Thursday 11 September 2008

Joe Konrath

One of the pleasing things about a crime fiction convention is that, usually, you receive a bag of free books. It's always a fascinating experience to sift through the freebies and assess whether they are likely to prove a good read. I can remember a few of these gifts, over the years, that really were not very good books and I wondered, no doubt churlishly, whether the publisher was just keen to get rid of them. But sometimes it works the other way, and you come across a book that you might not otherwise have read (or even heard of) which is absolutely first rate.

I had just such an experience at the Left Coast Crime convention in Seattle last year. The book bag was full of good things, but best of all was a novel called Whiskey Sour, by J.A. Konrath, the debut of female cop Jack Daniels. This was a very funny and fast-moving thriller which gave a fresh spin on the well-worn serial killer theme. I was impressed.

Subsequently I did a bit of research on Konrath. He isn't a big name yet in the UK, but I think he will be one day. His output of material on the internet is very impressive, and his writing tips and insights into the publishing world are required reading for anyone keen to learn more about the business.

I've just exchanged blog links with Joe Konrath (pictured) and I can certainly recommend Whiskey Sour.


Anonymous said...

A story by J A Konrath was nominated for the CWA's Short Story Award in 2007, won, of course, by you Martin, in 2008. Presumably the same guy.
No doubt you will be exchanging tips on the short form. No bad thing, of course.

Nicola Slade said...

Goody bags of books are a great idea! You get them at the Romantic Novelists' Association conference too and now I've taken to crime I'm hoping to go to the occasional crime conference and stock up on darker deeds.