Today, we’re showcasing Skye Knizley in celebration of her Halloween release of STORMRISE. We’ll learn a little about who she is, what she’s about, and then I’m throwing her into the Hypothetical Hotspot™ where the real fun begins. ::wink::
Skye Knizley currently lives in Connecticut, USA, a small state of confusion where she spends most of her time writing urban fantasy and role-playing game adventures. When she isn’t setting quill to parchment Skye can be found hiking with her Siberian Husky Piper and her spirit guide Sheba, camping in a variety of state parks, motorcycling, ghost hunting or practicing and studying the healing arts of Wicca. Which doesn’t mean she dances naked under a full moon… as far as you know. Besides, you need a stone circle for that and they knocked the last one down to build a six-lane bypass.
Tell me something you want people to know about you:
This is important and not something everyone gets; if I tease you, I like you and consider you to be, at a minimum, a close acquaintance. On the other hand of my teasing becomes snarky, mean and doesn’t include a smile, you have managed to annoy me and should back off. In some ways I am still a thirteen year old girl…
Tell us how you live or walk us through a normal day for you:
I am certain this will be fascinating… My alarm usually goes off at 6:00am. I let my psychotic Psyberian (yeah I spelled that my way) Husky out and then the first thing I do as an iPhone junky is check my texts and Facebook messages. An hour later I put my hair in a tail, throw on some light makeup and go to the gym for two hours. I do an hour and a half of cardio and a half hour of circuit training. I swing by DnD for a coffee afterwards and head home. By ten I am working on a novel or promoting my current work. I go outside to eat some lunch a few hours later; have to rest my eyes and get some sunlight. Too many of us look like the vampires we write about.
After lunch I work for another couple hours, then I shut everything down and sing, practicing first scales then I do songs ranging from Heart to Queen. Afterwards is a cool down period where I play with my Husky and check the mail. This time of year I burn most of it in my firepit.
Dinner comes around 5:00pm and is usually cooked outside. It tastes better and costs less. If the weather is nice it is eaten outside, too. Once clean-up is done it is back to writing and promoting, with the exceptions of watching my addictions: Castle and Once Upon a Time.
The only days that are really different are certain Wiccan observances and alternating Thursdays and Fridays/ occasional Saturdays. On alternating Thursdays and Fridays I play Dungeons and Dragons or Halo (or the shooter of the month). Yep, I am officially a gamer girl and proud.
On the Fridays I am not playing a game and occasional Saturdays I sing and sometimes play drums for a local bar band. We may not be Halestorm but we’re loud. I’m proud of that, too.
Are you a full-time writer? If not, tell us about your day job:
While I make a little cashy money singing, I am a full time novelist.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
If there is a message, I am not aware it exists. Growing up I always hated that we were taught to analyze books and “find the meaning.” I read for fun and my novels are written to entertain. There are no Orwellian messages hidden in them. But if you read one backwards it will undo the universe. Be careful of that.
How much of the book is based off personal experiences?
I am not aware of ever encountering a vampire, though I do have unanswered questions about my first grade teacher. That said actually quite a bit of my stories is based on my real life experiences in a variety of ways. When it comes to forensic science, shooting and so on, that is all based on my education. I have a degree in Forensic Science and I try to be vaguely accurate with that in my novels. I also own the firearms my protagonists use and I know how to use them. I have a pet peeve about books that use weapons (or anything else) and the author clearly had no experience with the item, so I go out of my way to learn. If I tell you I can drift a 1966 Mustang around a tight corner, it is cause I know personally it can be done. I just sold it, in fact.
What are your current projects?
I have a novel titled Stormrise from Vamptasy Publishing that comes out on Halloween. I am working on the first sequel tentatively titled Stormrage, and have also started a new series about a witch named Aspen. I’m trying to title those based on Credence songs.
Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?
Yes. The first thing I ever wrote was a very long character background for a character named Rissa for a Dungeons and Dragons game. I spent ages on it using my dad’s beaten up urethane-spattered laptop and made him print copy after copy at his office until I had it just right. I detailed where she was from, who her parents were, her brothers and sisters, why she became a wizard and who her mentor was, everything. I knew her better than I knew myself by the time I was done. And then the game master decided not to run the game after all. He survived my rant afterwards but only barely. I enjoyed creating that character so much, I never stopped writing.
Do you ever experience writer’s block and how do you overcome it?
I don’t believe in writer’s block. I believe you can get to a point where you are not sure how to join part A to part C. So I do one of three things: I write part C, with the hope that while I am writing that, part B will come to me, I work on another project and let my subconscious deal with the problem, or if I am really stuck I present part A to my gaming friends and see what they would do if it were a game.
What project are you working on now?
I am working on two: Stormrage and Midnight Special.
Do you have any advice to give to aspiring writers?
I don’t know if it is advice, but I am always happy to share what I have experienced. First, don’t listen to most of the stuff spouted by “experts.” You can read and buy their books, but remember there is no magic bullet to getting published and an expert’s advice is no guarantee you will get that manuscript in front of anyone. Second, edit. And I don’t mean you or your cousin or your mom. Find a good editor whose only interest is being paid to do a good job, pay them and LISTEN TO THEM. A good editor has more experience doing their job than you do and it is their job to make your manuscript the best it can be. If you disagree with a comment, discuss it with them but for Gaia’s sake listen! Lastly, never give up, never stop writing. No one ever got published by surrendering.
The Zombie Apocalypse is a scientific possibility. What’s your plan when it happens?
Kill’em all? My friends have said many, many times they are coming to my house when it happens. I have weapons and ammunition, including Hornady Z-Max. I have cases of MRE’s and I have water. I also have no problem executing someone to save others. That may sound scary, and it puts some people off, but once someone is infected and there is no hope? They’re dead already. Say your goodbyes, say a prayer to Gaia and put a bullet in their brainpan before they have to suffer becoming a soulless monster.
So… from there the plan is to sit out the first few days. I and my companions will sit quietly on watch while people panic and are quickly consumed. Again, harsh, I know. But I can’t save everyone. Neither could you. If it is a matter of survival or trying to save someone running around like a chicken with its head cut off, the chicken gets eaten.
Once things have quieted down, we pack everything into trucks and move towards safer territory far away from cities. Cities are where the zombies are…
What happens when you get ‘half scared to death’ twice?
You get scared half to death twice. Look, you got scared half to death. Then you got over it. Then you got scared half to death again. This isn’t a mathematical equation and the effects are not cumulative. If you’re lucky, whatever scared you the first time won’t ever scare you again, so you got tougher in the process. Woot! Go you!
When is the world going to end?
October 13, 2037 at 6:33am. And fifty-nine seconds. So some clocks may stop at 6:34am. They aren’t as accurate as I am.
Are the good things that come to people who wait, the leftovers of people who went before them?
Eww, I have a leftover phobia and that’s just gross. Besides, good things don’t come to people who wait. It is like standing in line for a video game you didn’t preorder. You’re going to be out of luck, bub. Good things come to those who get off their butts and hunt them down.
If electricity comes from electrons, does morality comes from morons?
Morons, as we know, orbit neons, the smallest part of a fracktard. As we are taught in high school, a moron is the tiniest but most powerful element of stupidity, so I find it very unlikely that they could create morality. They are far more likely to bond and form a government.
Why do we teach kids that violence is not the answer, but then teach them all about wars that solved America’s problems?
I’ve been toying with this question. I could say something funny about stupid people, or refer to fraktards and neons, but I am going to take a leap and be honest and hope no one sets fire to my house.
I was not aware we taught kids that violence is not the answer. It wasn’t what I was taught, nor my friends, their parents, or their grandparents. I will take a wild stab that goes back pretty far. If a parent is teaching their child that violence is never the answer that parent needs a Gibbs slap upside the head. I’m not a sociologist, I am just an opinionated novelist, but that teaching could be part of the bullying problem. Are parents basically teaching children not to defend themselves? That leaves them open to the bullies, who are going to be violent no matter what you do (trust me, I’ve been a victim and I’ve seen it in my career) and limits their options… possibly resulting in the increase in child suicide as a result of bullying. What are they supposed to do when that bully comes after them with an aluminum bat? Use harsh language? “No means no” is all well and good but it’s not nearly as effective as a solid kick to the groin and an elbow to the temple. I know if I was taught not to fight back, I wouldn’t be here answering, writing, and doing what I do.
What we should be teaching is what I, and generations before me, were taught: Appropriate response. That is what our wars were about: The appropriate response at the appropriate time. Violence is rarely the appropriate response. But sometimes it is.
Can we spell creativity however we want?
It depends entirely on how you are referring to creativity. If you are trying to use the word “creativity” in a sentence you can hardly spell it “spatula” and get your meaning across.
If, however, you are referring to the act of being creative, absolutely we can spell it however we want. You might think a bunch of car parts welded together in an abstract pattern is just a pile of rusting junk. To someone else, it is creative, mind-blowing art. Go forth and be creative. Just don’t paint your children blue and put white hats on them. That’s creepy.
Why don’t you ever see ads for advertising companies?
They’re like ninjas. That’s how good they are. You never even notice those monstrous billboards that say “ADVERTISE HERE.” I have sneaky author perceptions and can see things that are really there.
Life isn’t easy for Detective Raven Storm. Her best friend was recently killed and dismembered, her latest case ended with her partner in intensive care, and her mother, the vampiric Mistress of the City is playing matchmaker… again. The last thing she wants is another bizarre murder case with a partner she doesn’t know. But that is exactly what she gets when she is handed the enigmatic case of Nathan King, who was found in his car with a gaping hole where his stomach should be.
Soon Raven is unraveling a mystery that leads her deep into the city’s preternatural underworld, and into the arms of a sexy vampire she barely knows, but whose heart she seeks in the darkness…
“Thanks, Ryan,” Raven said. “Did you find anything else of interest in the car?”
Finkel shook his head and turned to look back at the vehicle. “Not really. We lifted a couple partials from the door handle, but they probably belong to the victim. Lots of high-speed blood spatter inside, no sign of gunshot residue…it is like he pulled into the garage and his stomach tore open.”
Levac nodded, still staring at the contents of the gris-gris bag. “You know, Storm,” he said after a moment, “they’re right.”
Raven looked puzzled. “Who’s right? About what?”
“The rest of the squad,” he replied. “They were telling me you get all the weird ones. They’re absolutely right.”
You’re invited to the Stormrise Release Party on Facebook that’s happening online on October 31st. There will be some awesome prizes and giveaways!
Are you an indie author who would like to be interviewed by Coey Cain? Send your requests to firstname.lastname@example.org or send a message on Facebook.
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