Mysteries, Thrillers, and Suspense, Oh My!

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There seems to be no limit to the sales potential for mystery-related fiction. But do you know the differences between traditional mysteries and cozies? Between Dan Brown-style thrillers and psychological suspense? If your aim is to write anywhere within the mystery genre, it pays to know what elements work (or don’t) for your audience…and therefore, for publishers. Discover the perfect niche for your kind of story and learn how to tweak your plot and characters to best suit today’s publishing market.

About Kathryn Johnson

Kathryn Johnson's 40+ popular novels (nominated for the Agatha Award, winner of the Heart of Excellence and Bookseller's Best Awards), include historical fiction (e.g., The Gentleman Poet, wherein Shakespeare escapes to the New World aboard a ship bound for disaster) and contemporary suspense. The Extreme Novelist (nonfiction) is the text based on her courses at The Smithsonian Associates and The Writer's Center. More about her at:

Teaching style: Kathryn Johnson’s classes are lecture-based, information rich. Her courses are not of the workshopping variety (in which, participants critique one another) but, rather, offer practical advice on writing and publishing in the 21st century, based upon her ongoing experiences in the publishing world. Handouts on talking points provide an outline for each class. Kathryn enjoys answering students’ individual questions and concerns, and offering career guidance whenever possible. Her mentoring service is available to supplement course work.


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