Friday, June 11, 2010

Michael Koryta

Michael Koryta has won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, Great Lake Books Award, and St. Martin's Press/PWA Best First Novel prize, while also earning nominations for the Edgar, Quill, Shamus and Barry awards. In addition to winning the Los Angeles Times prize for best mystery, his novel Envy the Night was selected as a Reader's Digest condensed book. His work has been translated into nearly twenty languages. A former private investigator and newspaper reporter, Koryta graduated from Indiana University with a degree in criminal justice.

His new, standalone novel is So Cold The River.

From Koryta's Q & A with Deb Smouse:

So Cold the River was a wonderfully creepy, suspenseful, amazing novel. I have to confess: one night, I had to flip through a travel magazine so that I could go to bed at my hotel without being too scared. Two nights later I stayed up until 2 AM so I could finish it! Tell our readers about it.

There is nothing I like better than hearing a reader lost a little bit of sleep with my work! That just puts a smile on my face. Thanks so much for the kind words. This book is a departure from what I’ve done before; it’s a mystery, yes, but also with a supernatural, ghost-story element. The idea came to me strictly from the place itself. West Baden is a real town, the mineral water that made it a world-famous destination around the turn of the last century is quite real, the extraordinary hotels and history are real. So I took that incredibly rich story fodder and had some fun with it.

Where the concept came from? And how did you flesh out the story of the mineral water?

Much of the story revolves around the mineral springs that made the area a famous spot for a short period in American history. This water had essentially a mythical reputation; name an affliction, and you can probably find an old advertisement claiming it could be cured in those springs. Now, over time it went the way of most snake-oil sales products; dismissed, then forgotten. I decided to play around with the idea that not all of the water’s reputation came from false sales gimmicks.

What is your favorite scene in So Cold the River?

Good question, and...[read on]
The Page 69 Test: So Cold the River.

--Marshal Zeringue