Do you have an idea for a thriller novel that’s so compelling it keeps you up at night? Learn how to transform those ideas into a manuscript that not only secures a publishing deal but also enthralls readers and achieves commercial success. An upcoming Thriller Writing seminar, hosted by Aevitas Creative Management, will be led by Catherine Ryan Howard, an award-winning, internationally bestselling author known for her award-winning, bestselling titles like “The Trap,” “56 Days,” and “The Nothing Man.” The art of writing a thriller is as much about execution as it is about the original idea, and the gap between the two can often seem insurmountable. With Howard’s guidance, attendees will learn the mechanics of crafting a compelling narrative, from constructing a suspenseful plot to delivering it in a way that leaves readers on the edge of their seats.
In addition to Howard’s invaluable tips on storytelling in thrillers, the seminar will feature insights from seasoned industry professionals. Sara O’Keefe, a literary agent with two decades of experience and who represents a host of major brand name novelists at Aevitas Creative Management, will discuss what agents are actively seeking in thriller manuscripts. Tim O’Connell, the Editorial Director of Fiction at Simon & Schuster, will share a publisher’s perspective on how to write thrillers that not only get published but also succeed commercially. O’Keefe and O’Connell’s contributions promise to provide a well-rounded view of the thriller genre, from creation to publication.
This seminar, designed for writers of all skill levels, from aspiring authors to already published talents, will be packed with actionable advice, industry insights, and motivational tools to help transform your thriller ideas into bestselling books. The agenda includes topics such as “How to Structure Thriller Writing that Sells,” “Lessons Learned as a Bestselling Thriller Author,” and “Secrets to Writing Thriller Fiction that Gets Published.” A moderated Q&A session will conclude the event, offering a unique opportunity to pick the brains of these industry experts. If you’re keen on mastering the thriller genre, this seminar is an unmissable opportunity to elevate your writing and understand what it takes to succeed in the competitive world of publishing.
Catherine Ryan Howard (Bestselling Author)
Catherine Ryan Howard is an award-winning, internationally bestselling writer of seven novels. 56 Days, her lockdown thriller, was named Best Thriller of the Year by the New York Times and the Washington Post, who called it ‘as good as suspense fiction gets’. It was chosen as Barnes and Noble’s Mystery and Thriller Monthly Pick in August 2022 and is currently being developed for screen by Amazon Studios/Atomic Monster. Her other work has been shortlisted for the Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Novel and the Crime Writers Association (UK) John Creasey New Blood and Ian Fleming Steel Daggers, and longlisted for the Dublin Literary Award, the world’s most valuable annual literary prize. Her thriller Run Time was an Indie Next Pick in September 2022. She is published in 19 languages and has had three no. 1 bestsellers in her native Ireland. Her latest novel, inspired by a series of real unsolved disappearances in her native Ireland, is The Trap.
Sara O’Keeffe (Agent, Aevitas Creative Management)
Sara O’ Keeffe is a literary agent at Aevitas Creative Management representing literary, reading group, and genre fiction authors. She has twenty years of experience in the world of publishing, having worked with a host of major brand name novelists. She worked on Kevin Kwan’s international bestseller, Crazy Rich Asians, as well as Robert Ludlum’s hugely successful Bourne series. She acquired and published the bestselling cult hit Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell which spent six weeks at the top of the New York Times bestseller list, and has worked with Catherine Ryan Howard since her debut hit, Distress Signals.
Tim O’ Connell (Editorial Director, Fiction, Simon & Schuster)
Tim O’Connell joined Simon & Schuster (S&S) in 2021 as Editorial Director for fiction. Prior to joining S&S, Tim worked in the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group for more than fifteen years. While publishing across genres and formats, he has sought to champion unique voices from a wide spectrum. He has edited numerous bestselling and award-winning authors including Charles Yu, who won the National Book Award for Fiction for the novel Interior Chinatown and Omar El Akkad’s What Strange Paradise, winner of the Scotiabank Giller Award—as well as Naomi Alderman, Chuck Palahniuk, Ted Chiang, Clémence Michallon, Jennine Capó Crucet, Shaun Hamill, Kyle Dillion Hertz, and Sergio de La Pava, and many others.
This seminar is for …
Writers of any skill level and with any amount of experience in the craft
Aspiring authors seeking to understand the perspectives of thriller agents, editors, and publishers, and the creative process of a successful thriller author
Published authors who want to hear leading industry experts’ cutting edge-advice in order to improve the quality and commercial success of their book writing
Introduction to the thriller seminar [2:00PM – 2:05PM, EST] – Kate Mack (COO, Aevitas Creative Management)
How to structure thriller writing that sells [2:05PM – 2:30PM, EST] – Sara O’Keefe (Agent, Aevitas Creative Management)
Lessons learned as a bestselling thriller author [2:30PM – 3:00PM, EST] – Catherine Ryan Howard (Author)
Secrets to writing thriller fiction that gets published [3:00PM – 3:20PM, EST] – Tim O’Connell (Publisher, Simon & Schuster)
Audience Q&A (Moderated) [3:20PM – 3:50PM, EST]