William Kent Krueger
William Kent Krueger

2018 Highlights

Looking back on some favorite memories from 2018…

William Kent Krueger in the snowstorm
January: The Vikings fell short—okay, far short—on their bid to be the first team to play at home in the Super Bowl. But life in Minnesota goes on. Here I am with my trusty Toro snow blower, clearing out the first ten inches dropped on us by winter storm Jaxon. This is Minnesota, and even if we can’t quite handle Eagles, we know how to deal with snow.

William Kent Krueger at the SPAM Museum
February: In Austin, Minnesota, to keynote the Minne-kota Honors Institute Conference, I stopped in to visit the Spam Museum. Oh, what a wonder! I learned a great deal about this much disparaged canned meat. Did you know that 100 million pounds of Spam was consumed by Allied troops during WWII? Or that Hormel (official pronunciation rhymes with “normal”) produces 44,000 cans per hour? Or that South Korea consumes more Spam than any country except the U.S.? Here I am at the museum with Heidi, Sue, and Suzette, three of the stalwarts from the Honors Institute, not only fun companions but dedicated educators as well.

William Kent Krueger at Left Coast Crime, Reno
March: I attended Left Coast Crime, a wonderful mystery conference in Reno, Nevada, where six hundred people came together to celebrate the genre for which we all share a great love. I spent time with old friends and made a slew of new ones. I was privileged to share the dais with some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, talented, and, very often, humorous writers imaginable. I played poker (and won!), drank a lot of wine, kvetched about this crazy publishing business we’re all a part of, and had the time of my life. The whole experience was beautifully capped when my book Sulfur Springs received the Lefty Award for Best Novel.

William Kent Krueger in Sedona
April: The earth has spirit. You can feel it everywhere. But in some places, the power of that spirit makes itself known in extraordinary ways. When I stand at the edge of Lake Superior and watch great waves roll in across that vast stretch of steel blue water and break against the rocky shoreline, the power of Kitchigami (as the Ojibwe call it) is so palpable. On a prairie hill where the wind out of the Dakotas bends the tall grass all around me, I can hear the spirit speak. And from the brilliant red rocks of Sedona, where this photo was taken, the spirit radiates from every cliff face, deep canyon, and high, solitary vista.

William Kent Krueger in Wyoming
June: I visited Dubois, Wyoming, in the lovely Wind River country to present workshops and the keynote address at the Wyoming Writers Conference. Here, I’m standing on the bank of the wild Wind River itself, with my new friend Darrah Perez of Wyoming Public Radio. I was born in Wyoming, and over the years have made many pilgrimages to the state of my birth. Each time, I’m reminded of what a remarkable landscape this is, a country blessedly empty of large population but graced with enormous beauty and bounty. And oh, the fine writers I met at the conference, every bit as talented and engaged in their art as any writers I’ve met anywhere.

William Kent Krueger at Once Upon a Crime
August: As always, we did the official launch for DESOLATION MOUNTAIN at Once Upon A Crime, a great mystery bookstore in Minneapolis. Lots of folks turned out and as you can see, I signed a couple of mountains of books.

Bouchercon 2018 - William Kent Krueger et al
September: I attended Bouchercon, the World Mystery Convention, in St. Petersburg, FL. Here’s a photo (courtesy of Anne Cleeland) taken at a panel called “The Beat Goes On—Writing an Ongoing Series,” with Mark Billingham, Cara Black, me, Sara Paretsky, Tasha Alexander and moderator Alex Segura.

Diane and William Kent Krueger at Lake Michigan
October: My wife and I went to Michigan for Van Buren Reads, Van Buren County’s One Book-One Author program. We stopped overnight in New Buffalo, along Lake Michigan’s gorgeous shoreline. Here we are enjoying the beach and the lake.

Kent in Gettysburg
October: On our way to Carlisle to be a part of the Celebrate the Book Week, we stopped at Gettysburg, our first visit to this landmark in a terrible war. Here I am at the monument erected to the 1st Minnesota Volunteer Infantry Regiment. You can read more about my visit here.

William Kent Krueger in Puerto Rico
November: I went to Puerto Rico, where I spent a week helping to rebuild a home destroyed by Hurricane Maria. You can read all about my trip here.

Kent Krueger and Santa
December: This Christmas, my friend Santa and I both say, “May the light of love shine in all our hearts.”

Happy New Year, and happy reading to all in 2019!

11 thoughts on “2018 Highlights”

  1. Love your books WKK. Sometimes when you learn about the author behind your favorite books you end up disappointed but your interesting life makes the books even more enjoyable. Thanks for the joy and escape your books provide your readers.

    John Winston

  2. Happy New Year to you! Just started finally reading Desolation Mountain and am so happy to be back with the O’Connor family for another adventure!

  3. Found you and Cork while still living back in Oregon in’16; ended up un-expectently moving to Saint Paul 5 blocks from the Broiler (and getting to enjoy it several times before they shut down); met you at Once Upon a Crime when Steve Hamilton was in town; and more recently, you brought Cork back in Desolation Mountain.

    Thank you…and if you need a new coffee shop, go visit Pete Poire-Odegard’s ROOTS ROASTING located at 1552 Saint Claire where the Deli use to be. Great coffee/Great People.

    A quick question for a long timer of the neighborhood. Any idea why the apartments in the building where ROOTS is located…MACALASTER Apts spells their name without the “le” in all of the other usages? Thanks

  4. It was delightful seeing the highlights of your year. I know you travel a lot to promote your books and participate in bookish events. Love seeing your wife Diane by your side. Wished we’d been able to meet her at Bouchercon. Always wonderful to see you again. Great year with a new year to fill with precious moments again!

  5. Your Cork O’Connor series has turned my non-reading husband into a reader. You got us through the winter of 1018-19 and we cannot wait for the Cork series to resume. Have read Ordinary Grace and am anticipating the sequel in September.
    Thank you for your excellent writing and subject matter. We are followers of Henry and his age old wisdom !!

  6. My mom has been obsessed with your books for so long and naturally her obsession made me interested in checking your books out. I was HOOKED on the first one. I started listening to them because I drive from Woodbury to Minnetonka and need some entertainment. I only started listening to your books in October of 2018 and I just finished Tamarack County! I just cannot stop listening. I need another Cork O’Connor novel pretty soon here, at this rate I will be done with all of your books and then I will have withdraws!

    Also, every book that I listen to, I think “Man this would be such a good movie!” How do we make this happen?

  7. Just read SULFER SPRINGS, love the book as I live in Green Valley. Thanh’s for a wonderful book!

  8. I love your stories and have read many of them. I have a question though: being a French Canadian, I’d like to know why so many of your Ojibwe characters have French surnames?

  9. Killing time waiting for your new one to come out …Thanks for your work in Puerto Rico! I think of you often, and hope our paths will cross again. By the way, we have a great indie book store in Sisters, – Paulina Springs Book Store. They’d love to host you, as would our local library. Jus’ sayin’

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