Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A Few Words About J.A. Konrath

As I mentioned in my post about VIRGIN ZOMBIE, my foray into the J.A. Konrath's JACK DANIELS AND ASSOCIATES Kindle World, my initial exposure to the work of author J.A Konrath was as a fan. Nowadays he is an example and inspiration when I'm working on self publishing, but originally I just liked his Jack Daniels mystery/thrillers. I was rereading one of them last night, WHISKEY SOUR, and something occurred to me.
These days when I hear people talk about Konrath, it's mostly about his business savvy or his position as a guru for Ebook self publishing, or his stance against the anti-Amazon crowd, and such. People talk about his sales numbers, which he shares on his blog. They talk about how he's making a killing.
What they don't talk about is perhaps one of the most important aspects of Konrath's novels. That they're good books. They're fun to read. They're well written. They have snappy dialog, great plots and relentless narrative drive. We're not talking about widgets here, but books. Last night, as I was reading a funny scene between police Lieutenant Jack Daniels and sleazy PI, Harry McGlade, I was literally laughing out loud. Three pages later something truly horrible happened to a supporting character. Konrath is the king of the roller coaster ride of a book.
I was talking to someone about what some of my favorite reads for the last couple of years were and several of them were by Konrath, both on his own, and with some of his collaborators. The Jack Daniels books of course, but also SUCKERS, written with Jeff Strand, a book that made me laugh so much I almost hurt myself. And then there's FIX, written with Ann Voss Peterson and F. Paul Wilson, which I reviewed here at the blog, and which is just about my favorite read this year. And DRACULAS, written with Jeff Strand, F. Paul Wilson, and Blake Crouch, which is one of my absolute favorite vampire novels. I reviewed that one here too.
I guess my point, in saying nice things about J.A. Konrath's work, is that people seem to want to give all kinds of reasons as to why the man is a success. That he caught the Ebook wave when it was starting. That he had an 'in' to the publishing world. That (and this he has refuted many times) he is only popular because he had success as a traditionally published author before he turned to self publishing. What they don't seem to want to admit is that the man can write. That he tells a good story. That his books are hard to put down. Easier to make excuses as to why he's outselling you I guess, than to just say, hey the guy can write a mean thriller.
So go buy some of his books and see what I'm talking about. 

His website is here: