Author Revealed

About William Kent Krueger

Q. What is your birthdate?

A. 11/16

Q. Previous occupations

A. Logger, construction worker, janitor, freelance journalist, researcher in child development.

Q. Favorite job

A. Writing! Before that, construction work.

Q. High school and/or college

A. High school in Hood River, Oregon and Manteca, California. College at Stanford University, and Metropolitan State University in Denver, Colorado.

Q. Name of your favorite composer or music artist?

A. I've always had a soft spot in my heart for Carole King.

Q. Favorite movie

A. "The Wizard of Oz". Isn't it everyone's?

Q. Favorite television show

A. Of all time? Monty Python's Flying Circus.

Revealing Questions

Q. How would you describe your life in only 8 words?

A. Family. Reflection. Writing. Discipline. And always the dream.

Q. What is your motto or maxim?

A. Life owes me nothing, no matter how hard I work. Whatever good comes to me in the end is simply a gift and a blessing.

Q. How would you describe perfect happiness?

A. Sitting down with a cup of coffee at sunrise every morning to write exactly what I want to write and to be worried about nothing in that moment except how to make the words sing. Life is too complicated to let this happen very often, but sometimes it all comes together and my god is it magic and does it ever make me happy.

Q. What’s your greatest fear?

A. I fear physical pain. Under threat of torture, I'd fold like a card castle.

Q. If you could be anywhere in the world right now, where would you choose to be?

A. I suppose anywhere that's warm and where there's a white beach that runs along a blue sea. In Minnesota in winter, that always sounds lovely.

Q. Which living person do you most admire?

A. Muhammad Yunus, often called "The Banker to the World's Poor".

Q. What are your most overused words or phrases?

A. Actually I use the word actually way too much in conversation.

Q. What do you regret most?

A. I never learned to play a musical instrument. I'd love to be able to sit down and jam with a bunch of other musicians. What a kick that would be!

Q. If you could acquire any talent, what would it be?

A. The ability to dance like Fred Astaire or Gene Kelly.

Q. What is your greatest achievement?

A. Raising a family.

Q. What’s your greatest flaw?

A. The inability to say no when asked for a favor.

Q. What’s your best quality?

A. The inability to say no when asked for a favor.

Q. If you could be any person or thing, who or what would it be?

A. If I weren't human, I wouldn't mind being an otter.

Q. What trait is most noticeable about you?

A. Physically, my blue eyes and my beard.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional hero?

A. Gus McCrae, the wonderfully flawed and philosophic former Texas Ranger in Larry McMurtry's fine epic Lonesome Dove.

Q. Who is your favorite fictional villain?

A. Professor Moriarity

Q. If you could meet any historical character, who would it be and what would you say to him or her?

A. It well might be Abraham Lincoln. And I'd advise him to skip the play at Ford's Theatre.

Q. What is your biggest pet peeve?

A. People who drive too fast and thoughtlessly.

Q. What is your favorite occupation, when you’re not writing?

A. Grandfather.

Q. What’s your fantasy profession?

A. Forest ranger.

Q. What 3 personal qualities are most important to you?

A. Compassion, honesty, humor.

Q. If you could eat only one thing for the rest of your days, what would it be?

A. Pizza, without a doubt.

Q. What are your 5 favorite songs?

A. "Somewhere over the Rainbow", "Stardust", "Summertime", "Imagine", "American Pie".

On Books and Writing

Q. Who are your favorite authors?

A. F. Scott Fitzgerald Ernest Hemingway John Steinbeck Charles Dickens James Lee Burke

Q. What are your 5 favorite books of all time?

A. To Kill A Mockingbird Grapes of Wrath The Old Man and the Sea Catcher in the Rye Great Expectations

Q. Is there a book you love to reread?

A. To Kill A Mockingbird

Q. Do you have one sentence of advice for new writers?

A. Write because you love to write; any other reason is bound to disappoint you.

Q. What comment do you hear most often from your readers?

A. They love my series protagonist, Cork O'Connor. He's a man they can believe in.

Q. How did you come to write Red Knife?

A. Red Knife is a book about violence, which is something I've been thinking a good deal about over the past several years. In March of 2005 on the Red Lake Reservation in northwestern Minnesota, the worst school shooting in this nation's history up to that point in time occurred. But it wasn't the first fatal school shooting in Minnesota. Two years before that in a small town west of the Twin Cities a high school student shot one of his classmates to death. These tragedies disturbed me greatly. And I began to reflect on violence in our culture and in other cultures and have become convinced that, despite all our lip service about being a peace-loving nation and people, we have perpetuated a belief system that encourages violence as the most legitimate response to threat. Red Knife was the result of all that rather grim rumination.

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