Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Tuesday Interview: Ciara Knight

Today I get to welcome Ciara for my first fortnightly interview feature. Ciara is one of my close blogging friends and crit partners and I can safely say that she's really talented. I really enjoyed doing this interview with her. Hopefully as much as you enjoy reading it.

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So Ciara. Easy question first. Who are you?


I began my career in late 2008 when I started writing ‘Defy the Dark’ with my fantasy, paranormal, and post-apocalyptic books. My first Young Adult Series, Battle for Souls, Love’s Long Shadow and Rise From Darkness are currently available. Fall From Grace will be released in June 2012, and Ascension of Evil  will be available in October 2012

Also in 2012, my adult fantasy, Curse of Gremdon was released.


When not writing, I enjoy reading all types of fiction. Some great literary influences in my life include Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Francine Rivers and J K Rowling.
My first love, besides my family, reading, and writing, is travel. I've backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska. 

So what made you decide to try your hand at writing?

I've been writing for as long as I can remember. Well, not seriously, but just for fun. I wrote short stories about little people when I was in grade school, angsty teen poems in high school, and some more short works of fiction in College. It wasn't until I was married with kids that I wrote my first novel. I'd agreed to stay home with the kids, but after working in the corporate world for so long I was lost. After a few months I thought I'd go stir crazy, and that's when I started writing my first long work of fiction. After I typed 'The End' I was totally addicted and started taking writing classes.

I have to say that I've never taken a single writing class in my life. So do you have any tips for when we have to attend one?

Go with an open mind, even if you think you already know what they are talking about. There is always something that will trigger an 'aha' moment. Also, ask fellow authors what they thought of a class before signing up. There are some AMAZING classes out there that will change your entire way of writing for the better.
If you can't afford the time or funds to attend a workshop then I'd say buy a book. Goals, Motivation, and Conflict, by Deb Dixon changed my writing life. Of course, there are many others.

My two favorite writing books would be On Writing by Stephen King and The Right to Write by Julia Cameron. The latter actually was instrumental in me finishing the Doorways rough drafts. It also inspired me to blog in the first place, but that's another story altogether. 

You have a new novel being released. Want to tell us more about it?

I've always wanted to read Stephen King's book, On Writing.

In August, I'll be releasing a novelette, Weighted. This is a young adult post-apocalyptic with paranormal elements. It is a prequel to The Neumarian Chronicles. Book I, Escapement, will be released in 2012, followed by Pendulum and Balance in late 2013 and 2014.

This series is completely different from anything I've ever written. Weighted is written in first person and is not a romance at all, but it does lead into The Neumarian Chronicles which has strong romantic elements.

Blurb:

The Great War of 2185 is over, but my nightmare has just begun. I am being held captive in the Queen’s ship awaiting interrogation. My only possible ally is the princess, but I’m unsure if she is really my friend or a trap set by the Queen to fool me into sharing the secret of my gift. A gift I keep hidden even from myself.  It swirls inside my body begging for release, but it is the one thing the Queen can never discover. Will I have the strength to keep the secret? I’ll know the answer soon. If the stories are true about the interrogators, I’ll either be dead or a traitor to my people by morning.

Sounds wonderful! Where did the idea for your series come from?

The original idea of the Slags versus the Neumarians I think stemmed from watching a news report. Actually, I think it was on the history channel. My son is obsessed with the history channel. Anyway, this image of a cruel society enslaving the weak out of fear fueled my imagination. In The Neumarian Chronicles, three distinct classes emerge after the Great War of 2185. A ruling class, comprised of mostly Slags (mechanically and cosmetically altered humans), a living class, which are humans with no special abilities or enhancements, and the Neumarians who are enslaved under the false pretense of protecting the world from their gifts.

Where is the strangest place that you ever found your inspiration?

Probably the most interesting place I found inspiration was while I was stuck in traffic. A muscular man jumped from his car and threatened someone. I thought, wow, he looks totally possessed. Poof, I had a demon for Rise From Darkness. :)

That is pretty awesome. What about your other releases this year? Can you tell us a bit more about them?

Book II of the Battle For Souls series, Fall From Grace, will be released in June and book III, Ascension of Evil, will be out in October.
Of course, Escapement, Book I of The Neumarian Chronicles, will released in 2013.

I'm so looking out for them. What is your number 1 tip for new writers?

Write, write, and write some more. Once you have something you like, find a critique partner. They are invaluable. Also, find a non-writing beta reader. This is important because writers might miss something that a reader picks up on. When you are done and put your baby out into the world, don't take things personally. Reviews can sting. Go back to your critique partner and cry on his/her shoulder then move on. Life is too short to focus on the negative. Most of all, just enjoy the journey.

Great tips. Finally, where can people find you on the internet?

Website 
Pinterest 
Goodreads 
Twitter

Thank you so much, Misha.

Huge pleasure, Ciara. Loved having you on my blog. All the best with your new releases! So ladies and gents, what do you think of the interview feature? Where is the strangest place that you ever found inspiration?

43 comments:

  1. I guess I need to watch the crazy people in traffic more often.
    Good interview, ladies. I like this feature!

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  2. Thanks for having me here today, Misha! I'll be hanging around if anyone has any questions. I look forward to meeting some of your followers.

    Alex - I live in Hotlanta where the demons come out during the summer. I'm sure I'll have lots of material by fall.

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  3. Great interview! It's amazing what you can find in traffic... ;)

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    1. No kidding, Laura. It is always an interesting drive through the city. ;)

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  4. On Writing was a good book.

    Most of my writing inspiration comes from dreams. Don't know if that is strange or not.

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    1. I wish I remembered my dreams, L. Diane. I'd probably get a lot of crazy material.

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  5. Great interview. Ciara is such an awesome person, not to mention a writer. So happy for her continued success!!

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    1. SA - Thanks so much for stopping in. I hope you had a great weekend. You are too sweet for words.

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  6. Good story and good advice. Wishing a ton of success for the upcoming books.

    Lee
    We need your feedback!
    Blogging from A to Z

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    1. Thanks so much, Lee. Oh, you are always an inspiration. The A-Z challenge is a HUGE success.

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  7. Wow, Ciara sounds busy. Best of luck with all her books.

    Great inspiration story! I actually find sitting in traffic is a great time for thinking about my current work.

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    1. Nick - I create most of my books while driving. There is something about the open road. Okay, in Atlanta, it's all about traffic.

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  8. Loved meeting a new writer and hearing about the inspiration for Rise from Darkness. Inspiration is everywhere (as I've been finding out while looking up blog subjects!)

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    1. Jenna - You are so right. Inspiration is everywhere. It is a pleasure to meet you!

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  9. I have to say that if all romance books read like what I've read in Ciara's work, I'm probably becoming a fan of romance. I had no idea that romance could be so interesting and take place in other worlds like the ones that she creates. I always had this image that romance was a genre filled with bodice ripping and shirtless men with long hair that blew in the wind (but really nothing else). So yeah, Ciara opened my mind to a whole slew of books that I'd ignored all my life.

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    1. Michael - Aww, I think I just blushed. LOL. Romance has definitely evolved in the last decade. I've never read an 80's romance book. I like mine in other worlds and part of a strong story line.

      BTW - I'm reading Slipstream and loving it!

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  10. Wonderful interview! Thanks to you both.

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    1. Thanks for stopping in, Nicole. :)

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  11. I think there's a lot of demon possessed drivers out on the road today.

    Great interview!

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    1. Be safe out there, Jay. You can tell it's heating up outside. The demons are feeling right at home out and about the city.

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  12. Wonderful interview, ladies! And I love the cover of WEIGHTED.

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    1. Misha asked some great questions. Thanks so much, I'm glad you like the cover.

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  13. I loved the interview! It's always fun to meet other writers. Ciara's books sound fascinating. I will be on the look-out for them!

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    1. Great, Humpty Dumpty. I appreciate your support. I'm glad you loved the interview.

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  14. Great interview from you both! I think On Writing is one book you should take time to read (as if you have any spare time). I can't wait to read your new one.

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    1. Brinda - I'll check that out. I hope you like the new book. :)

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  15. Enjoyed reading this interview!

    The strangest place I've been inspired is probably outside in the pouring rain. :P

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    1. Rain can be SO inspiring. I had a total visual when you said that.

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  16. I so know how the traffic thing goes..I got inspired by a street sign...We writers are a fun bunch when it comes to creating.. Wonderful interview Ciara..You know I'm a fan...

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    1. Savannah - You are one talented lade. I'd love to know which story was inspired by a stop sign. ;)

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  17. Real life is so inspirational. I often think, "I could never make that up."

    Congrats on the new release, Ciara. Great interview, Misha.

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  18. I love traveling too! My favorite place on earth is Scotland, but looking forward to a trip to Peru in 2014. I can't wait for the Neumerian Chronicles to be published!!!

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    1. I want to go with to Peru! I like Scotland, too. I am so excited about this series, thanks for your support.

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  19. Great interview Misha and Ciara. I just love the cover of 'Weighted' and I am looking forward to reading it when it is released!

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    1. Thanks so much, C.M.
      Misha really rocked the questions. :)

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  20. Great interview, Ciara--I always love a Ciara Knight novel and am thrilled there are more coming out.

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    1. You write the most amazing sweet romances, Lindi. You know I'm a huge fan!

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  21. Great interview! Love that the History Channel provided inspiration. And the crazy guy in traffic! :)

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    1. Cate,
      There is always a crazy guy in traffic. It's usually my husband. Oh, did I just say that out loud. Shh, don't tell him I said that. :)

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  22. Ciara, you are so good and so prolific! Of course I'll read Weighted, and since I'm a History Chanel nerd myself, I'll really enjoy the deeper and darker elements of human history you're giving to this paranormal tale.

    Congratulations!

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    1. Thanks so much, Helena! I'm so excited to read your book. I hope to get to it this summer. I can't wait!

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  23. It was an awesome interview.
    I liked it.

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