Exclusive Interview with
Dee S. Knight
When did you start writing?
I started writing late--I was in my 50s and had some time before I had to start a new job so I thought I'd write a book. Hahaha! Little did I know how little I knew. That was in 2002.
What makes writing your passion?
It's hard to describe the need to put your thoughts into the written word, but that's pretty much what the writing bug did for me. Before I started writing, I formed stories in my mind but never gave a thought to writing them. Once I gave it a try, I could hardly stop. I resented having to sleep. I hated stopping in order to get dinner ready. I waved goodbye to hubby in the mornings and sat down immediately to hit the keys. Nothing else I've worked at has given me so much pleasure, so much pride, and so much frustration, all at the same time. ;)
How long have you been writing?
19 years, but I've taken time off for life a couple of times. So maybe 12 years all told.
What was the feeling when you published your first book?
I was happy, of course. But writing a book had never been my great desire--I only wrote one because I had time on my hands. Still, I wrote the book (Impatient Passion) in a month, so I guess you could say I was shocked. But also, very happy. And for the first time, I thought when I could--between work and the demands we had in our lives--I might write another book someday.
What’s the story behind your choice of characters?
I love writing male characters. I see much more breadth and depth of character in men than in women. Most of the male characters I've written have been alpha, though not the true take charge guys. I've written one beta male (Cooper in The Cinderella Curse), and he's one of my favorite guys. Maybe because he's so much like my own real hero. And there is something about my husband in every male character I've written.
What annoys you the most in pursuing a writing career?
Marketing! (That deserves an extra exclamation point so here it is: !) I don't know how to do it effectively so I always feel like I'm throwing a dart at a target I don't see. I wish I could hire the job out...
How do you get over the “writer’s block”?
I take my husband to breakfast and then throw my problem at him. By the time breakfast is over and we've had our second (or third) cup of coffee, I usually see a path before me that I can take to get out of my own way.
We all know the writer’s path is never easy, what makes you keep going? What advice would you give to new authors?
This is do as I say and not as I do advice:
1. Write!!! And then write some more. All the time, every day.
2. Read what you've written out loud. Slowly, reading every word. You'll hear mistakes you won't see in writing.
3. Let someone you know who will be honest read your work. They must be honest, though, not someone who will tell you your work is great because you're friends.
If you could go back in time and talk to your younger self, what would you say?
Don't get a sociology degree. Get into MARKETING!!
Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with the bad ones?
Yes. It's inevitable that some reviews will be bad. It's hard to accept and when I get a bad one, I yell a bit, mope a bit, and then try to put it behind me. Otherwise, you'll allow someone's opinion paralyze you. A review is one person's opinion, and we all know that (like something else) everyone has one..
What is the feeling when you get a good review?
I laugh, I sing, I smile for hours! ;)
Really, I share it with hubby and he says "Good job!" and then we move on. It's always reassuring to know that someone else sees what I think is good work. I appreciate very much the reader who takes time to post a review!
Have you ever incorporated something that happened to you in real life into your novels?
Oh yes! In Impatient Passion, my hero attended VMI, just as hubby did. In Passionate Destiny, I had my characters dine at a restaurant where we did in Palmyra, and also in Man of Her Dreams (coming soon). In Burning Bridges (written as Anne Krist), my characters strolled along the riverside and read a plaque dedicated to the soldiers of Vietnam, just as hubby and I did. Because most of my novels are erotic romance, people always ask if I do a lot of "research" for my books. No comment.
Which of your characters you can compare yourself with? Did you base that character on you?
Gosh, I don't think I've based any character on me. I did base the heroine in Passionate Destiny on my boss in New Jersey, and many of my characters bear a resemblemce to hubby. I don't think I'm interesting enough to be a character in my books.
What do you think, the book cover is as important as the story?
I wouldn't say it's as important as the story, but absolutely the cover is what first attracts the reader to look further into the book. A poor cover might not bring a reader to the book but a poor story won't bring the reader to your next book, regardless of the cover. You really need both.
Do you connect with your readers? Do you mind having a chat with them or you prefer to express yourself through your writing?
No, I love to chat with readers. I've done a few radio interviews and on one, readers were encouraged to call in. A few did and I loved getting to know them better. What I do, I do not only for myself but to share with, and I hope enjoy with, others. I want to create something readers will enjoy.
How do you feel when people appreciate your work or recognize you in public?
Ha! Being recognized in public hasn't happened to me. Again, because I write erotic romance, I use pen names to protect the innocent. ;) I used to work at a private school supported by the Southern Baptists. I don't think my talents (such as they are) would be appreciated by my colleagues back home.
Who is your favorite author? Why?
I have been really fortunate to meet and work with some phenomenal authors. Leigh Wyndfield, TL Schaefer, Cheryl Norman, and Jennifer Skully are three I worked with early on. They all develop kick ass characters and write emotion like nobody's business. Recently, I've found Jan Selbourne, Alice Renault, Virginia Wallace, Callie Carmen, and a host of really great writers at Black Velvet Seductions. J.L. Peridot is fabulous and so is Lisabet Sarai, both for their sensual characters. I like most every form of romance, including space romps, so for world building and again (my jam!) great characters, Kayelle Allen is tops. I'm actually a pretty laid back, easy going reader, but I do appreciate writing that takes me out of this world (in every sense) and all of these writers do that. Now I'm nervous because I know I've missed someone...
What’s the dream? Whom would you like to be as big as?
I don't have any goals of catching up with someone. I mean wouldn't we all like to be Nora Roberts?? But my goal has always been to be successful enough to carry me through life in retirement. You know, enough for the rent and groceries would be great. I used to think of being successful enough to rent a cottage in the Scottish highlands for a summer. COme to think of it, that's still a great goal!