Tuesday, February 19, 2008

The Minnesota Mysteries continue with William Kent Krueger

I talked with MN Mystery writer William Kent Krueger today - you can hear it Wednesday night from 6-7 and Sunday morning from 9-10. OR, you can come hear Kent speak as part of the MN Crime Wave happening in Grand Rapids on Monday evening at 7pm at ICC's Davies Theater.

Kent's mysteries take place in fictional Aurora, Minnesota - a landscape that he says "cried out to him". Kent went on to say:

"A fiction writer looks for conflict. Conflict drives great stories.
Aurora has conflict in the land, conflict in the weather and conflict within
the community. Stories rise not just out of the landscape but out of the
incredible melting pot up north."

As a wannabe-writer myself, it is always interesting to hear of the rituals that writers have. If you look at Kent's website you'll see he has a habit of writing early in the morning at a coffeeshop. For most of his career he did that at booth #4 at the St. Clair Broiler in St. Paul. I asked why he writes in a public place, he said:

"Ernest Hemingway had always been one of my favorite authors and what I
knew about Hemingway was that he loved nothing better than to rise at first
light and spend a couple of hours writing. He thought it was the most
creative time of the day - so I thought, well, whatever's good enough for
Hemingway....I was living a block from the St. Clair Broiler, a classic
coffeeshop in St. Paul - and they opened the doors at 6am. So I would get
up at 5:30, get myself ready for when they opened at 6 and write for about 1
hour and 15 minutes until the bus came to take me to work. "

"I tried to write at home but I couldn't do it for this reason: when
I'm at home what happens around my house demands my attention. At a
restaurant it all becomes white noise and I think myself really deeply down into
the imagining of whatever I need to work on at the moment. I think
we all have rituals - those elements of magic that help us accomplish this
incredible process that I think none of us understand."

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