Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Author Interview: J.A. Konrath writing as Jack Kilborn

I’ve been hearing about Joe Konrath for years. He wrote some entertaining articles in Writer’s Digest, and I knew he’d written some great, humorous mysteries with the character Jacqueline (Jack) Daniels. But, man, I didn’t realize he’d written SIX in this series and crossed over to horror as well. I’m grabbing his latest book, “Afraid”, for my husband.

I thought it’d be fun to interview the guy. Rather than freak him out by giving him a tinkle on the telly (he’d hear the 4 squealing kids and my morning-sickness retching in the background), I decided to give the guy a break and just do an e-mail interview to feature on my little bloggies. Enjoy.

Queen Kerrie: Why are you using a different author name with this book?
JAK: J.A. Konrath writes funny mysteries with some scary parts. Jack Kilborn writes all scary parts. To speak in marketing terms, they're different brands, so they should have different names.

Moi: What do you wear and eat when you write?
Famous Writer Dude: In all seriousness, I write in my underwear. :) I have a variety of boxer shorts with cartoons and funny slogans. The pair I'm currently wearing say, "Make me an offer I can't refuse." Spongebob is another fave. In CHERRY BOMB, my sixth Jack Daniels book coming out in July, I have a character who is tied up wearing nothing but Duff Beer boxers -- that's the brew Homer drinks on The Simpsons. While I wrote that scene, I was in my Duff Beer boxers. Every time my son brings friends over, I manage to throw on some jeans and a tee. But during the day I have the house to myself, so clothing is optional. This is probably waaaaaay more than your readers wanted or needed to know, so I'm going to retcon the whole topic. When I write I wear a black Armani tuxedo.

Me: What do you do when you don't feel like writing something difficult ... do the dishes, take a walk, prank call a friend, mess around on Twitter or Facebook?
Joe: I'm so attached to my computer I have a chamber pot under my desk. I'm always answering e-mail, blogging, or replying to someone on some social network. Whenever I get stuck in a story, distraction is always a mouse click away. Though I do enjoy prank calling those "Everything Is One Dollar" stores, then repeatedly asking how much certain items cost. After the eighth or ninth time, the clerks think it's funny, I bet.

Miss K: How do you do laundry? Cram it all in or sort?
Joey K: I'm a crammer, and my wife hates it. Unless it's a red sweater, there is no reason towels can't share washer space with socks and jeans. Are there actually men who sort?

*Note from Kerrie: I am a crammer, while my husband used to be a sorter before I converted him. We suck it up and deal with gray socks that used to be white.

Constantly Pregnant Chick: How much time do you devote to writing per day?
Father of a Son: When I'm on a deadline, fourteen hours a day isn't unusual. In between books, it depends what I'm working on. I do a lot of short stories, so I'm often playing with one or two. But weeks can go by without me writing anything creative, except from my daily Twitter joke. Here are some of my daily Twitter jokes:

-- I haven't learned a thing in hypnotism class, and it costs $300 an hour. But for some reason I just signed up for six more sessions.

-- I've talked to dozens of people, but nobody wants to invest in my all natural "green" toilet paper substitute; the washable pooper cactus.

-- My wife is demanding a romantic getaway this Valentine’s Day, but she refuses to tell me whom she's going with.

-- You have to watch out for bad cholesterol. The other day, I was eating a pizza, and some bad cholesterol stole my car.

-- I missed mime class, because I was practicing at home and got stuck in an imaginary box.

-- Few things are as crucial, decisive, exigent, foremost, imperative, meaningful, necessary, relevant, salient, and vital, as the synonym.

-- Sex is great exercise, but I probably need more exercise than just four minutes a month.

There are more than two hundred other gems like this at

I really need to get away from the computer, I think.

Kurious Kerrie: How many books have you published? (In hindsight, I realize there ARE dumb questions, as I could’ve easily Googled this).
Funny Guy: The Jack Daniels series, in order, is comprised of WHISKEY SOUR, BLOODY MARY, RUSTY NAIL, DIRTY MARTINI, FUZZY NAVEL, CHERRY BOMB. I also edited the hitman anthology THESE GUNS FOR HIRE. AFRAID, under the Jack Kilborn moniker, comes out at the end of March. Kilborn also wrote TRAPPED, coming out later this year. These are both really, really scary, so only brave people should attempt to read them. Of course, there are no braver people on the planet than mothers, so I think your readers can handle these with no problem.

On my website,, I have dozens of published short stories and three unpublished novels that people can read for free. I also have a scary flash game for AFRAID.

Kooky Homeschooler: How many articles have you had published?
Super Rich Writer Man: I've been in Writer's Digest a bunch of times. I lost count how many. As for short stories, I've done more than sixty. One of my current faves is a werewolf novella in WOLFSBANE & MISTLETOE, edited by Charlaine Harris and Toni L.P. Kelner. Lots of people seem to like that story. It's a funny Christmas/shapeshifter/romance/psychotic Santa tale, which are really popular these days.

Chocolate Lover: Do you recommend an author book tour?
Sarcastic Guy: Only to authors.

Mrs. McLoughlin: Who is your favorite author?
Mr. Konrath: My favorite novel is THE JUDAS GOAT by Robert B. Parker. That got me into writing mysteries. I just blurbed a terrific horror book by someone named Jack Kilborn with the quote: "What an amazing debut. I wish I'd written this." I think the book is called AFRAID. Everyone should run out and buy thirty copies.

Final Question Asker: Do you think sites like MySpace, Twitter and Facebook have helped broaden your fan base?
Long-Suffering Interviewee: Yes. Never before in history have authors been able to reach out and connect with their readers in such a big, and instantaneous, way. Of course, the secret isn't befriending people who are looking for you. The secret is to befriend people who find you when they're looking for someone else. For example, many of your blog readers probably had no idea who I was. Those who managed to wade through this interview now know me. Maybe a few of them will check out my books. That's the key to broadening your fanbase. And that's why I'm so happy you had me here today. Thanks! :)

You are very welcome, Joe! Yes, my blog readers are very beautiful and intelligent, so I’m sure they’ll be checking out your writing! Thanks for answering my often-inane questions! You rock. Knug (knuckle hug).