Writing On Your Own

local novelist Jaron Lee Knuth

Matt Ledger, photos by Andrea Paulseth

Chippewa Falls resident Jaron Lee Knuth has released two books: a zombie love story called After Life, and a novel called Fixing Sam. A fan of digital delivery, Knuth sells his books as 99 cent downloads.

Chippewa Falls novelist Jaron Lee Knuth isn’t out to send a message or inspire millions with his writing; he’s just out to tell a good story.

“The big thing with my writing,” Jaron says, “is I want to be entertaining. I look at it as entertainment. I’m not trying to change the world.”

Still, even entertainment can be affecting. “When you get an e-mail from some guy over in Iraq who read your zombie book and just loved it, and it’s getting him through a week in Iraq,” says Jaron, “it’s like, OK, now I’m doing something worthwhile.”

The zombie book Jaron mentions is his debut work, After Life, a story of the relationship between Alex, the bored retail slave, and Morgan, the web cartoonist Alex has been in love with his whole life. Oh yeah … and there are zombies involved.

“If I were to make an analogy to movies, I would say my first novel is more of the summer blockbuster type,” Jaron says, “and then the second one is more of like the indie film.”

Jaron’s second novel, Fixing Sam, revolves around the character of Samuel Grant (who is the son of two celebrities) and the spiral of despair that is his life. The book opens with Samuel’s girlfriend rejecting his marriage proposal and Samuel apathetically driving his car into oncoming traffic. From there, Samuel engages in a trek through everything from seedy bars to therapists’ offices to reality television sets as he searches for something to give his life meaning.

When it came time to actually publish these books, Jaron admits the task seemed a bit daunting. But then he found Amazon’s CreateSpace, a self-publishing site that allows print-on-demand, mitigating the costs that a big print run of a book usually incurs.

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