Meet today’s #ThrillerFest 2017 debut author, Susan Alice Bickford, and her new novel of suspense, A Short Time to Die. Read on to find out who some of her favorite authors are, as well as how her main character would kick the bucket!

BookTrib: If you were on death row, what would be your last read? Why?

Susan Alice Bickford: Given that death row in my state (California) is indefinite, I would commit to read all the series and authors I love: Lee Child, Sue Grafton, Michael Connelly, Karin Slaughter (this list goes on and on). If my date with the executioner really did catch up to me, I’d re-read my own debut novel, A Short Time to Die, to remind myself of what fun it was to write.

BT: If you were going to kill off your protagonist what method would you use?  Why?

SAB: Marly Shaw has this habit of killing off those who attack her, all hoisted on their own petards. I don’t dare touch her with anything bad because that would definitely come back to hit me. Marly would die at 95-ish after a day of swimming and dancing with her latest companion. After a happy conversation with her grandchildren, she would die in her sleep from a painless stroke.

BT: What is the all-time best thriller you have ever read? Why?

SAB: I would pick The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth. I was very young and it was the first real thriller I had ever read, which is probably why it has remained so vivid to me, even after all these years.

Head over to Amazon to buy a copy of A Short Time to Die now!


Susan Alice Bickford A SHORT TIME TO DIEWalking home on a foggy night, Marly Shaw stops in the glare of approaching headlights. Two men step out of a pickup truck. One of them is her stepfather. A sudden, desperate chase erupts in gunshots. Both men are left dead. And a terrified girl is on the run—for the rest of her life . . .

Thirteen years later, human bones discovered in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California are linked to a mother and son from Central New York. Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Detective Vanessa Alba and her partner, Jack Wong, dive into an investigation that lures them deep into the Finger Lakes. They find a community silenced by the brutal grip of a powerful family bound by a twisted sense of blood and honor, whose dark secrets still haunt the one family member who thought she got away…


Susan Alice BickfordSusan Alice Bickford was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and grew up in Central New York. After she discovered computer graphics and animation her passion for technology pulled her to Silicon Valley, where she became an executive at a leading technology company. She now works as an independent consultant, and continues to be fascinated by all things high tech. She splits her time between Silicon Valley and Vermont. A Short Time to Die is her first novel.