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International Thriller Writers Debut Authors of 2020!

International Thriller Writers Debut Authors are getting ready for a fantastic year. Through the end of this year and until July 2020, I’ll be posting as many interviews with members of the 2020 Debut Author Program as possible. I love supporting new writers and ITW.

Want to read about this year’s ThrillerFest? Click the link here for my blog post on the events of the weekend.

I’m thrilled to get started with Caleb Breakey and Eric J. Guignard.

International Thriller Writers Debut Authors 

The Author

Caleb Breakey is the founder of Speak It To Book, a company dedicated to helping exceptional people write authentic books and build impactful platforms that captivate, educate, and motivate lives in unprecedented ways.

Caleb is an ECPA Award finalist and winner of the prestigious Genesis Contest for fiction writers.

He loves exploring truth through story in the beautiful Pacific Northwest, where he lives with his wife, Brittney, two mischievous mini huskies, and a smiley Shiba Inu.

To learn more about Caleb, click his name, photo, and the the following links: LinkedIn and Facebook

The Book

A sociopath is running a deadly social experiment on a university campus. Markus Haas is the first to refuse to play the game.

What unravels is a sequence of impossible decisions and a race against time to stop the sociopath before others pay the ultimate price.

To Buy the Book, click on any of the following links: IndieBound, Amazon, and Barnes & Noble

The Interview

Describe your publishing journey:

Fiction writing has been in my blood since the start. My wife and I spent our wedding money on fifty-two books about writing fiction.

Then, for years, I spent my days off penning fiction for sixteen hours straight: 12 years ago my fiction journey started; 11 years ago I helped teen writers write; 10 years ago I started attending writers conferences; 9 years ago I started teaching at writers conferences; 8 years ago I gave up journalism in order to write more; 7 years ago I won ACFW’s Genesis contest;

6 years ago I published my first non-fiction book; 5 years ago I published my second non-fiction book; 4 years ago I started Sermon To Book; 3 years ago I started Speak It To Book; 2 years ago I signed my first fiction contract with Revell; 1 year ago I wrote The String; on July 16, 2019, The String was published everywhere, marking the beginning of what I hope to be a long and fruitful journey of exploring truth through story.

Great stories shed light on the truth of who we are as humans. I love them because they teach us without a lecture, inspire us without a speech, and entertain us without any props.

What inspired you to write this novel?

The story came to me while doing a ride along with an officer at a university campus. The first books I ever wrote were epic fantasies with big worlds and timelines. Then I asked myself, “What kind of story might take place within a small footprint and forty-eight-hour time frame?”

The next thing I knew, I was feverishly writing notes while riding shotgun in a 4Runner belonging to a university police officer, and a man who called himself the conductor began speaking to me about The String.

What are you working on now?

I am slowly working on the second book in the series, tentatively titled, THE HIVE.

You all know I had to ask for a photo of the dogs – aren’t these the sweetest faces!! (Boone, Winnie, and Stormy)

That’s an amazing journey so far. Congratulations on your debut!

Interested in becoming a member of the International Thriller Writers Debut Author Program?

Click the link here.

The Author

Eric J. Guignard is a writer and editor of dark and speculative fiction, operating from the shadowy outskirts of Los Angeles. He’s twice won the Bram Stoker Award, been a finalist for the International Thriller Writers Award, and is a multi-nominee of the Pushcart Prize for his works of dark and speculative fiction.

He has over one hundred stories and non-fiction author credits appearing in publications around the world; has edited multiple anthologies (including the current series, The Horror Writers Association’s Haunted Library of Horror Classics with co-editor Leslie S. Klinger); and created an ongoing series of author primers championing modern masters of the dark and macabre, Exploring Dark Short Fiction through his own press, Dark Moon Books.

His latest books are his short story collection, That Which Grows Wild (Cemetery Dance Publications, 2018) and novel, Doorways to the Deadeye (JournalStone, 2019).

To learn more about Eric, click on his name or photo or any of the following links: Dark Moon Books, Blog, Twitter (author), Twitter (Dark Moon Books), GoodReads, and Instagram.

The Book

Doorways to the Deadeye: A Depression-era hobo rides the rails and learns the underlying Hobo Code is a mystical language that leads into the world of memories, where whoever is remembered strongest—whether by trickery, violence, or daring—can change history and alter the lives of the living.

To Buy the Book, click on any of the following links: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, JournalStone, and IndieBound

The Interview

Describe your publishing journey:

Although I’ve published many short stories, and written or compiled books as editor, this was my first full-length novel, and, as such, it’s my baby!!

I’ve worked with this publisher, JournalStone, before on a couple of other projects, so I was very happy to continue my relationship with them, hopefully tying together a body of work into one source.

What inspired you to write this novel?

I was approached by another writer, Lisa Morton, to co-write a different project with her in 2013 for this same publisher, pairing two novellas together. For that project I brainstormed two ideas, both having to do with American history.

The first was about a gambler who bids in the hotel baggage auctions, made popular during the first half of the twentieth century, which became the novelette I wrote and published for them, Baggage of Eternal Night (made a finalist in 2014’s International Thriller Award for Best Short Story, which I’m still insanely proud of).

The second idea for the project, I loved more, but decided it would be way too long to be written for that project, and had to do with a Depression-era hobo reading messages through the Hobo Code, which takes him to the land of our memories.

It took a few years before I began writing it, but that eventually evolved into Doorways to the Deadeye!

“I’m curating a new series of books . . .”

What are you working on now?

Through my press, Dark Moon Books, I’m continuing to publish a series of author primers created to champion modern masters of the dark and macabre, titled: Exploring Dark Short Fiction (Vol. 1: Steve Rasnic TemVol. II: Kaaron WarrenVol. III: Nisi ShawlVol. IV: Jeffrey Ford; Vol. V: Han Song; Vol. VI: Ramsey Campbell).

And through SourceBooks I’m curating a new series of books titled, The Horror Writers Association Presents: Haunted Library of Horror Classics with co-editor Leslie S. Klinger (to begin publishing 2020).

I’m also still writing short stories, and I’ve started THREE new novels, although I’m not very far into any of them! One is a pulp science fiction, one a paranormal detective series, and one a literary historical horror.

You have some amazing projects in the works – thank you for sharing your journey with us! 

Check back throughout the year to discover new books from the International Thriller Writers Debut Author Program!

Want something a little sweeter for your reading pleasure? Don’t miss my interview with Book Club Fiction Author Jennifer Gold! Click the link here to read about her sweet story.

Header photo by Portraitor on Pixabay. Click the link here for more information.

Elena Hartwell

Author and developmental editor.

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