Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Author Interview: Walter Krumm

My last blog review was on a book by Walter Krumm author of "Diary of A Dead Man". Phenix & Phenix Literary Publicists ( arranged for an interview with him. Here is the interview.

MR - When did you decide to write this book?*
WK - The plot had been brewing in my mind since early 2000. Several years ago, I woke up one Saturday morning and simply started writing. It was as if I had already been working on it for years. I started slow, not writing every day, and after six months has passed I had written half of the first draft. It was then that the characters took over and I finished the second half in the next 60 days.

MR - How did your idea for the book / story evolve?*
WK - I tend to think in terms of “dramatic moments.” My first vision was a man opening an email from an anonymous sender. Inside are incriminating pictures that take his breath away. I really allowed myself to feel the moment – his heart pounding, his breath getting short, and the cold sweat that comes when you realize your secret sins have been exposed. Cameron quickly became a real person to me. Then I asked myself one question. What led to this moment? Emily came to life as the other woman in the pictures. His wife Julie and his children quickly followed. Then I simply let my mind wander and imagine all the possibilities. I did this for months before I ever wrote a sentence. By the time I started writing, I knew exactly how Cameron ended up in those pictures. But that was only the beginning of the story. From there, I simply let the characters “show me” how they were going to respond. It was a lot of fun to write that way because I didn’t know how it was going to end.

MR - *How did you choose the place for the story? *
WK - I once read some great advice from Stephen King. He says to write what you know – you have to be true to who you are. I wanted to be able to have a really good grasp of the locations so I could clearly picture each one in my mind. I was born and raised in Columbus, OH. This made it the obvious choice for most of the action to take place. My parents have lived in Naples, FL for more than 20 years. And the Cayman Islands will always hold a special place in my heart because my wife and I were married there. So, those three locations were very familiar for me. It was important to choose places where I could really “feel” the scenes.*

MR - What has been your biggest challenge in writing?*
WK - The obvious answer is time. My preference in writing is to write 3 pages a day, every single day. But life seems to get in the way and it’s hard to find time to write with that kind of commitment. Beyond that, I find it challenging to write with creativity and purpose at the same time. It’s a very fine line to walk. I would never want to hit people over the head with my own agenda, but I would like there to be some kind of redeeming message within the story. Sometimes this conflicts with my own creative freedom. Ideas can be “fenced in” a little if I’m too concerned about a particular message. In _Diary of a Dead Man_, it was liberating to find that the characters chose the message for me. So, I just let my mind go anywhere it wanted. The message came naturally.*

MR - Have you written anything else?*
WK - I’ve been writing Christian drama sketches since I was in college. I’m 43 now, so I’ve written a lot of scripts. When I was in my twenties I published a book called _God Even Uses Lefties_ which is a collection of short sketches. Of course, sitting in my desk drawer is a manuscript for another book. It is a young adult fantasy fiction called _Out of the Valley of Shadows_. Someday I hope it will be in print, but it still needs some work. And currently, I am working on a new novel to follow _Diary of a Dead Man_.*

MR - Do you have a favorite kind of book you like to read?
WK – I enjoy mysteries, thrillers, and suspense novels. I’m pretty much like the rest of the masses who love the escape of a good thriller. Michael Prescott’s writing is right in my wheelhouse. In fact, it’s probably his books more than any other that inspired me to focus on suspense writing. But, I enjoy most of the mainstream fiction authors as well. I also read a lot of nonfiction books that are spiritually enlightening.*

MR - Would you like to tell us anything else?*
WK - The blackmail scheme detailed in this book is most certainly possible. I have said to many people that I believe I could pull it off myself. Interestingly enough, I have found that crimes such as these are happening today – to the tune of billions of dollars. I have not read of a specific operation exactly like the one in my book, but there are thousands of online dating scams reported each year. I can only imagine how many of them go unreported.

WK - I would also like add that while the topic matter in _Diary of a Dead Man_ is somewhat “spicy,” I think your readers will find it to be a clean book and hopefully it will provide a message of hope for those who have ears to hear.

WK - Finally, I would just like to say thank you for your interest. I truly enjoyed the thought process in answering your questions. And after reading your review of my book, I wanted to commend you on the fact that you “get it.” I would never have guessed someone would have begun by quoting the “monkey story.” That tells me that you have ears to hear. I admire that.

WK - Thanks so much,Walter Krumm


JenningsJunk said...

Fantastic interview. Good, thoughtful questions and up front answers. I really appreciate it. I'm glad to hear there's another book in the works after Diary of a Dead Man. Guess, I need to bump Dairy up on my wanna read list so I'll be ready for the follow up. Thanks MR for the interview and sharing the responses.

misterreereeder said...

Thank you JJ. I am thinking of trying to get some more author interviews for future postings as well.

Meadowview Thymes said...

My goodness, what an interview! This author really pulled me in just doing an interview. I liked your questions and I liked his answers. I look forward to reading this book. Thanks for the great review..and now a great interview. Hope you'll be able to combine these 2 things again in the future.

Ksiera47 said...

AWESOME AWESOME AWESOME... I really enjoyed the interview. IT was great. Thanks again for a great job :) I enjoy reading your blog and learning of the books you read :) Thank you once again Misterreereeder :)