Wednesday, May 18, 2011

5 Questions for Blake Crouch--About Writing and His New Amazon Deal

Blake Crouch is not only an awesome thriller writer whose books will scare the sh*** out of you, but he's an awesome person. I'm fortunate to count him as a friend. I thought it would be fun to ask him a few questions--and the timing just happens to coincide with his hot new publishing deal with Amazon

If you haven't heard, Amazon is bringing out a fifth imprint called Thomas & Mercer. Five thriller writers will be published, and Blake is one of them.  He has once again collaborated with Joe Konrath on a new thriller, Stirred. (You can pre-order now.) 

Here's the description:

Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels has seen humanity at its most depraved and terrifying. She's lost loved ones. Come close to death countless times. But she always manages to triumph over evil. Luther Kite is humanity at its most depraved and terrifying. He's committed unthinkable acts. Taken human life for the sheer pleasure of it. He is a monster among monsters, and no one has ever caught him. Each is the best at what they do. Peerless. Unmatched.

Until now...

In Luther's experience, people are weak. Even the strong and fearless break too easily. He wants a challenge, and sets his depraved sights on Jack. But with a baby on the way, Jack is at her most vulnerable. She's always been a fighter, but she's never had so much to fight for. So he's built something especially for Jack. His own, private ninth circle of hell—a nightmare world in a forgotten place, from which no one has ever escaped.

It's J.A. Konrath's greatest heroine versus Blake Crouch's greatest villain in Stirred, the stunning conclusion to both Konrath's Lt. Jacqueline "Jack" Daniels thriller series and Crouch's Andrew Z. Thomas series.

Only one can survive. And it won't be whom you think.

Here are the 5 questions I asked Blake, and his answers:

1) You decided to publish your thriller Run independently, and the book has had great success—I think you reached #44 in all of Kindle. Why did you decide to go with Amazon for Stirred? 

I decided to go with Amazon, because they're doing a lot of very smart things when it comes to publishing, involving price, true collaboration with their authors, and their ability to reach readers is  tremendous. I'm all for self-publishing, but when an opportunity arises to work with a savvy corporate partner with the resources of a company like Amazon, the choice to diversify was easy.

2) You’ve collaborated on books with several other writers, including Jack Kilborn (aka J.A. Konrath), F. Paul Wilson and Jeff Strand. What makes collaboration so much fun for you? Is there anything about the experience that you found frustrating?

All of my collaborations to date have been tremendous experiences. No frustration at all. What I love about collaborating is that it changes the way I write and the way I think about sort of frees me up a little. It's very liberating and has made me a better writer, I think.
3) What genre would be the greatest challenge for you to write? Would you ever try it?
I've written across a number of genres, but the hardest was certainly what I did with Abandon, which was an historical thriller. The history research was so much fun, but it was a real challenge to take all the information I gleaned and figure out how to fit it into a story without bogging it down. Still, I'd love to do it again if the right idea came along.
4) What are you working on now? And what are you finding challenging?

I'm working on a couple of projects, one being Pines, my next thriller, and also Stirred with J.A. Konrath. I'm having a blast with both of these. The writing is easy...the real challenge is staying away from distractions and putting up the number of words on a daily basis I feel I need to.
5) What is the biggest disappointment you’ve experienced as a writer, and what did you learn from it?

I don't want to go into a bitchfest about my experience with my traditional publisher, but it was disappointing on a vast number of levels. Financially and creatively. I learned from it that no one can sell my work better than I can, no one can pitch it better than I can, and no one knows the kind of thing I should be writing better than I do. 

Thanks for stopping by Blake!

Blake has just released Thicker Than BloodThe Complete Andrew Z. Thomas Trilogy
Check it out!


J. E. Medrick said...

Awesome that you had Blake by! I know the three of us share Jeroen as a cover artist, so I'm always interested in what my colleagues might be up to :)

Congratulations on all your successes, Blake! That's so amazing you're one of the first five thriller authors the new imprint is backing!

YA: Cheat, Liar, Coward
Adult: Shackled

Suzanne Tyrpak said...

Yeah, And Amazon is throwing a great party in NYC this weekend! Wish we could all be there!!!

J. E. Medrick said...

Oh, I heard about that over on Karen McQuestion's blog! She's invited! Everyone is giving her opinions on what she should wear... (I voted charcoal, black is so boring :P)

YA: Cheat, Liar, Coward
Adult: Shackled

Suzanne Tyrpak said...

Black is soooo New York. I'm originally from there--still go back often to visit friends and family. Once I wore a PINK dress into the city, and everyone asked where I was from. :(

Suzanne Tyrpak said...

Blake, What are you wearing to the Amazon party????

(Durango, our town, was once voted the worst dressed city in the country.)

PJ Jones said...

Hey, Blake! Inspiring that you had so much fun writing with other authors. I have pondered doing the same thing. Glad you are doing well on Amazon vs the trad pub. Keep more of your hard-earned royalties. PJ

Barbara Silkstone said...

Blake, Just wanted to say I love your writing. And never wear pink. I wore it once to a horror conference - almost got mugged.
Thanks for sharing Blake with us.

Blake Crouch said...

Thanks for having me, Suzanne! J.E., your covers look great. Jeroen does amazing work. I'll probably just wear torn Khaki shorts, Tevas, and an ancient tee-shirt to the party (that is Durango fashion).

Suzanne Tyrpak said...

As Barbara says, just stay away from pink, Blake! It's a dangerous color.

author Scott Nicholson said...

Right on, Blake!