Keith Rawson is a highly respected writer and a pillar in the crime writing community. As one of the team who resurrected Crime Factory and now a contributor to LitReactor, it's a wonder he finds time to write. But he has managed to put out two collections of his raw, uncompromising short stories.
You can get to know Keith's style over more than 40 stories that take you to dark and unexpected places, often with some very black humor along the way.
Keith joins us from the dusty Arizona bunker where his vivid imagination runs wild.
What do you do as your day job?
I work as a social media manager for a small magazine and book publisher
When do you find time to write? At this point, any time I have a free minute from family and work obligations, which is an hour or two a day during the week. Time for writing is the biggest obstacle I have at this point.
Has your job or coworkers ever influenced a story?
Not from my current job, but my previous job inspired a handful of short stories
What would it take for you to quit and write full time?
If I was making the same as I do at the day job, maybe even a little less.
Do your coworkers know you write? Do they know you write dark crime fiction?
They do know what I write, a couple of them have even bought my books.
What do they say about it?
They've never mentioned it, so they either think I suck or they haven't read them yet.
Do you think people respect writing as a job, or does it come off as less "work" than a labor or office job?
Maybe it's the people I hang out with, but most of my friends and co-workers realize that writing is hard work. Most people I know are shocked that I even have the time and energy to write and work, so they're very respectful of it as a profession
Be honest, if you wrote full time, do you think you'd be disciplined about it?
I think I would? I would just have to develop a regular schedule and stick with it.
What job, other than writing, would you most like to have?
I actually work it right now, so I feel fairly satisfied in my day-to-day life.
What has been your best job? Your worst?
Best job was working graveyard shift at a gas station/garage. I didn't make all that much, but I met a ton of interesting people and spent most nights reading and writing. My worst job is a tie between being the manager of a day program for special needs adults and children, and that mostly had to do with the hours (I typically worked 14 hours a day.) and the job I worked before my current gig. I won't mention the name of the company or what I did because the company tends to be a bit sue happy whenever they're mentioned negatively.
When do you find time to read?
An hour or so before bed and on my lunch hour. I'm a fast reader, so I can typically chew through 300 pages in the time I have for reading.
Have you ever, or maybe how often, have you considered quitting and shacking up to write novels, money issues be damned?
I think about it daily, but I don't think it would be fair for my wife to shoulder the entire burden of supporting the household while I churned out a novel.
What is your ultimate goal with writing? Full time journeyman or millionaire? Or are you satisfied doing it part time?
I'd like to just make a living at it, and for the time being, I'm content with doing it part time.
Given what you've earned writing, dividing it by the hours spent, what would you say is your hourly wage as a writer?
Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Next question.
Do you have a spouse/partner that would support you writing full time?
I don't know because I've never really broached the subject with my wife. I think if I felt comfortable with the money I was earning, she'd be comfortable with it too.