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?
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