Welcome to the Thrillerfest V Blog!

We hope you'll bookmark us, just as you bookmark so many of the hundreds of the International Thriller Writers that participate in our annual conference, held in New York City in July.

ITW is a youthful organization, always ready for a new way of looking at things. You'll find that dynamism here, in blog posts from authors, agents, editors and Thrillerfest attendees, past and present.

And that same excitement you feel from your favorite reads is evident in everything ITW does, and no wonder--the organization, staffing and publicity for ThrillerFest--including this new blog--is undertaken by volunteers, most of whom are ITW authors themselves.

So pull up a chair and stay awhile ... discover the latest news on what Thrillerfest V--the fifth anniversary of the conference--has to offer. Visit old friends, make new ones, ask questions, and hear about the remarkable things in store for the conference.

Whether or not you can come see us in New York--and we hope that you can!--please join us here. It's gonna be ... a thriller!

Kelli Stanley, Thrillerfest Publicity Committee Chair

Thrillerfest Publicity Committee:
Jeannie Holmes
CJ Lyons
Carla Buckley
Grant McKenzie

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sample the Thrill - Frame Up by John F. Dobbyn

One of many great articles that you can find each month in The Big Thrill!

Frame Up by John Dobbyn is being framed! Robin Hathaway, author of Sleight of Hand, calls it, "A poignant tale of brotherhood, torn and mended, and a thrilling mix of foreign intrigue and Mafia mayhem," while Alafair Burke, author of 212: A Novel, claims, "Frame Up is the best kind of legal crime fiction."

It was enough to make me want to do some investigating of my own. What I discovered was that Frame Up is a twisted tale of mafia gangsters and international intrigue providing an in-depth view of the criminal justice system.

In Frame Up, Michael Knight's best friend at Harvard Law, John McKedrick, takes the low road--he becomes the sole associate of a notorious mob lawyer. Meanwhile, Michael has teamed up with legendary trial attorney Lex Devlin to form their own firm. When John is murdered in a car bombing bearing the signature of his questionable clientele, Lex Devlin urges Michael to represent the alleged bomber, son of Lex's childhood friend (now the head of the Boston Mafia). In building the defense, Michael is drawn into a high-stakes art fraud that leads him into the world's most dangerous and deadly places.

I then did some digging on the author and learned a few interesting facts:

Dobbyn was born and raised in Boston--a distinct advantage in getting to know all of the streets, restaurants and hangouts frequented by his main character, Michael Knight. Later, Dobbyn attended Harvard Law School, the same place Knight earned his degree and met his best friend (who ends up dead in Frame Up).

An education at Boston Latin School gave Dobbyn the tools for writing and storytelling that he later honed during military service and the years of "central casting" experience gleaned in courtrooms following his graduation with a Masters of Laws degree from Harvard. According to Dobbyn, that's where he "gained a catalogue of characters for future stories by way of both the lawyers and their clients who appeared in the judges' courtrooms.

After several years of practicing law, came the creative writing course and the published short story that set Dobbyn on a new career path. He had taken the bait, and publishing had set the hook. According to Dobbyn, "Once set, the hook holds - even through enough rejection slips for future stories to paper a small ballroom." Eventually he went on to learn the "hidden parts of the trade of storytelling well enough to sell a story to Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and followed by about twenty-five short stories in both Ellery Queen and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine."

Then, in March of 2007, Dobbyn burst onto the mystery/legal thriller scene with his first novel, Neon Dragon. In that book, he partnered his two favorite characters, Michael Knight and Lex Devlin, weaving an adventure through the streets of Boston's Chinatown. That partnership continues in Frame Up. About which, Jeremiah Healy, author of The Only Good Lawyer, says "If you enjoy gritty legal thrillers, you will love Frame Up. From the chilling first chapter to 'negotiations' with the Mob over the death penalty without benefit of the formal criminal justice system, the characters are drawn with depth and empathy, the action with crisp claps of interpersonal thunder. Settle back in your favorite chair for a polished book that will be compared to Dennis Lehane's Mystic River."

Dobbyn currently teaches at Villanova Law School. He and his wife Lois live in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit his website at: http://www.johndobbyn.com.

Christine Goff is the award-winning author of the bestselling "Birdwatcher's Mystery" series. She began her career writing non-fiction for local, regional and national publication. Chosen Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers' 2002 Writer of the Year, two of her novels were named finalists for the prestigious Willa Literary Award for Best Original Paperback Fiction; and her latest novel, DEATH SHOOTS A BIRDIE, was a named finalist for the Colorado Authors League 2008 Best Genre Fiction Award. Her novels focus on environmental concerns through bird-related issues. Currently, she is working on a new book; a thriller set in Israel.

Find out more about great authors at ThrillerFest 2010!

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