Thursday, 26 September 2013

Author Spotlight - Wendy Knight

Today I'm delighted to welcome fellow Astraea Press author Wendy Knight to my blog to tell us all about herself and her book...

* Tell us a bit about your writing – How long have you been writing? How many books have you written and in what genres?
I’ve been writing since my chubby little hands could hold one of those fat crayons. I’ve written eight novels, most in urban fantasy.

*When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
I was in second grade and won a contest for a story I wrote. I loved getting to read my words to the entire school!

*Where is your favourite spot in which to write? Garden?Study?Kitchen table?In bed?
If we had a garden, it would be there! I’m grateful for anywhere quiet to write, since I have three little ones at home who have many very loud friends.

* How long does it take you to write the first rough draft of one of your books?
It depends. Some are harder than others. I’ve written 50,000 words in two weeks, and I’ve written 90,000 words in two years.

* Do you prefer to write with pen and paper or straight to the computer?
A computer, BUT when I have a severe case of writers block, I will take to pen and paper. It works almost every time to get me out of my funk.

*Do you plan a plot out in great detail before writing or start with the basics and let the book evolve that way?
I think I’m a hybrid plotter/pantser. I absolutely need a plot before I can start writing, but just a vague one in my head. As long as I know where my story is going, I’m good. Too much plotting, and it stifles the story.

*Do you ever get part way through writing a book and find the characters are leading the story off in a different direction to how you had envisaged?
So far, no! I think my characters and I are on the same page. Or they’re just too afraid I’ll kill them off to tell me otherwise.

*Who is your favourite character from all the books you have written and why?
Ari from my Fate on Fire series. I love how tough she is, yet how fiercely loyal.

*Is there such a thing as an average writing day for you and if so what is it?
My average writing day is sneaking to my computer when my kids are otherwise occupied and writing as fast as I can. After bedtime, I usually write until late, late at night. I like having the entire house quiet.

*How do you create the characters in your books?
I think they create themselves, actually. I start with a name and a face. The character comes out on its own.

*What is your favourite book of all time?
Harry Potter. All of them. I can’t pick just one.

*What is your favourite film of all time?
Avengers. I love love love it. Action plus making me laugh equals win for me every time.

*What was your journey to being a published author?
Well, my husband made me promise to try to get Feudlings published for one year. If I hadn’t succeeded by then, I was allowed to give up. My year deadline was on my birthday, so I tried for a year and had little success. But the week before my birthday, when I was ready to give up all hope, I got a contract offer from Astraea Press. The next day, I got two more offers from other small presses. I did lots and lots of research and lots and lots of praying, and went with Astraea. Best decision ever!

*Biggest myth about being a novelist?
That we have a large vocabulary? I speak like a five year old. Maybe a ten year old. Either way, I’m awful at words with friends and scrabble.

*Advice to aspiring novelists?
Find critique groups and writing support groups. It makes a world of difference having friends who know exactly what you’re going through and can help!


Ari thought being in love with her prophesied nemesis sucked. But being responsible for her best friend's kidnapping? It sucks worse.

Ari and Shane thought they’d beaten Fate and ended the three-hundred year war plaguing their people. They thought love had won. But they were so, so wrong.

Instead of graduating high school like the normals, they’re in a battle to save Charity – Shane’s cousin, Ari's best friend, and the seer who might hold the key to ending the war for good. To do that, they’re forced to accept help from a boy they aren’t even sure they can trust. He’s powerful and knows spells even Ari’s never heard of, but he’s also secretive and has a past he’s determined to keep hidden . Add to that the fact that he has his sights set on Ari, and Shane would rather do without his help.

Ari has bigger problems than mysterious boys and their strange powers. The powerful Edren Family is hunting her brother, and she can't very well save him or Charity while they’re constantly being attacked by her own people. To stop the raids, she has to take the fight to them. But if she starts hunting the family that raised her, what kind of monster will she be?

Fate still waits for the death of one by the hand of the other.

Book Excerpt:

            "No no, Hunter, it curves this way." Ari stood back, watching with a frown, and then jumped back in. "Imagine in your mind what you want the spell to do. Tie your emotions to your spells."
          Shane watched her guide Hunter and tried again on his own. "Close, Shane, but like this," Ari reached out, holding his hand as she led him through the motion. He felt the flames racing through his blood react to her touch and sparks flew from his fingers, igniting the spell. It hung, burning, in the air, a bright blue curlicue thing. "Perfect," she whispered, still holding on to his hand.
            "Maybe, but does it work?" Tristan's voice was flat and uninterested, but Shane could hear the animosity running under the words.
          "We don't have any targets set out. He can't test it." Ari shook her head, and still holding Shane's hand, made a quick swiping motion through the spell, dissipating it.     "Try again." She let go of his hand and stepped back, watching expectantly.
          Shane tried, once, twice, and three times. He couldn't get it quite right, but neither could Hunter, which made him feel better, and Tristan wasn't even trying.
          "It's okay if you can't do it, Shane. There are a lot of other powerful spells she uses that will be much easier for you to master," Will said.
          Ari vehemently shook her head. "No. He can do it. Just give him a minute!"
Shane kept his attention focused on the spell in front of him, but he couldn't stop his grin.
          Ari believed in him.
          He burned the spell into the air again, trying to replicate the one Ari had drawn, but it fizzled into a mass of smoke. The spell had to ignite to actually do anything. He groaned in frustration, tipping his head sideways to look at Ari. "What am I doing wrong?"
          She bit her lip, studying him for several seconds. "When you did it the first time, what were you thinking?"
          Shane paused, dropping his hand that was still poised in the air. "Umm… I was thinking we were gonna die and I had seen you throw that spell so I knew it was possible. It just happened."

Author Bio
Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S. You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

Twitter: @wjk8099

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