I have been hearing raves about author Michael Koryta for several years but it was when I read, in this Wall Street Journal piece, that he was now not only a colleague of some of my favorite writers but also getting praise and help from a few specific ones I love that I decided to check it out. He thanks at the end of the book Dennis Lehane, Laura Lippman, Michael Connelly and George Pelecanos. (The links take you to interviews with each.)
So Cold the River is a departure from Koryta's usual crime writing, but it's still fascinating. Put simply it meets the hype. It is more reminiscent at times of Stephen King's The Shining than Dennis Lehane's Mystic River, a book and author which Kortya often praises in interviews.
Our email interview follows. I mention in the interview bottled water. A bottle of water and its mysterious origin, content and effect plays a major role in this book.
How did you pitch this book? Why did you decide to try to do
something outside of the crime genre?
Well, ironically it was supposed to be a novella. As you can see from the 500-plus pages, that plan got away from me. The idea of doing something in the supernatural vein came from the place itself. It seemed to call for that kind of story, and it allowed me to bridge eras smoothly. It was also the kind of creative change that can refresh you. But it basically comes down to the Springs Valley region, the folklore, and all of those elements that kept shouting "ghost story" in my ear.
I have told your publicist - and this is true - that I'm scared now
to drink bottled drinks. Are you proud of yourself? Actually you
probably are because it means you've thoroughly freaked out a reader.
Haha, yes, deeply proud to hear this. Stay away from the antique bottles and I imagine you'll be fine. But you just never know...