One definition: A thriller is a fast-paced novel full of conflict, tension, suspense, unexpected twists, and high stakes. Every single scene and element in a thriller is meant to propel the action forward, test the characters, and take the readers on a roller coaster ride that will leave them on the edge of their seats. I was visiting technology schools in California a few years ago and my companion and I rushed off to enjoy a roller coaster ride, straight after breakfast. By the time I had been thrown around and tossed up and down, I felt physically sick. It might have been the big breakfast! This raises an interesting thought—how much of a wild ride do good thrillers have to have? For some, the pace is never too fast; for others, a more measured rise in tension is preferred. I think I’m in between. I like twists and turns, yet also building tension. And, I am over plots that are too far fetched. For me, the action must be real, or plausible. The bottom line is that a thriller needs to have thrills, no matter what the ride is like.