Author Interview: Chris Knopf

I read my first Chris Knopf book a few years ago with his novel Dead Anyways, and I had no idea that it was a series till earlier this year when I discovered Cries of the Lost. Knopf's book really show you what someone can find about you on the internet and that in this day in age, Geeks Rule :)

Please Welcome to Blood Rose Books Today

Chris Knopf

If there was one author you could co-write a novel with (they can be alive or dead) who would you choose and why?
Gillian Flynn.  Gone Girl is a masterpiece, beyond anything I’ve read since Presumed Innocent, my enduring favorite mystery.  Favorite book, for that matter.  Both are proof that genre fiction can be great literature.  Though I’d be intimidated.  She’s really smart.

Your novels Dead Anyway and Cries of the Lost would fall into the mystery/thriller genres which can be a hard genre to get a following in as there are many well-known and well followed authors within it. How do you think that your novels differ from other authors within this genre?
This series is filled with technology and “what-if” premises.  They’re also heavily character-driven and both funny and tense.  I think too many thrillers are dumbed down and formulaic.  These aren’t.  They aren’t for readers who like a high body count and uber-machismo.  Arthur Cathcart is an intellectual, and he uses his brains to overcome the dark forces.

What do you think would be the hardest or most challenging genre to write a novel in and why?
All genres have their challenges.  I think the harder thing is to mix genres successfully, since publishing prefers to define you within a particular box. 

Arthur is not your typical hero in a thriller novel, why did you decide to have him be more brain than brawn? Do you think that this is his most defining aspects?
You already wrote it.  More brains than brawn.  I’m not interested in physical prowess.  It means nothing in the modern world.  Geeks rule.  See Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Sergey Brin..I could go on.

Especially in the second book of the series, Cries of the Lost, there is quite a bit of travel around the world, are you writing about places that you have visited? Where are you going to take Arthur next?
I only wrote about places I’ve been.  I’ve been lucky to have traveled enough to have a wide sweep.  Not sure where Arthur will go next, since after A Billion Ways To Die, I’m back with my original series hero Sam Acquillo.

Within your books you have Arthur complete all types of tasks and dig for information over the internet to find the information that he needs, just how scary is the internet and the information that you can find out about someone? What research did you do in order to make sure that the tech and internet part was accurate within your books?
The Internet is indeed the Wild West.  I can find anyone who isn’t trying to hide, and the government can usually find them.  People have no idea.  The harder part is hiding.  I researched everything very carefully, having the privilege of knowing people who know what’s possible and what isn’t.

I have not had a chance yet to read any of the books in your Sam Acquillo series, how would you describe the series and main character?
Sam is an ex-professional boxer and ex-corporate executive who managed to lose his wife, job, house and all that money, before retreating to a cottage on the Little Peconic Bay north of Southampton, NY in order to drink himself to death.  Sam gets pulled into solving a murder everyone thought was an accident, and in so doing, regained much of his former self.  Now he’s a cabinetmaker, with a girlfriend, dog, close allies, and a sailboat, though trouble still finds him.  He still drinks a bit too much, and has a hard time backing down from a fight, but he’s philosophical, and loves his new life and close ties despite his cranky nature.  The books are also an examination of the haves and have nots in the Hampton, told from the perspective of the have-nots, who are plentiful, albeit invisible.

Do you have any information on upcoming works or events that you are able to share?
I’m writing Sam 7, working title Back Lash.  Sam’s mechanic father was beaten to death in a bar thirty years before, and this is the book where Sam reluctantly returns to the scene of the crime to solve the mystery of whodunit.

What is one book (other than one of your own) that you think everyone should read?
If we stipulate the mystery/crime fiction genre, Presumed Innocent, Scott Turow.  Though I’d add Mystic River, Dennis Lehane, Gone Girl, Gillian Flynn, Maltese Falcon, Dashiel Hammett, Farewell My Lovely, Raymond Chandler…. because no one book does it all. 

If you mean all types of books, I’ll need more space.

Thank you Chris once again for being part of my blogoversary and taking the time to answer some interview questions. Chris' novels were a great find for me as they approach a thriller/mystery novel in a different way. Yes, the books still have some action scenes and guns blazing but his novels show that there is more to mystery/thriller novels than this and with right knowledge and mind you can find anything out.