Thursday, July 21, 2011

Interview with Karsten Knight

I got the chance to interview Karsten Knight, author of Wildefire. It was tough to come up with some questions for him but he was able to tackle them with ease and provide me with some amazingly real answers. Here's a little bit about Karsten:

Karsten Knight has been writing since the age of six, when he completed his first masterpiece: a picture book series about an adventurous worm. In the two decades that have followed, Karsten worked as a proofreader, a bookseller, and a college admissions counselor before finally deciding that his true calling was as a volcano goddess biographer. He resides in Boston, where he lives for fall weather and football, and is on a far-too-successful quest to visit every restaurant in the city.
bio info taken from Karsten's website: 

Here are the questions that Karsten answered for me!

1. Tell me about your book. How did you come up with that story/idea?
Well, after I divorced my Polynesian volcano goddess ex-wife…Oh wait, I’ve used that joke before. It came from two things. After scrapping a few drafts of a first chapter, this one line popped into my brain: “Ashline Wilde was a human mood ring.” Out of that, this character—this voice—quickly evolved of this spitfire teenager who was both impulsive but also firmly loyal. While I continued to try first chapters, an old friend of mine introduced me to Pele, the Polynesian volcano goddess, and I knew I had a perfect match for the story that was evolving.

2. What's a typical working day like for you? When and where do you write(do you have a favourite spot or time to write)? Do you set a daily writing goal?

Whenever I try to explain my typical work day to friends who have 9-to-5 jobs, I usually get blank stares. Basically, I finally accepted that I don’t do my best writing until the afternoon, so now I go to the gym every morning for a few hours to get my blood pumping and my brain synapses firing. I try to write 1,000 to 2,000 words a day between the hours of 1pm and 1am when I fall asleep, but there’s a lot of social media mixed in there—facebook, twitter, blogging.

As for where I write—I have a beautiful, 18-square foot desk with a beautiful view of my street…yet I find myself restless and constantly change positions in the house. I take my laptop everywhere: the couch, the porch, the kitchen table, and sometimes even sprawled out in my bed when I’m feeling really lazy.

3. What’s the best thing about being an author?

I get to make things up for a living. I don’t know how to summarize it any better than that.

4. What advice would you give aspiring writers?

I always struggle with this question, because I feel like people always say the same things. “Be a lifelong reader.” “Never give up.” “Write every day.” “Learn to cope with rejection and persevere.” Blah blah blah. But I think the best advice is to always make sure the stakes in your story are constantly increasing. Think of a story like a boiling pot. You need that spark in the first chapter for the fire to catch, but after that, you want to keep slowly turning the knob, cranking up the heat. By the end of your novel, the story should be boiling over the sides.

5. What question have you always wanted to be asked in an interview? And how would you answer that question?

“High heels or flats?” Depends on my mood and how tall I feel like being.

There you have it guys! A little look into the mind of Karsten Knight! Be sure to check out his book WILDEFIRE which is officially released on July 26, 2011. And be sure to check out my review for WILDEFIRE here on my blog!
Melissa Silva
The Bookshelf

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