J.A. Konrath is best known for his thriller series featuring Chicago Police Lt. Jacqueline “Jack” Daniels. His new book, written as Jack Kilborn, is the horror novel Afraid.
From his interview with Greg Swanson at the My Life With Dogs blog:
Joe, there’s quite a contrast between your “Jack Daniels” series and the new Kilborn title AFRAID. When you’re writing, is there a different mind-set between Kilborn and Konrath?Read the complete Q & A.
Yes. When I'm Konrath, I'm more playful. I have a great deal of fun writing the Jack Daniels thrillers, and I hope some of that translates to the page.
With Kilborn I try to freak myself out by going places that scare me. I'm pretty sure that also translates to the page, because people who have read AFRAID have cursed me out for giving them nightmares.
Robert Frost said, "No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader." That also works for fear. Which means I manage to scare myself a lot.
But for some strange reason, that doesn't work with humor. Maybe because when I think of a joke, it isn't a surprise to me, and humor is very much about surprise, whereas fear is a slow, suspenseful build.
That said, I did laugh aloud a few times writing CHERRY BOMB, all of them concerning the character of Slappy. I think Slappy is the greatest character I've ever written. Just thinking about him cracks me up.
The Page 69 Test: Afraid.
The Page 99 Test: Afraid.