JA Konrath Interviews Jack Kilborn
JA: Thanks for taking time to answer some questions, Jack.
Jack: I’ve heard of you. You write those chick novels, right?
JA: I write about a female cop who chases serial killers. Some folks think they’re pretty scary. Both men and women enjoy the series, but it’s a bit harder-edged than the average suspense novel.
Jack: Aren’t you the guy that visited 600 bookstores in one summer? Signed thousands of books?
JA: That’s me.
Jack: I haven’t seen your name on any bestseller lists.
JA: So, how would you describe AFRAID?
Jack: I tried to write a thriller that included every kind of fear possible. Fear of the dark, or being chased, of drowning, of authority, of burning, of losing a loved one, of pain, of disfigurement…and, of course, fear of being horribly murdered.
JA: What’s the plot?
Jack: A helicopter crashes near the small town of Safe Haven, Wisconsin. It’s so tiny it has a population of 904. But not for long.
JA: So the helicopter lets something loose in town?
Jack: Something horrible. The town can’t defend itself either—no police force. Soon it’s quarantined, and everyone is fighting for their lives.
JA: I was lucky enough to read an advanced reader copy of AFRAID. It scared the hell out of me.
Jack: Thanks. I’m predicting that at least 25% of people who start the book won’t be able to finish it because it’s too frightening. It gave me nightmares when I was writing it.
JA: There certainly are some memorable scares.
Jack: I didn’t use any chapters in the book. My goal was to go from one high point to another without any breaks. I hope it worked.
JA: It worked for me. You call it “technohorror.” What is that?
Jack: The technothriller genre is about fusing modern day science and technology with big thrills. Michael Crichton perfected the form, which has been used to great success by Dan Brown, James Rollins, Steve Berry, and many others. Technohorror views technology in a more sinister way.
JA: Do you think the scenario in AFRAID could happen?
Jack: I wouldn’t be surprised if it already has.
JA: You’ve sort of come out of nowhere. Care to share your writing background?
Jack: It’s probably similar to yours. Bitten by the writing bug at a young age, getting a lot of rejections, finally landing a two-book deal with a big publishing house.
JA: Are you going on a book tour to promote AFRAID?
Jack: Not like you do. I’ll attend a few signings, go to a few conferences.
JA: I like the Afraid Game on your website.
Jack: Thanks. It’s a fun little Flash thing I did. People seem to enjoy it.
JA: There’s also an excerpt from AFRAID on www.jackkilborn.com.
Jack: Almost forty pages worth. A healthy dose of horror. I’ve already gotten some hate email, people saying it’s too graphic. But it’s not really graphic. It’s violent, sure, but I leave most of the details up to the reader. Do you have excerpt on your website?
JA: Yes. I have entire books on my website. I’m not doing an excerpt for CHERRY BOMB, though. That’s because at the end of my last Jack Daniels novel, FUZZY NAIL, there was a cliffhanger, so I don’t want it to leak out early what the big secret is. The book isn’t out until July.
Jack: Can’t people just go on eBay right now and buy an advance reading copy of CHERRY BOMB for like five bucks?
JA: So what’s next for Jack Kilborn?
Jack: I just finished TRAPPED, my follow up to AFRAID. It’s not a sequel, but it is technohorror and explores many of the same themes. The people who have read it believe it’s scarier than AFRAID is.
JA: I don’t see how that’s possible.
Jack: I’ll send you a copy.
JA: Thanks. I’d be happy to blurb it.
Jack: I’m sort of holding out for blurbs from bestselling authors, if you don’t mind. No offense.
JA: No offense taken. Maybe you’d like to blurb one of my books, if you have time.
Jack: One of those chick books? Sure. But I can’t promise I’ll like it.
JA: CHERRY BOMB has a four page sex scene, several torture-murders, and an extended female fist fight.
Jack: I’ll give you my address so you can send me a copy.
Jack Kilborn is the author of the technohorror novel AFRAID, already released by Headline Books in the UK, and coming to the US on March 31 from Grand Central Publishing. Visit him at www.jackkilborn.com.
JA Konrath is the author of the Lt. Jack Daniels thrillers. His sixth, CHERRY BOMB, is being released by Hyperion in July. Visit him at www.jakonrath.com