

John and Shannon Raab


 John and Shannon Raab founded Suspense Magazine in 2007 and from there, expanded into the publishing world with Suspense Publishing in 2010. Since that time, they’ve published over 200 titles, including the anthologies: NOTHING GOOD HAPPENS AFTER MIDNIGHT Edited by Jeffery Deaver and INFINITY Edited by Catherine Coulter. Suspense Magazine launched over 100 issues and the Suspense Podcasts released 950 episodes with over 2,000 author interviews. In 2023, John and Shannon took on the role of co-editors of The Big Thrill and Write2Thrill for the International Thriller Writers. When they’re not traveling around Asia, they live in Los Angeles and spend their free time with their amazing daughters and granddaughter.

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Jeffrey Deaver

Jeffery Deaver is an international number-one bestselling author. His novels have appeared on bestseller lists around the world. His books are sold in 150 countries and translated into twenty-five languages. He has served two terms as president of Mystery Writers of America, and was recently named a Grand Master of MWA, whose ranks include Agatha Christie, Ellery Queen, Mary Higgins Clark and Walter Mosely.

The author of more than forty novels, three collections of short stories and a nonfiction law book, and a lyricist of a country-western album, he’s received or been shortlisted for dozens of awards.

Deaver has been honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Bouchercon World Mystery Convention, the Strand Magazine’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Raymond Chandler Lifetime Achievement Award in Italy.

Heather Graham


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, Heather Graham, majored in theater arts at the University of South Florida. After a stint of several years in dinner theater, back-up vocals, and bartending, she stayed home after the birth of her third child and began to write. Her first book was with Dell, and since then, she has written over two hundred novels and novellas including category, suspense, historical romance, vampire fiction, time travel, occult, sci-fi, young adult, and Christmas family fare. 

She is pleased to have been published in approximately twenty-five languages. She has written over 200 novels and has 60 million books in print. Heather has been honored with awards from booksellers and writers’ organizations for excellence in her work, and she is the proud to be a recipient of the Silver Bullet from Thriller Writers and was awarded the prestigious Thriller Master Award in 2016. She is also a recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award from RWA.  Heather has had books selected for the Doubleday Book Club and the Literary Guild, and has been quoted, interviewed, or featured in such publications as The Nation, Redbook, Mystery Book Club, People and USA Today and appeared on many newscasts including Today, Entertainment Tonight and local television. 

Heather loves travel and anything that has to do with the water, and is a certified scuba diver. She also loves ballroom dancing. Each year she hosts a Vampire Ball and Dinner theater raising money for the Pediatric Aids Society and in 2006 she hosted the first Writers for New Orleans Workshop to benefit the stricken Gulf Region.  She is also the founder of “The Slush Pile Players,” presenting something that’s “almost like entertainment” for various conferences and benefits. Married since high school graduation and the mother of five, her greatest love in life remains her family, but she also believes her career has been an incredible gift, and she is grateful every day to be doing something that she loves so very much for a living.

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Hank Phillippi Ryan


HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN is the USA Today bestselling author of 15 psychological thrillers, winning the most prestigious awards in the genre: five Agathas, five Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award. She is also on-air investigative reporter for Boston's WHDH-TV, with 37 EMMYs and dozens more journalism honors. National book critics call her “a superb and gifted storyteller.” Her current novel is the page-turning standalone THE HOUSE GUEST, a story of psychological manipulation exploring the dark heart of marriage and friendship. Publishers Weekly says “Ryan is a master of suspense!” and Library Journal says "Ryan is has a gift for writing superb suspense." Hank is the co-host and founder of THE BACK ROOM, host of CRIME TIME on A Mighty Blaze, and co-host of FIRST CHAPTER FUN. Watch for her newest thriller ONE WRONG WORD, coming February 2024.

Steven James


Steven James is a critically acclaimed author of nineteen novels and numerous nonfiction books that have sold more than 1 million copies. His books have won or been shortlisted for dozens of national and international awards. In addition, his stories and articles have appeared in more than eighty different publications, including The New York Times. He is also a popular keynote speaker and professional storyteller with a master's degree in storytelling. Since 1996 he has appeared more than two thousand times at events spanning the globe, presenting his stories and teaching the principles of storytelling to writers, speakers, teachers, and leaders. When he's not writing or speaking, he hosts the weekly podcast The Story Blender, on which he interviews some of the world's leading writers and storytellers. In 2020 he was inducted into the Christy Hall of Fame for excellence in fiction writing. Publishers Weekly has called him "[a] master storyteller at the peak of his game.” 

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Tosca  Lee


Tosca Lee is a New York Times bestselling author of twelve novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, The Historical Novel Society, Booklist, Woman’s World, Dallas Morning News, and The Midwest Book Review as “a tour de force,” “a must-read literary triumph,” “powerful,” and “mind-bending.” Lee’s books have been translated into seventeen languages and optioned for TV and film. She received her B.A. from Smith College and makes her home in Nebraska. To learn more, please visit:  

Don Bentley


Don Bentley is the New York Times Bestselling author of the Matt Drake series (Forgotten War 2023), four Tom Clancy Jack Ryan, Jr. novels (Weapons Grade 2023), and the Vince Flynn Mitch Rapp series (2024). Don spent a decade as an Army Apache helicopter pilot, and while deployed in Afghanistan was awarded the Bronze Star Medal and the Air Medal with "V" device for valor. Following his time in the military, Don worked as an FBI special agent, focusing on foreign intelligence and counterintelligence and was a Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team member. Don lives with his family in Austin, Texas.

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Jon Land


JON LAND is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 60 books, including his Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong series. Jon has also taken over two of the most iconic legacy brands in mystery-thriller fiction, penning six titles in the Murder, She Wrote and two in the Capital Crimes series. Additionally, Jon has teamed with multiple New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham on a bestselling sci-fi series that includes THE RISING and BLOOD MOON. His next thriller series, written with fellow author Jeff Ayers under the pseudonym A. J. Landau, debuts in February of 2024 with Leave No Trace from Minotaur. The author of numerous, similarly acclaimed nonfiction titles, Jon has more recently turned his talents to ghostwriting with his first effort in that arena, WHITE ROBES AND BROKEN BADGES coming from Harper Collins in August of 2024.

Boyd Morrison


Boyd Morrison is an actor, engineer, Jeopardy! champion, and the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen thrillers, including six collaborations with Clive Cussler in the Oregon Files series. His debut novel, THE ARK, was an Indie Next Notable pick and has been translated into over a dozen languages. Before becoming a writer, he worked at Johnson Space Center, RCA/Thomson, and Microsoft’s Xbox group. His latest thriller THE LAST TRUE TEMPLAR is the second book in the Tales of the Lawless Land series of historical adventures co-written with his sister, expert medievalist Beth Morrison.

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Harry Hunsicker

Harry Hunsicker is the bestselling author of nine crime thrillers, including The Life and Death of Rose Doucette (October 2024). He’s also written numerous short stories and a recently produced short screenplay, which has received numerous accolades.  His prose work has been short-listed for both the Shamus and Thriller Awards.  Hunsicker is the former executive vice president of the Mystery Writers of America and in 2019 he served as Toastmaster for the 50th anniversary of Bouchercon, the world mystery conference.

Allison Brennan


New York Times bestselling and award-winning author Allison Brennan believes that life is too short to be bored, so she had five kids and writes three books a year. A fifth-generation Californian, she moved with her family to Arizona in 2019 where she enjoys hiking, baseball Spring Training, and (of course) reading. Allison is best known for her long-running Lucy Kincaid FBI series, and her Quinn & Costa thrillers. Her new Angelhart PI series launches the summer of 2024.

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Tamara Grantham


Tamara Grantham is the author of more than twenty books and novellas, including many multi-award-winning fantasy novels for middle-grade through adult readers. Many of her novels launched as #1 bestsellers on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Some of her awards include two first place Rone awards, a Praiseworthy award, and an Indiefab book of the year award for fantasy. Born and raised in Texas, Tamara now lives with her husband and five children in Wichita, Kansas. When she gets a moment to relax, she enjoys reading fantasy novels and watching every Star Wars or Star Trek movie ever made.

Tim Maleeny


TIM MALEENY is the bestselling author of the multiple award-winning Cape Weathers mysteries and the comedic thriller JUMP, which Publishers Weekly describes as “a perfectly blended cocktail of escapism.”  His latest is a global art heist called HANGING THE DEVIL, which Library Journal calls “relentlessly fast-paced with delightful dry humor” in a starred review. His short fiction appears in a number of leading anthologies and has won the Macavity Award for best story of the year. The Irish Times says, “If comic crime fiction is your thing, Maleeny delivers in spades.” He currently lives and writes at an undisclosed location in New York City.

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Cody Blocker


Cody is an Amazon #1 Best Selling Author and a ghostwriter of over 50 books and over 3 million words. As a freelance ghostwriter, Cody focuses on the thriller, mystery, sci-fi and fantasy genres. He also works as a story doctor, editing consultant and a writing coach. He is a lover of storytelling primarily in novels and films. When Cody is not writing, he is teaching writing and helping authors develop their manuscripts into compelling stories that sell.

KJ Howe


KJ Howe is the international bestselling author of The Freedom Broker series showcasing elite kidnap negotiator Thea Paris. She is also the executive director of the International Thriller Writers, an organization that supports thriller authors worldwide. KJ completed her Masters in Writing Popular Fiction at Seton Hill University and won the Thriller Award for Best First Novel.

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Joseph Badal


Prior to his literary career, Joe served six years as an officer in the U.S. Army, including tours of duty in Vietnam and Greece, from which he received numerous decorations. After his military service, he worked for thirty-six years in the banking & finance industries and was a founding director and senior executive of a New York Stock Exchange-listed company for sixteen years.


Joe is an Amazon #1 bestselling author, with 18 published, award-winning suspense novels. He has been recognized as “One of The 50 Best Writers You Should Be Reading.” He was named Writer of the Year by the Military Writers Society of America in 2021, is a two-time winner of the Tony Hillerman Prize for Best Fiction Book of the Year, a four-time Military Writers Society of America Gold Medal Winner, an Eric Hoffer Prize Winner, a Book Excellence award winner, a four-time “Finalist” in the International Book Awards competition, and a top prize winner on multiple occasions in the New Mexico/Arizona Book Awards competition, including “Best of Show” in 2021.

Stacy Woodson


Stacy Woodson is a multi-award-winning crime fiction writer and a U.S. Army veteran. Memories of her time in the military are often a source of inspiration for her stories. She made her crime fiction debut in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine's Department of First Stories and won the 2018 Readers Award. It was the second time in the award's 34-year history that a debut story took first place.

Since her debut, Stacy has placed stories in several anthologies and magazines—some adapted for animation. She is a two-time Derringer award winner for excellence in short mystery fiction (three-time nominee), a quarterfinalist for Screencraft's best cinematic short story, as well as a Daphne du Maurier award winner for best unpublished novel. Currently, she is co-editing anthologies for Down and Out Books and Level Best Books. She’s also a member of the Screen Actors Guild. When not writing, she works as background talent for movies and television. Past projects include Showtime's Homeland, Amazon's Jack Ryan, AMC's The Walking Dead: World Beyond, and Wonder Woman 1984.

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Michael Bracken


Michael Bracken is the Edgar Award-nominated, Shamus Award-nominated, Derringer Award-winning author of more than 1,200 short stories, including crime fiction published in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine, The Best American Mystery Stories, The Best Mystery Stories of the Year, and many other publications. Additionally, Bracken is the editor of Black Cat Mystery Magazine and several anthologies, including the Anthony Award-nominated The Eyes of Texas: Private Eyes from the Panhandle to the Piney Woods. His stories have been translated into several languages, released in audio format, and adapted for animation.


Additionally, Bracken served as vice president of the Private Eye Writers of America, has served on the board of the Mystery Writers of America and is a Consulting Editor for Level Short, an imprint of Level Best Books.

Matt Witten


Matt Witten is a TV writer, novelist, playwright, and screenwriter who has written for many TV shows including House, Pretty Little Liars, CSI: Miami, and Law & Order. His thriller novel The Necklace is published in eight languages and optioned for film by Leonardo DiCaprio, and his latest thriller Killer Story, about a true-crime podcaster, came out last year. Matt wrote four amateur sleuth novels, including the Malice Domestic Award-winning Breakfast at Madeline’s, and he has been nominated for two Edgars and an Emmy. His published stage plays include The Deal, Washington Square Moves, and The Ties That Bind. He wrote the movie Drones, produced by Whitewater Films. Most recently Matt wrote a Hallmark Mystery Movie based on the novel A Dark and Stormy Murder, by Julia Buckley.

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Terry Shepherd


Terry Shepherd has been an award-winning broadcaster, corporate executive, academic and entrepreneur. He is the author of the Jessica Ramirez Thrillers. Terry began podcasting in 2005 and currently hosts IN CONVERSATION WITH TERRY SHEPHERD, focusing on the writers and support systems behind the stories we love. He also writes non-fiction, including SOCIAL MEDIA AND YOUR PERSONAL BRAND (2007) and the 2024 release HOW TO BE A DYNAMIC PODCAST GUEST AND SELL STUFF. When he’s not writing, he hosts a daily radio program at Detroit’s Keener 13.

Meg Gardiner



Meg Gardiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of sixteen novels. Her thrillers have won the Edgar Award and been summer reading picks by The Today Show and O, the Oprah magazine. In August 2022 Heat 2, co-authored with Michael Mann, debuted at #1 on the New York Times best seller list. A former lawyer, two-time president of Mystery Writers of America, and three-time Jeopardy! champion, Gardiner lives in Austin.

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Mark Tavani

Mark Tavani is a literary agent with the David Black Literary Agency, where he represents both fiction and nonfiction. Before becoming an agent, he was an editor with Penguin Random House for more than 20 years with Penguin Random House. He edited bestsellers and award-winners across numerous categories of fiction and nonfiction, including books by Jim Abbott, Steve Berry, C.J. Box, Robert Crais, Justin Cronin, Clive and Dirk Cussler, Jeffery Deaver, George Dohrmann, Lisa Gardner, Jack McCallum, Lisa Scottoline, Bill Simmons, and R.L. Stine. He lives in New Jersey with his family.

Vincent Davis


Vincent B. Davis II writes historical fiction books to keep the past alive through the power of storytelling. He is also an entrepreneur, speaker, and veteran who is a proud graduate of East Tennessee State University and was honorably discharged from the the US Army in 2022. Armed with a pen and an entrepreneurial spirit, Vincent quit his day job and decided it was as good a time as any to follow his dream. He's since published eight historical fiction novels, five of which have become Amazon International Best Sellers.


Vincent’s mission is to inspire and empower others through fiction, as well as his marketing services for writers. Understanding Amazon’s algorithms are the key to success for independent and traditional authors alike. But many writers struggle with cracking the code and unlocking the secrets to gain more exposure. Through Vincent’s services at, he works with authors so that they can become found by their target readers and earn more sales on Amazon. He’s an expert at making the complex simple so authors can focus on what matters most: writing

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Lt. Brandon Watkins


Lt. Brandon Watkins is a 27 year veteran of the Tulsa Police Department having spent over 20 years of that in Detective Division—working in the Child Exploitation unit and leading the Burglary and Armed Robbery Units. For the past six years he has led the Tulsa Police Department’s Homicide Unit investigating nearly 400 homicides with a 95 percent closure rate. The work of TPD’s Homicide Unit has been showcased on “The First 48” on A&E since 2016 putting an international spotlight on the unit’s unprecedented success. Before becoming a police officer, Watkins spent five years as a newspaper reporter covering the crime beat and seeing policing from outside the law enforcement bubble. Watkins is the father of two and spends his free time with his girlfriend traveling, camping and avoiding human contact.

Amy Scher


AMY B. SCHER is the bestselling author of five books which have been translated into over 20 languages. Amy’s work helps people break through blocks to become their happiest, healthiest, and most creative selves. With over a decade’s experience in publishing, business, and marketing (former marketing director for Harley-Davidson), she has a knack for seamlessly combining the necessary elements a proposal needs. She helps authors think like a “business person” to write a compelling book proposal that gets noticed—and garners offers for a deal. Her work has been featured in Oprah Daily, CNN, CBS, Washington Post, Cosmopolitan, Good Morning America, and more. She lives in New York City. Amy can be found online at 

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John Ferriso


John Ferriso is a retired Sergeant New York City Police Department. He was a September 11th, 2001, rescue and recovery worker and sergeant assigned to the Internal Affairs Bureau. His last assignment in the NYPD was Sergeant Missing Persons Squad, supervising an office of 20 detectives, with 7,000 cases per year. A short story published online detailing what he witnessed on September 11, 2001, In a New York minute, an officer’s eyewitness account of the events of September 11, 2001. He is a published author of short stories. All in a day’s work: an officer accounts 20 years NYPD. One of his short stories titled “what if the police called all your contacts, what would they say about you” was published in Psychology Today. He is the owner of Ferris Investigation’s a New York private investigators company that specializes in missing person investigations. He uses his skills with nationwide non-profit organizations who investigate and re-examine missing person cold cases. He has been featured on podcasts where his cold case investigations are brought to the attention of new audiences. He has worked as Security Supervisor Empire State Building and currently works in private security for a New York City Wall Street firm. He is a married father of two children living in Queens NY. 

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