36 Finalists Blog: Allen Eskens

Each day leading up to the 32nd annual Minnesota Book Awards announcement, we’ll be featuring an exclusive interview with one of our 36 finalists.

Interview with Allen Eskens, author of Nothing More Dangerous, part of the Genre Fiction category, sponsored by Macalester College

How does it feel to be a Minnesota Book Award finalist?

It is incredibly gratifying to be named a finalist for the Minnesota Book Award. Minnesota is home to some of the finest writers in the country, if not the world. Being chosen to be in the company of such wonderful writers is an honor.

Tell us something about your finalist book that you want readers to know?

Nothing More Dangerous is a book that I began writing in 1992. It tells the journey of a young man coming to understand himself as well as the world around him as he delves into the mystery of a missing woman. While it is a mystery, it is my most literary novel. It is a story that is near to my heart and is the story that I became a writer to tell.

Share something about your writing process and preferences. For instance, where is your favorite place to write?

I come to writing as a daydreamer. I find great joy in thinking about my novels for months and even years before I actually sit down to write them. I outline the story thoroughly, so that by the time I sit down to write it, I know the story and its characters intimately.

Minnesota has a reputation as a state that values literature and reading. In your experience, what is it about our state that makes it such a welcoming place for writers and book creators?

As someone who grew up outside of Minnesota, this state has always had a reputation for being one that values education, which goes hand in hand with reading. Minnesota has some of the strongest and oldest book clubs in the country, as well as a school system that encourages young readers to follow that path.

What is something you are good at that few people know about?

I can hang Sheetrock. In my novel, Nothing More Dangerous, I have my protagonist and his mother both working at a drywall company because I grew up the son of a drywaller and that is the world I knew.

What do you love about libraries?

Libraries have been at the heart of my success as a writer. I have been invited to speak at libraries throughout the state, and it is such a wonderful way to connect with readers and fans. I greatly appreciate Minnesota’s libraries.

Allen Eskens is the Minnesota Book Award-winning author of six novels, including The Life We Bury and The Heavens May Fall. He is also the recipient of the Barry, the Rosebud, and the Silver Falchion Award.