Frequently Asked Questions
Q: When is your next book coming out?
A: I’m always working on some new project. The best way to know when my newest work is released is to sign up for my newsletter. I only send a handful of updates a year. I’ll never give your email address to anyone else, and you can opt out at any time.
Q: How can I get in touch with you?
A: My email is firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also reach me via snail mail at Joe Konrath, P.O. Box 212, Phillips WI 54555. I’ll try my best to respond.
Q: Do you still do book signings, tours, and conferences?
A: After doing over a thousand signings and conventions in forty-two states, I retired from travelling. I still love bookstores and libraries, but I just don’t make public appearances anymore. But if you want some free signed bookplates (autographed stickers that can be placed inside your books) send me a self-addressed stamped envelope to my P.O. box above and I’ll send some out to you.
Q: How many pen names do you have?
A: I used to write horror under the name Jack Kilborn and sci-fi under the name Joe Kimball, but I’ve since killed Kilborn and Kimball and all of those books are now published under J.A. Konrath.
Q: I’ve heard you have a secret pen name.
A: I do. It’s Melinda DuChamp. Melinda writes erotica for smart people who like to laugh. They’re funny, and sexy, and have heart. I explain more about Melinda here, and you can buy her books here, and you can visit her website and sign up for her newsletter here.
Q: How did you get the rights back from your previous publishers?
A: My previous contracts have been amicably terminated.
Q: Do I need to read your books in order?
A: No, they are all written as stand-alone works. A lot of my stories also take place in the past (for example, a lot of my new Jack Daniels stories have her still a Chicago Homicide Lieutenant, even though she quit the police force after Fuzzy Navel).
Read them in whatever order you like. Jack and her co-stars make a lot of appearances in my other work (the Codename: Chandler series, the Timecaster series, The Jack Daniels and Associates series, the Konrath Dark Thriller Collective) so don’t be surprised if they turn up in a book you weren’t expecting them to be in.
Q: You’ve got all of these ebooks you did with Blake Crouch on Amazon but not listed on your website, including Serial, Serial Uncut, Killers, Killers Uncut, and Birds of Prey. How can I get those?
A: All of those stories are in combined in the ebook Serial Killers Uncut, which is listed on this website. I recommend you just read that, as it includes all of those mentioned above, and also some extra content.
Q: Why does Jack’s Chevy Nova keep changing model years? Is it an ’84 or ’86 or what?
A: I constantly change the age of Jack’s car from book to book to see if fans are paying attention. They obviously are, because I’ve gotten dozens of emails asking me about it. If you noticed it, you have my undying admiration.
Q: Why are your ebooks only available on Kindle?
A: Currently, Amazon allows me to reach the most customers—more than all the other ebook retailers combined—through their Kindle Unlimited program. None of my ebooks have DRM, so for titles not available on my website, you should be able to buy from Amazon and convert to the reading device of your choice.
But every six months or so I make everything available on all platforms. Best way to know when this happens is to sign up for my newsletter and I’ll make an announcement.
Q: I’m a foreign publisher/movie producer/TV writer/video game company who wants to acquire rights to one of your works. How do I know if it is available?
A: For foreign rights, TV and movie rights, and interactive multimedia rights, contact my literary agent Jane Dystel at email@example.com, One Union Square West, Suite 904, New York, NY 10003. Phone: 212-627-9100.
Q: You’ve done a lot of collaborations with other authors. Why?
A: First, because it’s a lot of fun to work on a story with someone else. Second, because fans like cross-overs. A lot of my collaborations involve my characters interacting with characters from another author’s series or universe. It expands both of our worlds, and our fanbases.
Q: A lot of your characters appear in a lot of different stories, and some even appear in other writers’ works. Do you have some sort of list of who appears where?
A: Yes. The Character Appearances page has a list of my main characters, and in which works they appear.
Q: Your blog, A Newbie’s Guide To Publishing, hasn’t been active in a while. Will you ever go back to blogging about writing?
A: Never say never. I did do an update about artificial intelligence, but my commitment is to putting out more fiction.
Q: Will you do more Timecaster books? Will you do more Dark Thriller Collective books?
A: I’d like to. The Jack Daniels books seem to be the fan favorites, and I’d rather give my hardcore readers more Jack than deal with other series. That said I have ideas for more of both series.
Q: You don’t share many personal details about your life. Why not?
A: I’m boring. I’m an old married guy. I like homebrewing and reading non-fiction and collecting stuff and fishing and puttering around the house and hanging out with friends and family and my dogs. I use social media for work; for announcements and for reaching readers. In person I’m a lot like my character Harry McGlade, but grumpier and much less hyperactive.
Q: In your books, Harry has aphantasia and S-DAM. Do you also have those mental conditions?
A: I do. I found out a few years ago that I lack a mind’s eye and cannot recall memories. Aphantasia is the inability to visualize anything mentally. Can you close your eyes and picture a red square? Or imagine yourself on a beach? I can’t do those things. All I see is blackness. S-DAM is Severely Deficient Autobiographical Memory. I don’t remember specifics from my past. I know I’ve done certain things, but I only have feelings about those things, not actual visuals. It’s why my books don’t have long, descriptive passages; I don’t “see” stuff in my head.
Q: So how do you write if you can’t see anything?
A: I think using an internal voice that tells me the story and makes connections among scenes. So I can “find” jokes, and plot escalations and twists, and character moments, because my mind puts together a lot of seemingly unrelated sources. Because I can’t visualize anything, I learned to tell stories in my head to better understand the world, and now I tell stories to the world to better understand myself.
Q: Got any other things to say?
A: A few things.
Draculas was written by me, Blake Crouch, Jeff Strand, and F. Paul Wilson. The character of Clayton Theel also appears in Serial Killers Uncut.
Disturb was a stand-alone medical thriller, but there’s a short reference to Biologen at the end of Cherry Bomb, and N-Som figures prominently in The Nine and Second Coming.
Javier Estrada is the main antagonist of Blake Crouch’s Snowbound, and Isaiah Brown is the main antagonist of Blake Crouch’s Abandon. They both appear in his Lettie Dobesh stories (Confidence Girl) and also appear in Spree.
Jeff Strand’s character Andrew Mayhem has cameos in Banana Hammock and Bite Force.
Tom Schreck’s character Duffy Dombrowski has a cameo in Stirred.
Henry Perez’s character Alex Chapa has cameos in Shaken and Stirred.
Ann Voss Peterson’s characters Val Ryker and David Lund star in her novels Pushed Too Far and Burned Too Hot, and also appear in Spree.
Talon Avalon, the hero of the Timecaster series, is the grandson of Jack Daniels and Phineas Troutt.
A recurring villain in the Timecaster series, Teague VanCamp, is the grandson of Josh and Fran VanCamp (Afraid, Haunted House).
The short stories Serial, Serial Uncut, Killers, Killers Uncut, Birds of Prey, Bad Girl, and Break You are all compiled in the collection Serial Killers Uncut co-written with Blake Crouch. It also includes almost every villain Blake and I had written up until 2010.
Q: You have several short story collections. Which stories are included in them?
A: If you want to get a compilation of all the early stories I wrote, they’re all in 65 Proof and Jack Daniels Stories Vol. 2-4. Here are the contents of each collection:
The twenty stories include:
The Big Guys—Flash fiction, winner of the Derringer Award.
A Fistful of Cozy—A satire of the mystery cozy genre.
Cleansing—An ancient crime of biblical proportions.
Lying Eyes—Solve it yourself, given the clues.
Perfect Plan—Another solve it yourself. Don’t you remember One Minute Mysteries and Encyclopedia Brown?
Piece of Cake—Another solve it yourself, originally featured in Woman’s World.
Animal Attraction—Solve it yourself.
Urgent Reply Needed—A cautionary tale about dealing with spammers.
Blaine’s Deal—A parody of hardboiled noir.
Light Drizzle—A light-hearted send-up of hitman stories.
An Archaeologist’s Story—How digging up old bones leads to fresh corpses.
Don’t Press That Button!—An essay about the gadgets in the James Bond universe, and which you need to buy.
Piranha Pool—A writer seeking criticism pays the ultimate price.
A Newbie’s Guide to Thrillerfest—Never been to a mystery conference? Here’s the in-depth dirt.
Inspector Oxnard—He’s either brilliant, or too stupid to breathe.
One Night Only—A sports fan ends up in jail, all for the love of the game.
Could Stephanie Plum Car Really Get Car Insurance?—An essay about Janet Evanovich’s famous character.
Cozy or Hardboiled?—Take the test to find out which type of book you’re reading.
Addiction—What’s the worst drug you can get hung up on?
Weigh To Go—A humor column about health clubs.
The twenty-four stories include:
Finicky Eater—It’s after a nuclear war, and a mother and her son are in a fallout shelter, the food long long…
The Screaming—Van Helsing and vampires, in 1960s England.
Mr. Pull Ups—A body modification tale taken to the extreme.
The Shed—Two burglars find the door to hell.
Them’s Good Eats—Rednecks vs. aliens, on a spaceship ride of horrors.
First Time—A coming of age tale where all may not be what it seems.
Forgiveness—A dying serial killer asks for a priest to hear his last confession.
Redux—Ghost story noir, about a private eye and a deadly haunting.
The Bag—What’s in the bag? You really don’t want to know…
Careful, He Bites—Lycanthrope flash fiction.
Symbios—A sci-fi novella about man’s first encounter with alien life, and how things can quickly turn bad.
A Matter of Taste—Zombie flash fiction.
Embrace—A bit of gothic horror.
Trailer Sucks—Some trailer park jerks kidnap a vampire.
Markey—Flash fiction, from a twisted point of view.
Punishment Room—A horrific suspense tale about a not-so-distant future.
The Confession—Terrible crimes, told entirely in dialog.
Basketcase—Hardboiled noir with a horrific twist.
The Agreement—A gambler pays the ultimate price to get out of a debt.
Well Balanced Meal—The worst restaurant you’ve ever been in…
S.A.—A werewolf novella about a Shapeshifters Anonymous group that must battle Santa Claus.
Dear Diary—A very twisted pom pon girl reveals the secret of her inner strength.
Mr. Spaceman—We’ve come to mate with earth women.
Appalachian Lullaby—What do you do with a radioactive monkey?
JACK DANIELS STORIES
The stories include:
On the Rocks—Suicide or murder? Lt. Jack Daniels solves a locked room mystery.
Whelp Wanted—P.I. Harry McGlade becomes a dognapper in order to stop a dognapper, or something like that.
Street Music—Phineas Troutt hunts a prostitute through the dangerous streets of Chicago. Are his intentions pure?
The One That Got Away—The Gingerbread Man (the villain from WHISKEY SOUR) hunts one final victim.
With a Twist—It looked like the man fell from a great height, but the body is in his living room. Jack Daniels solves another impossible crime.
Epitaph—Phin Troutt takes on a Chicago street gang with vengeance on his mind.
Taken to the Cleaners—Harry McGlade tries to solve a difficult mystery, but mostly just goofs off.
Body Shots—Jack Daniels faces her most challenging case yet; a school shooting. But does she know more about the perp than she realizes?
Suffer—Phineas Troutt has taken some questionable jobs, but will he murder a man’s wife?
School Daze—P.I. Harry McGlade investigates a private school, but he’s not entirely sure why.
Overproof—While shopping on the Gold Coast, Jack Daniels notices traffic has come to a stand-still. When she realizes what the problem is, she’s confronted with her own mortality, and the possible deaths of hundreds.
Bereavement—How badly does Phineas Troutt need a fix? What is he willing to do?
Pot Shot—Detective Herb Benedict just wants a home cooked meal. But his plans get interrupted by a very determined sniper.
Last Request—Phineas Troutt picks up a hitchhiker, with deadly results.
The Necro File—Harry McGlade investigates some bizarre murders in this hilarious, gore-filled mini-epic. (Author’s note: This is easily the funniest thing I’ve ever written, but it’s also very offensive. Let the reader beware…)
Jacked Up by JA Konrath & Tracy Sharp
Floaters by JA Konrath & Henry Perez
Babysitting Money by JA Konrath & Ken Lindsey
Rescue by JA Konrath & Ann Voss Peterson
A Game of Pool by JA Konrath
Suckers by JA Konrath & Jeff Strand
Cheese Wrestling by JA Konrath & Bernard Schaffer
Babe on Board by JA Konrath & Ann Voss Peterson
Abductions by JA Konrath & Garth Perry
Planter’s Punch by JA Konrath & Tom Schreck
Racked by JA Konrath & Jude Hardin
Fix by JA Konrath, Ann Voss Peterson, & F. Paul Wilson
Straight Up by JA Konrath & Iain Rob Wright
Watched Too Long by JA Konrath & Ann Voss Peterson
October Dark by JA Konrath and Joshua Simcox
Beat Down by JA Konrath & Garth Perry
A Letter To Jack by Harry McGlade & JA Konrath
Burners by JA Konrath & Henry Perez
The 65 stories include:
On the Rocks—Jack Daniels solves a locked room mystery
Whelp Wanted—Harry McGlade becomes a dognapper
Street Music—Phineas Troutt hunts a prostitute
The One That Got Away—The Gingerbread Man’s last victim
With a Twist—Jack Daniels solves an impossible crime
Epitaph—Phineas Troutt avenges a death
Taken to the Cleaners—Harry McGlade goofs off
Body Shots—Jack Daniels at a school shooting
Suffer—Phineas Troutt as a hitman
Overproof—Jack Daniels discovers what is stopping traffic
Bereavement—Phineas Troutt as hitman
Pot Shot—Herb Benedict gets shot at
Last Request—Phineas Troutt meets his match
Planter’s Punch—Jack Daniels meets Tom Schreck’s Duffy Domborwski
Truck Stop—Jack Daniels meets Taylor from Afraid and Donaldson from Serial
The Big Guys—flash fiction
The Agreement—very nasty noir
A Fistful of Cozy—a satire of the cozy genre
Cleansing—a crime of biblical proportions
Lying Eyes—solve it yourself
Perfect Plan—solve it yourself
Piece of Cake—solve it yourself
Animal Attraction—solve it yourself
Urgent Reply Needed—how to deal with spammers
Blaine’s Deal—parody of hardboiled noir
The Confession—horrific noir
Finicky Eater—nuclear holocaust and cannibals
The Screaming—Van Helsing lives
Mr. Pull Ups—body modification horror
The Shed—some losers find the door to hell
Them’s Good Eats—rednecks vs. aliens
First Time—a tender coming of age story
Forgiveness—the genesis of evil
Redux—ghost story noir
The Bag—what’s in the bag?
Careful, He Bites—lyncanthrope flash fiction
A Matter of Taste—zombie flash fiction
Trailer Sucks—gross out gore
Punishment Room—horrific suspense
Shapeshifter’s Anonymous—funny paranormal
Serial Uncut—with Blake Crouch
Dear Diary—a dip into madness
The Eagle—early horror
A Sound of Blunder—with F. Paul Wilson
Light Drizzle—parody of hitman stories
Mr. Spaceman—science fiction satire
Don’t Press That Button!—essay on James Bond
Piranha Pool—comedy about writing
Well Balanced Meal—gross out humor
A Newbie’s Guide to Thrillerfest—essay on writing conventions
Inspector Oxnard—parody of mysteries
Appalachian Lullaby—radioactive monkeys
One Night Only—humorous story
An Archaeologist’s Story—satire
Could Stephanie Plum Car Really Get Car Insurance?—essay
Cozy or Hardboiled?—essay
Addiction—comedy about writing
Weigh To Go—humor column about health clubs
Cub Scout Gore Feast—with Jeff Strand
Hint Fiction—four super shorts