Thursday, March 12, 2009

Author of Afraid - J.A.Konrath shares his view on writing.

It is my pleasure and delight to introduce guest blogger J.A. Konrath to The Writer's Group. You can find Joe's blog at, A Newbie's Guide to Publishing there is a wealth of information for the wanna-be author. Currently Joe is appearing on different blogs to promote his book,"Afraid" and sharing with the group his thoughts on belonging to a writer's group, and what he did prior to being a published author.

Considering the group "Sweet Hearts of the Rodeo"is at point of revising their novels, and Joe being a published author, and having been down this road, I want to share an interview link he did with The Leaf Blower on the subject of Rejection.

As an aspiring author of the macabre, I ventured over to Joe’s website featuring his novel “Afraid” and read an excerpt of his book to be released on March 31. The cover of the book asks you, Are you Afraid of the Dark? Then clearly says, “You Will Be.”

Any writer/wanna-be that studies the craft of fiction, knows the beginning paragraph of a story that first sentence is what draws the reader in, and I must say J.A. Konrath fulfills that promise. Sitting alone with Sal Morton in his boat, beneath a hunter's moon, a chill begins to creep over my skin and the hair on the back of my neck prickles-an innocent fishing trip-no, there is so much more that waits this protagonist--read the excerpt and you will see what I mean.

Afraid excerpt

Joe responds with his thoughts on belonging to A Writer's Group.

  • Have you ever belonged to a writer's group?

  • No. And I should have. Maybe I wouldn't have racked up 500 rejections before my first sale if I had a group of writers telling me what I was going wrong.

    That said, I do sort of belong to a writer's group now. I'm friends with many published authors, some of them bestsellers, and we trade manuscripts for critique before our agents get them. It's invaluable.

  • Do you advise a beginning writer to join a writers group?

  • Yes. You learn two ways--from other people's critiques, and by critiquing other people. It also forces you to write, so every meeting you have more pages to pass out.

  • What revision method did you use in revising your novel, "Afraid?"

  • After the first draft, I do what I call "pruning." That's trimming the unnecessary stuff, and adding to the aesthetics and overall impact of the story.

    Then it's a question of responding to editorial comments, and rewriting where necessary.

  • What tips would you give a beginning novelist to take on revising their novel?

  • Get feedback. Put it away for a while and read it with fresh eyes. And take off your writing hat---you need your editing hat for revision, and the person who wears that hat is critical, not creative.

    Getting down to a personal side, I asked Joe, what he did prior to being a published author, and what he is working on next.

  • What did you do before you became a writer, is that still your current profession?

  • I'm now a fulltime writer.

    Prior to that, I was a male stripper, an international spy, a world class chef, and a big fat liar.

  • Tell to me about your current book?

  • AFRAID is a horror novel, written under my pen name, Jack Kilborn. It's scary. In fact, it's so scary, that I don't recommend anyone reading it.

  • When did you begin writing it?

  • I began a few years ago, in between writing my Jack Daniels books. From first word to finished manuscript took maybe three years.

  • Are you in the stage of writing another novel?

  • I'm working on the rewrites to TRAPPED, another horror novel that is too scary to be read by anyone.

  • What short stories have you written?

  • I've published over sixty. There's a semi-complete list on Wikipedia. J.A. Konrath

  • What else would you like share?

  • I'd like to share this beer, but it's gone already. There's nothing sadder than an empty beer.

    Wait! I found another one! But that's my last one, and I couldn't possibly share that.

    Especially now that it's gone, too.

    But I can share my books. There are a bunch of free ebooks and stories on my website, There is also a scary excerpt from AFRAID that you probably shouldn't read.

    I'm delighted that Joe granted me this interview, and I do hope he will come back soon. Thank You Joe, we are looking forward to your next novel Trapped, and I'm certain it will be as intense and frightening as Afraid.

    Happy Writing!


    1. JB,

      What a great choice for an interview! I followed one of your links to the excerpt for Mr. Konrath's book "Afraid" and man did it give me the willies. He's done a fabulous job with his opening. Classic stuff for horror readers who love to start off running. I don't think I'll ever eat popcorn again without thinking about that scene in the bedroom.
      He comes off as a guy who plays it fast and loose, but his writing is focused and his style quite tight. I walked into the work cold, having never read anything of his, and found myself admiring ability to keep the pace at a clip and his scenes sharp.


    2. Like you Raven, it gave me the willies. Then it made me think of my own opening lines and what it takes to draw the reader in immediately, gotta lot of work to do.

      Now, it’s not just about writing, editing then sitting back waiting for the reward and credits, it’s about promoting—that one step further the author has to take to insure their book reaches the reader.
      Love the revision you posted of GraceFall

    3. there's another too scary to read book coming?!? I can't stand it! :-)

    4. You've tweaked our interest, are you willing to share more? :-)

    5. Thanks for having me here today. :)

    6. Loving the tour!

      Joe, are you a beer connoisseur? Domestic or imported? Micro-brew? You're always speaking of the malty elixir, and I was just wondering. ;o)

    7. Hi Joe,
      Thank you for coming and I do hope you will come again. I really enjoyed having you. By the way, loved the interview you did with Judy Larsen on her blog Writers in their Own Words—and Blog Touring and your response to whether your stories are character or plot driven.
      Keep on writing Joe, your fans are looking for more.

    8. Dagnabbit JB!

      Now you KNOW I'm hopping over to Judy Larsen's blog to catch that interview. Joe, If you stop back in, I really enjoyed that scare. I'll be checking out your other works, including your short stories, if I can get my hands on them.

      And JB, thanks for taking a peek at my short story.


    9. Maybe we can twist his arm to come back and share more tips.

    10. Hey,

      I just followed the rejection link. It's hilarious!

      Thanks for the chuckle.




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