New Orleans, Louisiana
I’ve been writing since I was a kid. I sold my first poem to Cricket Magazine when I was 12. Although I hold degrees in molecular biology and immunology, I’m a full-time writer now. I write in several different genres: mystery, crime fiction, horror, and speculative fiction.
What have you written?
I’ve published the first two books in the Maddie Pryce mystery series, Darker By Degree and Director’s Cut, and the novel Running Red. I’ve also published my first collection of short stories, Dead Girls and Other Stories.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently working on the next Maddie Pryce book, Scene Stealer, a new lighter paranormal mystery series (the first book is A Willingness of Witches), and a mainstream crime/thriller called Lost Things, which is set in New Orleans. I’m also working on the next collection of short stories. Scene Stealer, A Willingness of Witches, and Lost Things are set to be published before the end of the year. I also do cover design, which is a lovely break from writing.
Where do you do most of your writing and when?
My office is an alcove off the master bedroom, and I do 90% of my writing there. The other 10% of my writing is scribbles on the backs of envelopes and receipts (and occasionally in a notebook, if I remembered to grab one) when I’m stuck in the car. I write whenever it’s quiet, which is usually in the daytime after the kids have gone to school and before they get home, or in the middle of the night when everybody but the cats are asleep.
Describe your writing space…
My writing space consists of a large, built-in desk surrounded by floor-to-ceiling shelves that are filled with books, photographs, hockey figures, and “stuff.” The stuff ranges from a Vincent Price and Bruce Campbell action figures to a “Bewitched” cookie jar that contains my dog’s ashes to a collection of sea glass that I picked up on the beach near San Jose to a gargoyle strung with glass Mardi Gras beads. The desk itself is usually covered with notes and papers and general detritus. My kids’ artwork is tacked up all over the place, along with anything else that caught my eye. Sadly, I think my writing space probably looks like the inside of my head: a bit dusty and jam-packed with every manner of unrelated bric-a-brac. I’m forever searching for things I’ve lost there. Oh, and there’s usually a cat on it somewhere. Pete loves to sleep on the router, because it’s toasty.
Influences as a writer:
Ray Bradbury, Shirley Jackson, Stephen King, James Lee Burke, Carol O’Connell, Richard Matheson, H.P. Lovecraft, Harlan Ellison, and too many others to name.
The one book you wish you’d written:
Boy’s Life by Robert McCammon.
The 5 Keri Knutson Writing Tips:
- Don’t be afraid to tell people, “Shut up, I’m writing.”
- Read. You can’t be a good writer if you’re not a reader.
- Don’t ease up when it gets hard. The first five chapters are a breeze. It’s what comes after….
- Know when you’ve said something too loudly or too many times, or when you’ve done something inartfully enough that it becomes a bludgeon.
- Recognize your crutches and burn them in the hottest fire you can manage.
Links to your work:
Follow on Twitter @KeriKnutson