KNIGHT INTERVIEW FOR ALIEN HEAT--WINGS ePRESS, 12/2003
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How did you get started in the romance genre?
a self-confessed incurable romantic. When I was growing up, the one thing I
thought that was missing in most novels I read was romance--romance wasn’t
heavily emphasized. So when I started to write, I had to add my own dash of
“happily ever after” to my motto: Romance Writing with a Twist!
Have you always been a sci-fi fan? Describe your development as a reader/writer.
always. I remember reading science fiction at the tender age of eight. My
first love was science fiction and I devoured every SF anthology in my
neighborhood library. Then I discovered mysteries/suspense. And in high school,
I was introduced to the elegant world of Regencies. Voracious reading turned to telling
stories, which evolved into writing novels.
You have quite a list of books. What's your writing regimen? How long does it
take you to write a novel?
SUSANNE: Including my new release ALIEN HEAT published in print and electronically by Wings ePress and my other Wings novel, THE RELUCTANT LANDLORD, I have nine books out, with one to be released in January and two more under contract, making a total of twelve.
For my writing regimen, I’m a morning person, so I need to write when I have the most energy flowing. I use the nighttime either to do research for my current writing project or I relax by curling up with a good book, either in paperback or viewed electronically on my Rocket Reader. Barring the normal interruptions of life, I write three days a week. What’s best for me is to have a solid block of time so I can “lose” myself in the story. I like to continue writing until I finish a scene or until a new character enters the mix. Then I’m usually done for the day.
As for how long it
takes to write a novel, ah, now there’s a difficult question! It takes me
longer to write now, not because I have writer’s block, but just because there
are so many promotional demands on my time. One
of my goals for the upcoming new year is to dedicate more time to the
business... and fun of writing!
What is the hardest part of writing for you?
hardest part is the drained feeling I have at the end of the day. I tend to get
so involved in writing that time passes very quickly and before I know it, my
shoulders and back are aching from being in a hunched over position for hours on
end. Plus, to be truthful, slaving away in Martian mines is really hard work!
Not to mention the strain of engaging in a proper conversation with a British
lord or two!
Would you describe your work as romantic or erotic?
romantic. I write in many genres including romantic suspense, science fiction,
and Regencies, and some categories tend to be more sensuous than others.
Historically, many Regencies are considered “sweet,” which means the story
focuses on interaction between the characters without concentrating on sex.
WINGS: How would you describe your audience?
feedback from readers is always a thrill. I’d say most of my readers are women
aged twenty and up. But I’ve also received fan mail on my books from men. In
fact, one eleven-year-old boy actually requested an autographed picture!
I was surprised that my book THE SEARCH FOR JESSE BRAM, was categorized as a
sci-fi romance. As a stranger to romance fiction, maybe you can fill me in on
romance focuses on the relationship between a couple... human or otherwise,
while science fiction explores the effects of science on some aspect of
humanity. For example, in ALIEN HEAT, the romantic conflict is between
“uncivilized” villager Glyneth and Major Lucas Jefferson, an “Outsider”
from a technologically advanced culture. The science fiction portion deals with
the invasion by heat-producing plants intent on turning Earth into another
Where do you get your marvelous ideas?
SUSANNE: Thank you for the compliment! To develop stories, I love to let my imagination roam by playing the “what if” game. Here are just a few examples: What if “having a nice spot of tea” took on a sinister meaning? (TAINTED TEA FOR TWO) What if a Shakespeare-quoting ghost found a way to avenge his death? (GRAVE FUTURE) What if a golden coin had the power to change one’s fortunes? (THE MAGIC TOKEN) What if a woman wakes up in the year 1816 with a dreamboat husband only to learn he absolutely despises her? (TIMELESS DECEPTION)
For ALIEN HEAT, I
got an idea when I came across a cover story in U.S. News and World Report on
global warming. What if this warming was due to villainous extraterrestrial
factors, not just because of things like automobile exhaust? Then I researched
the 1994 crash of comet Shoemaker-Levy into Jupiter. This could happen on Venus,
I theorized, with the force of impact sending out fragments of Venus which then
eventually collided with Earth. In addition to a dramatic climate change,
there’d have to be significant damage to civilization. With that kind of
trauma, cultures and countries usually become divided, so now I had the
“primitive” villagers and the more technologically advanced people of Canusa.
Throw in colonizing Venusian flowers and you have ALIEN HEAT!
Who is your favorite author?
have to say the writer who had
the most influence on me was Isaac Asimov. I can always depend upon his short
stories to stretch the limits of imagination. As I grew older, I couldn't
believe how versatile he was, in non-fiction subjects as well as fiction. Who
but Asimov could have written scholarly books on such diverse topics as
Shakespeare, the Bible, and chemistry, to name just a few, then switch gears to
create his famous Three Laws of Robotics?
His presence here on Earth is greatly missed.
Do you have a mentor or confidant who guides you through your own creative
I think it might be easier to be part of a critique group, but to answer your
question, no, I’m on my own when I write.
What advice would you give a prospective author in your genre?
believe it’s extremely important to write what you love because writing is an
adventure. By choosing a topic that intrigues you--perhaps something you’d
like to learn more about or a subject that has special meaning for you--you can
take this kernel of an idea and use your imagination to turn it into a full
fledged story that can surprise even you, the writer. Be prepared for the ride
of your life... it can be a roller coaster of emotions!
What's your most effective marketing venture?
hold two contests a year: the SNOWY SEASON SURPRISE CONTEST and the SPLASHY
SUMMER SURPRISE CONTEST. These contests are *very* popular. The main prize is
one of my books--which one it will be is the surprise. Other prizes include
small theme items like hand-crocheted snowflakes, snowman mugs, etc., along with
promotional items and material. I’m currently running one until December 31,
and you can visit my website at http://www.susanneknight.com
to sign up!
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