Born in 1982 and with the first of his eight novels published in 2004, Michael Koryta’s star has been rising so fast, it seems a foregone conclusion we’ll be reading his muscular style of crime fiction for a long time to come.

Over at the Rap Sheet, January Magazine contributing editor Ali Karim interviews Koryta in a conversation that takes them all over the young writer’s career. Asked about how the reading and writing bug came to him, Kortya replies at length:

I’ve always wanted to be a writer. Always. From the moment I started reading. My parents were readers, and what they taught me that was indispensable was the idea of reading for pleasure. It was not some forced educational merit badge work. Books became a huge part of my life, and of my sister’s, when we were very young. It was a big deal to go to a bookstore or a library–that was setting up your entertainment for a while. But then again, we went outdoors to play, too, so obviously we were raised in a very strange way. An alternative lifestyle. Ha! I would finish a book that I loved and then set out to write my own story that was basically a clone but dropped into a life closer to my own. That was the early writing, just mimicking the voices I liked. I’d written three novels by the time I was 19 and the third one sold, that was Tonight I Said Goodbye, which was the first one published in the U.S.

Fans will be especially happy to note that a new book is heading their way:

I just turned in a draft of a crime novel last week, it should be out early in 2014–a cheerful wilderness thriller, much like Deliverance was. I’m also working on a short story for a horror anthology and shaping the plan for the next book. Whether I start on it before the rewrite depends upon my editor’s speed. I don’t like to take much time off between writing, so there is a good chance I will have [the next book] underway before I finish the rewrite.

The full interview is here.

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