Friday, November 8, 2013

Feature Friday: Ciara Knight

Ciara Knight writes to ‘Defy the Dark’ with her fantasy and paranormal books.  Her debut novel, The Curse of Gremdon, was released to acclaimed reviews, securing a Night Owl Top Pick and five stars from the Paranormal Romance Guild. Also, released in 2012 is her young adult series, Battle for Souls. Book I, Rise From Darkness, won July Book of the Month at Long and Short Reviews.

When not writing, she enjoys reading all types of fiction. Some great literary influences in her life include Edgar Allen Poe, Shakespeare, Francine Rivers and J K Rowling.

Her first love, besides her family, reading, and writing, is travel. She’s backpacked through Europe, visited orphanages in China, and landed in a helicopter on a glacier in Alaska.

Interview:
A.L.:
What piece of advice would you give to a budding author?

Ciara: 
I’d suggest they take a deep breath, read and study the craft, all while writing and rewriting their first work in progress. Don’t be in a hurry to get your first book out there, be ready to put the right book out there.

A.L.:
What's your favorite book and why?

Ciara: 
Of course, I love all the famous ones, but I’d rather expose readers to one they haven’t tried. I’d have to say that Echo in the Darkness by Francine Rivers. It is full of a strange world, yet it existed around 2000 years ago. The characters are vibrant, and it will leave you wanting more. If you enjoy romance, try her Redeeming Love book set in the Gold Rush Era.

A.L.:
Where did you get the idea for The Neumarian Chronicles?

Ciara: 
I’ve always wanted to write science fiction, but I’ve been intimidated. My love of young adult literature blended with an alternate future that rose up after a great war. It became a genre smash-up of all my favorite things. Paranormal gifts, dystopian setting, steampunk gadgets, multi-cultural cast and most of all, epic romance. The kind that will survive even the greatest of wars and treachery.

A.L.:
Did you hit any snags while writing The Neumarian Chronicles?  What were they and how did you fix them?

Ciara:
Oh, there was a MAJOR snag. I’d written the entire first book, Escapement, in third person hero and heroine point of view. When I was sitting in my car one day a secondary character’s backstory came flooding in and I wrote it by the time I went to bed that night. When I put it out there for the world to read, I was ecstatic about the popularity of the little story I wrote, Weighted (Prequel novella) until I realized it was writing in first person heroine point of view only. Well, I tested Escapement on a few beta readers who enjoyed Weighted and discovered I’d have to do a major rewrite on Escapement. THAT was a nightmare, but it all worked out in the end.
 
A.L.:
Which one of the characters in The Neumarian Chronicles is your favorite and why?

Ciara: 
Raeth. I know she’s a secondary character and I LOVE my main characters, but she has a little of me in her. You wouldn’t know it now to speak to me, but I had to go through seven years of speech therapy. Raeth has a stuttering problem that gives her fits, but she has a big heart and you want her to succeed despite her challenges.

A.L.:
Can you tell us a little bit about your journey as an author?

Ciara:
I wrote poems and short stories as a young adult and even had a few published in literary magazines. It wasn’t until WAY later, when I had my second child, that I wrote my first novel. That one is under my bed, but my next one, The Curse of Gremdon, was published.

A.L.:
What are you working on now?  Sequel?  Something new?

Ciara:
I’m writing the final installment of the series, Balance. I’m around 22,000 words in and loving every minute of it. After such a long journey, some of the characters are acquiring things they’ve wanted for so long. Of course, it’s only 22,000 words in so I’m sure it’s all going to be destroyed and built back up in the next 60,000 words or so.

A.L.:
What's the most exciting place you've ever visited?

Ciara: 
I think the most exciting was China, because the culture deferred from ours so greatly. I enjoyed landing on a glacier in Alaska to hike once, too. The craziest place would be on a beach in a Chipmunk Costume, but we don’t need to talk about that. ;)

A.L.:
Since you're a traveler, you've probably eaten lots of cool things.  What's the most unique food you've ever eaten?

Ciara: 
Oh, I’m a big sissy when it comes to food. I will tell you at every meal in China there was a fish head on the table. People in my group would tease me and make it talk and I’d come to dinner to find it in front of me at times. Not nice.

A.L.:
Pendulum, the second book in The Neumarian Chronicles just came out.  What can readers expect with this new book?

Ciara:
Pendulum is up for pre-order and will release in e-book December 3rd. Readers will be rewarded for their patience as almost all the questions from Semara and Ryder’s past will be answered. Not to mention they are MUCH closer in this one. ;)

The Giveaway:
A giveaway of an audio version of ESCAPEMENT.

Escapement:  Ten years after the great war of 2185 the queen’s reign is threatened by uprisings and fear. In celebration of my sixteenth birthday it is my duty as princess to sacrifice a slave to be initiated into the ruling council, solidifying my mother’s empire. When my own erratic powers surface I’m captured and tried for treason. Slaves hate me, my mother wants me executed, and my only chance of survival rests in the hands of a young man, Ryder Arteres, whose sister I sentenced to death

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