Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Writer Interview: JA Konrath aka Jack Kilborn

Today I am happy to have touring Crime writer Joe Konrath aka Horror novelist Jack Kilborn.
Joe is doing a huge and apparently successful blog tour of the web appearing on as many as half a dozen blogs a day to tout his new horror novel "Afraid" written under the pseudonym Jack Kilborn. As I understand this is neither a novel for the faint of heart nor the child at heart...unless that child is "Chucky".

Joe also hosts a really informative blog and forum titled "The Newbies Guide to Publishing". Go check it out, I really recommend it. And join some of the contests at his forum, you'll learn a lot in the process.

How long have you been a published writer?
Since 2003. My first novel was published in 2004.

How many books did it take before one got picked up by an agent/publisher?Whiskey Sour, my first sold book, was the tenth one I'd written. A few of my early, unsold books are available for free on my website,

Have you ever sung an opera or performed a ballet?
Karaoke is the closest I come, but I win karaoke all the time.

What got you into the whole writing thing in general?
I love to tell stories.

Do you have plans to write other genres in the future?
Yeah. I'll be doing a sci-fi series soon.

If so, what pseudonym would you use those genres?
We'll see. But the initials will be JK.

Where do you hail from and what is your favorite part of the country?
From Chicago. I like it, except for winter, which lasts from October until May.I've been to most of the states in the union, and they all have their pluses and minuses. Eventually, I want to live on a lake, someplace where it doesn't get too cold.

I once saw the three Tenors (Pavarotti, Domingo, and Carreras) sing together on stage. They were joined by pop singer Michael Bolton. Would you consider yourself an opera singer in the class of Pavarotti, or more like Michael Bolton....or Michael Jackson maybe...or whatever?
I'm more like Tom Waits, before anyone knew who he was.

Ever been to Alaska?
Not yet. Still haven't made it to Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, and North Dakaota.

Wanna come up?
It's on my list of things to do before I turn forty. I turn forty next year.

Once it was so cold in my hometown that I went to pee in the outhouse and the urine froze before it hit the ground. Instead of going tinkle, I went clinkle. It's not really that cold too often. But you might wanna take a summer tour if you come up here.
Summer may be the way to go. I don't think I'd like pissicles.

Let's say your book Afraid is so scary that you frighten the mayor of your hometown and the governor of your state so badly that they banish you for all eternity. Which state would you want to set up your new identity in?
Florida. They don't ban anything in Florida.

Let's say then, that President Obama and the director of the FBI both agree that you are too scary an author to reside in the US, what country would you choose to live in then?
Australia. It's warm, and I don't have to learn a new language.

If you did ever sing an opera would you rather it include a fat lady with butterfly glasses or someone with a horned helmet?
If the one wearing the horned helmet is Elmer Fudd, I'll go with opera.

Your Jack Daniels books are all named after alcoholic drinks. What is your personal favorite cocktail?
Small batch bourbon, on ice. I like Blanton's a lot, but there are other good spirits.

Favorite Wine?
Pinot Noir. No real label preference. I don't drink wine very often.

Favorite Beer?
Sam Adams Utopias. It's a bargain at $250 a bottle.

Black French Roast Coffee or Latte?
Black. Why cut the caffeine with dairy?

When writing your very scary novel Afraid, did you envision yourself as the killers or the killees?
I pictured them in my head, but didn't imagine I was them. That sounds like too much work.

If detective Jack Daniels was in your new book Afraid, what would happen to her?
She'd have a rough time, but emerge victories, like she does in all of her books.

You have a pretty strong web presence and your forum has a lot of greathelpful ideas for new writers. I myself have read a large part of yourNewbies Guide to Publishing and found it quite informative. Why do you do that?
If we can't pass along what we've learned, what's the point in learning it?

You hold a lot of cool little writing contests. What has been the mostinteresting writing competition you have done?
I like the contests that require a story written using a limited amount of words. They really make every word count.

What was the weirdest?
The poetry contest. It ended weeks ago, and I'm still trying to pick a winner.

If you did dance in a ballet what colour would your tights be?
Pink. I'm man enough to wear pink tights.

If the life was ebbing out of your mortal body and you only had the strength to say twenty words or less what would your last advice to your literary disciples be?
Don't sell the movie rights for less than a mil.

After those twenty words, what would your last sentence to the world be?
Before you bury me, make sure I'm not just joking.

Well, there you have it folks, straight from the horses mouth, actually the novelists mouth, and he looks nothing like a horse or any other kind of four legged creature. For that matter I don't even know if horses are mentioned in his books in any major form, so you might as well get that image out of your mind now. I don't even know why you brought it up.

At any rate, be sure to check out Joe's books and his very informative blog and forum at and pick up a copy of his new really scary, hide under the covers and don't let your limbs hang beyond the edge of the bed novel "Afraid" due out March 31st.
Sphere: Related Content


  1. Basil,
    I look for something to delight me every day. Sometimes there are a lot of things, sometimes just one great thing.
    This visual:
    "If you did dance in a ballet what colour would your tights be?
    Pink. I'm man enough to wear pink tights."
    thanks Joe and Basil.

  2. And Basil,
    I read through the comments about your audio book, the lady that suggested that you hire a woman to do the female parts made me want to offer my services.

    The only problem would be that then your readers would wonder how the hell you got Minnie Mouse out of her disney contract. Plus...I can't act. :)
    See you on the tour.

  3. Thanks for having me here, Basil.

  4. Joe, thanks for stopping by. Great havin' ya.

  5. Karen,
    I will consider your offer, although I do not currently have a Minnie Mouse character in one of my books. But hey, ya never know.

    Sometimes it really is hard doing the female parts without sounding like a drag queen.

  6. Great interview, Basil! On day 26, the questions get a little harder to come by... and you came up with some doozies. But nothing about a talking rabbit??
    Thanks, Joe for the great visuals,

  7. Well, Brian the Rabbit was busy today. Something about a date with a squeeky voiced mouse and....wait a minute...Minnie Mouse....

    Karen, are you involved with my talking rabbit?

  8. For those who don't know what Candid Jane is referring to by "talking rabbits" it is.

    Brian the Rabbit

    The rabbit sat quietly on the bench next to the table
    My friend turned toward me and said, quite matter-of-factly,
    “That rabbit talks”

    I looked in disbelief at the small grey and white ball of fluff
    Gently chewing its cud and staring at some unseen point under the table

    I walked over and looked at the rabbit
    Who stopped chewing his cud and looked straight up at me
    With a stare like a two year old
    Waiting to see what’s going to happen next

    Making eye contact with him, I asked directly,
    “Do you talk?”

    He stared at me for a moment, motionless
    “Yes,” came the reply from the small pink mouth with large front teeth

    Too shocked to think of anything else to say I continued with
    “How long have you been able to talk?”

    To which he replied

    Still in a stunned state of mind I said
    “Do all animals talk?”

    “No” he responded, “Only those who can.”

    I reached my hands toward him to introduce myself
    But before I could say a word
    He took a few short hops and was in my arms

    “My name, is Brian. I’m a rabbit.” He said
    “Let me show you around,”
    And led me on a tour of this house and its people from a rabbits perspective.

    After several hours of touring and discussing various topics
    Such as Teflon coated frying pans
    And which kind of rabbit pellet was actually the tastiest,
    We returned to the table where I sat him back down.

    My friend had left but the pillow was now getting uncomfortable.
    Turning to the right I saw my alarm clock
    It was 2:35 am and the room was very dark
    As my mind cleared,
    I realized that it probably was not a good idea
    To have a pastrami sandwich with bleu cheese right before bed

    That cheese was supposed to be bleu, right?

    anyway, if that weirded you out…don’t read it.

  9. definitely man enough for pick tights. :)

  10. Basil,
    I had read your lovely talking Rabbit story when I first noticed you over at Jane's blog...

    And darn it, you've caught us...we've been having a torrid affair in the cabbage patch near the outbuilding over by the poppies.

    But it's over now...


  11. Well that explains that, looks like I'm going to have to take the unfaithful rabbit and put him into one of my novels. Let's see how talking bunnies deal with terrorists! HA!


  12. Or, you could just make a nice stew? (damn him!)

  13. Basil,
    Commenting on Joe's post today about making it easy for your fans to reach you....are you likely to add Google blogger comment availability to your site on your main page? Or is it there and I missed it? I only saw the "register if you want to comment" availability.
    Karen :)
    P.S. I forgive Brian..let him roam free.

  14. That's a good question Karen. I am going to look into it. When my website was created we used its built in blogging capability. So the blog that is on there is not linked to the google blog. I need to work on it some and see what I can do to change that.

  15. Thanks for the info Basil,
    I'm working up the ambition to create an actual blog. I want to find out how to post photos but protect my copyright first. ie: people can't just click on them and lift them off.
    See you on the tour! I'm going to be sad when it's over.
    Karen :)

  16. Karen, you got my curiosity peaked and I went discovered how to open anonymous commenting on my regular site. Now if I could just figure out how to get the blogger feed to drop directly onto my main page that would simplify life a lot wouldn't it?