Bestselling local author, Allen Eskens, will be speaking at the North Mankato Taylor Library on December 13th at 6:00 pm.
We’ve found that the authors we plan to write about put so much of themselves into our initial questionnaire that it’s best to let them speak for themselves.
About the Author
MankatoLIFE: Where do you live? Where do you work?
I live in the country outside of Cleveland, Minnesota and work from my home, where my wife and I occasionally rescue older dogs in need of a good home.
MankatoLIFE: How long have you been there? Where did you come from?
I’ve lived in the Mankato area since 1991. I grew up in Missouri and came to Minnesota in 1986 to go to college. I’ve been here ever since.
MankatoLIFE: What is it that you do?
I am an author of five novels set here in Minnesota.
Before becoming a full-time author, I practiced law in Mankato and the surrounding area for twenty-five years.
My first novel, The Life We Bury won multiple awards and became a national best seller. It has been translated into 21 languages and is in development for a feature film.
My most recent novel, The Shadows We Hide, is the sequel to The Life We Bury. The Shadows We Hide was named by the editors at Amazon as being a Best Book for November when it was released. It was also chosen by Barnes and Noble as being one of the best mysteries for November, and Publishers Weekly chose it as one of their picks of the week.
Between The Life We Bury and The Shadows We Hide, I wrote three novels about one of the secondary characters from The Life We Bury, a man by the name of Max Rupert.
“The Shadows We Hide was named by the editors at Amazon as being a Best Book for November when it was released. It was also chosen by Barnes and Noble as being one of the best mysteries for November, and Publishers Weekly chose it as one of their picks of the week.”
The first of those three novels was The Guise of Another, of which the New York Times wrote “Eskens’ prose is like winter in the blood.”
The second book in that series, The Heavens May Fall, won the Minnesota Book Award in 2017. and the third of that series, The Deep Dark Descending, won the Barry Award this past September.
I am currently doing a regional book tour for The Shadows We Hide and will be giving a presentation at the Taylor Library in North Mankato on Thursday, December 13th, at 6:00 p.m., followed by a book signing.
MankatoLIFE: When and how did you start?
I began my life as a writer by reading books on writing technique and taking classes at the Loft in Minneapolis and at the Iowa Summer Writer’s Festival in Iowa City. Eventually I enrolled in the MFA program at Mankato State University (now Minnesota State Mankato) where I acquired about three quarters of a master’s degree.
After studying the craft of writing for twenty years, I decided to write and publish my first novel. It took a year to get an agent, but once I found one, things moved rather quickly.
MankatoLIFE: Are there others doing this locally?
Mankato is rich with talented authors, as is the state of Minnesota. I consider myself lucky to be venturing into this field here in a state with so many exceptional authors and such a strong base of readers.
MankatoLIFE: What is your favorite part?
I come to writing as a daydreamer, more than as a reader. From my earliest memories, I made up stories in my head. It’s nice to be able to do that for a living now. My favorite part of the writing process will always be the hours I spend daydreaming my plots and scenes and characters.
MankatoLIFE: What surprised you about it?
What surprised me the most about writing is how much there is to it. One doesn’t simply sit down and write a novel. The craft is all about learning how words can engage readers when put in the right order.
The goal is to go beyond simply telling a story. The goal is to reach into the reader’s heart and their mind and make them part of the story. When I started to grasp that concept, I came to understand what it meant to be a writer.
MankatoLIFE: Is it for sale? Where?
My books are for sale where ever books are sold. Here in Mankato, you can find my books at Barnes and Noble.
MankatoLIFE: Do you have a website?
MankatoLIFE: What other links are relevant?