Sunday, December 2, 2012


Austin! You really have to say that with an Austin Powers voice for full effect!  But the fictional character that spoofed the fictional spy James Bond tongue- in-cheekedly referred to himself as an "international man of mystery." And as an "international man of mystery," Austin would have felt at home with the International Thriller Writers.

Who are these people?

 Who they are may be the mystery...but not after you read this post!  The International Thriller Writers (let's call them ITW) is an honorary society of authors, both fiction and nonfiction, who write books broadly classified as “thrillers.” This would include (but isn't limited to) such subjects as murder mystery, detective, suspense, horror, supernatural, action, espionage, true crime, war, adventure, and myriad similar subject areas. Clive Cussler, Sandra Brown, Kathy Reichs, David Morrel, Mark Bowden, James Rollins, and Andrew Peterson, among so many notables,  are all  members.

Just what do they do?

International Thriller Writers
Their mission is... “To bestow recognition and promote the thriller genre at an innovative and superior level for and through our Active members; to provide opportunities for mentoring, education and collegiality among thriller authors and industry professionals; and to grant awards for excellence in the thriller genre.”
ITW Mission Statement

How do they do that?

Whether you are a fan of the TV show by that name or not, you might be interested in knowing that ITW has designed numerous, effective programs and events which promote debut and midlist writers and their work, sometimes in partnership with bestselling authors. In addition, ITW promotes literacy, gives money to worthy organizations, supports libraries, and advances the genre. Finally, it brings together almost a thousand writers, readers, publishers,  editors and agents at its annual conference, ThrillerFest, as well as at CraftFest, a writing workshop program, and AgentFest, where aspiring authors can meet and pitch top literary agents.

What else do they do?

 One really great activity is "Operation Thriller," a partnership with the USO.  For the first time ever, the USO brought writers together with the troops." Operation Thriller" brings together some of  today's greatest thriller writers to meet with American military members at home and abroad. The first such tour started in 2010 with visits to Walter Reed and Bethesda Navy Medical Center where the writers listened awe-struck at the tales of valor and strength displayed by the Wounded Warriors.  The group followed up with visits to our troops in Kuwait and Iraq.

Operation Thriller

What does any of this have to do with Yankee Doodle Spies?

Actually, this has a lot to do with Yankee Doodle Spies.   I have just been informed that The Patriot Spy was recently submitted to compete for ITW's Best New Novel for 2013! Now I didn't specifically write The Patriot Spy as an international thriller...but the plot twists and tense action do make for plenty of thrills. While the  characters include Irish, Dutch, Scots, Germans  who make for an international cast set upon the canvass of America's most international locale - New York.

Action scene and cover of The Patriot Spy

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