May 27, 2011

Made It Moment: Eric Keith

Filed under: Made It Moments — jenny @ 7:21 am

Nine Man's Murder

This is a Moment that combines a lot of things. First of all, it will make you laugh. Second, if you like a book that allows you to lock wits with the author–or detective sleuth–look no further than the cover here. And finally, this Moment will surprise you in the end with its poignancy. Eric Keith, in addition to being a masterful puzzle creator, has the unique genius of comedy. Make ‘em laugh, keep ‘em laughing…then stun ‘em with the truth.

Eric Keith

Unlike most authors, my sense of having “made it” did not come from being published.  “Making it” in that sense usually derives from three sources:  money, popularity, or having a readership.

As far as money goes, let me put it this way.  When my publisher paid me for the year the other day, he asked me with an embarrassed cough if I had change for a twenty.

Nor do I welcome popularity.  I don’t like seeing my photograph posted for everyone to stare at—it embarrasses me.  Which is why I don’t even go to the post office any more.

And unlike most authors, I’m not motivated by the prospect of having readers give me positive feedback about my books.  Don’t get me wrong, I have readers:  but one is a hermit, and the other doesn’t even have a telephone.  Although the purpose of writing is, even in my case, to try to entertain people, for me, having a huge following is not an urgent necessity.  Nor, in my case, a likelihood.

This is only to say that, while I would like to reach readers, I am not driven by a need to do so.  To understand why, you’d have to understand a little about me—a task that’s stumped even trained professionals.  My mother says that when I was two years old, she used to place me in a playpen, where I was content to stay all day, without need of human company, never getting bored.  Not once did I try to climb out.  In my defense, my hands were too small to untie the ropes, but this still illustrates my basic self-satisfaction.

My feeling of having made it, therefore, came not when my book, Nine Man’s Murder, was published, but when I first realized I was going to be able to try my hand at writing.  I knew that my life could have easily worked out such that I would not have been blessed with the privilege of getting to spend time doing what I loved.  I imagined what life would have been like if I had never been given the chance to write stories—others have fantasized about that, as well—and I realized that my life would have been empty.  I wouldn’t have lamented not being able to publish; I would have lamented not ever having had the opportunity to write.

That was when I first understood that what I really wanted was not so much to be published, but to write.  And the moment I started writing, I knew I was already realizing my dream.  I had made it.

Although Eric Keith is not an expert in his field, having never murdered anyone nor having ever been murdered (though his wife says he has at times come close), he was formerly a designer of logical games and puzzles for a game company.

He infuses his mystery novels with the same twists and turns of logic that made his puzzles so fiendishly intricate. After years of delighting puzzle solvers with surprises, in NINE MAN’S MURDER he now challenges armchair detectives to match wits with a master criminal–and master puzzle maker.


  1. Great Moment, Eric! Thanks for sharing it with us, and making us remember why we write in the first place. If your books have the same sense of humor as your Moment, I can’t wait to read one!

    Comment by Lauren S — May 27, 2011 @ 10:54 am

  2. Ah ha. So that was YOU up on the wall at my local post office.

    Comment by Savvy — May 27, 2011 @ 10:57 am

  3. Hi, Eric. Thanks for sharing with everyone. I love your sense of humor and I also enjoy puzzles which are why traditional mysteries will always be my favorite. I can’t wait to read NINE MAN’S MURDER and match wits with your protagonist.

    Comment by Cindy Sample — May 27, 2011 @ 1:24 pm

  4. I like the way you think, Mr. Eric. Thanks for a great post. I’ll check out the books, too!

    Comment by Kaye George — May 27, 2011 @ 2:22 pm

  5. You’re hilarious, Eric! Good luck with the book.


    Comment by Pamela DuMond — May 27, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

  6. Oh, Eric, you’re a man after my own heart! Both funny AND smart AND real. I loved reading your post and I am adding your book to my TBB list. Can’t wait to read it, since I love to read books like this and go along on the chase. Best of luck always.

    Cheers, Beth Anderson

    Comment by Beth Anderson — May 27, 2011 @ 4:40 pm

  7. So good to see you all here, and I’m very glad you got to know Eric a little better. He is a writer worth getting to know, with a book well worth reading!

    Comment by jenny — May 27, 2011 @ 6:47 pm

  8. Eric, very interesting post. I love a book with a good puzzle and twists. Nine Man”s Murder sounds like a book I would really enjoy. Can’t wait to read it!

    Comment by Coco Ihle — May 27, 2011 @ 11:37 pm

  9. Eric, I think you have reminded everyone smart enough to read this column that if you’re only in the business of writing, then you have no business writing.

    Thanks for the laughs, will definitely check out your book.

    Comment by Karyne — May 28, 2011 @ 9:11 am

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