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Speed chat with Julie Kramer about her next thriller at the Book Club Blast

Julie Kramer, former investigative journalist for WCCO-TV, writes thrillers set in the world of television news. Her third book will be out in June.

Julie Kramer, former TV journalist and writer of best-selling thrillers, will talk about her forthcoming book at the Book Club Blast.

MinnPost: Tell us about your published work and upcoming book release.

Julie Kramer: I write a thriller series set in the desperate world of television news featuring a reporter named Riley Spartz.

My debut, “Stalking Susan,” deals with a serial killer targeting women named Susan, and was inspired by two St. Paul cold cases I covered as an investigative journalist for WCCO-TV. 

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It won the 2009 Minnesota Book Award, and was also a finalist for several mystery awards — the Mary Higgins Clark, the Anthony, the Barry and the Shamus.

In my second book, “Missing Mark,” I take readers inside how newsrooms decide which missing people get publicity and which don’t. People magazine called it “a crowd-pleaser” with “smart dialogue and a fleet pace.”

My latest book, “Silencing Sam” (Atria), comes out June 22. It explores the differences and similarities between news and gossip.

One question fans frequently ask is, “What color will the next cover be?” 

The answer? Red.

MP: Which writers or works have been the strongest influences on your own writing?

JK: I write what I know, which is television news.

I also write what I read, which are mysteries and thrillers.

Before I sat down to write fiction, I went back and reread the first books in series that I loved — John Sandford, Linda Fairstein, Janet Evanovich, Sue Grafton, Kathy Reichs, Patricia Cornwall — and tried to determine why the series flourished. 

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MP:  What do you love most about living in Minnesota?

JK: Minnesota is such a literary community. Lots of bookstores. Lots of authors.

Sometimes people ask why so many writers live here (Vince Flynn, John Sandford, Louise Erdrich, Garrison Keillor, William Kent Krueger, Robert Bly, Tami Hoag — even going back to the days of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Laura Ingalls Wilder and Sinclair Lewis).

Most folks credit cold winters. But I disagree. I believe talent breeds talent.

We have so many authors because we’ve had so many authors. When you look around and see other writers succeeding, you’re inspired to try.

If you live in an area where no one has ever had a book published, it seems an unattainable goal.

I’m grateful for the help I received as a debut author from some of my best-selling Minnesota comrades.