Friday, December 15, 2017

The Gal's 2017 Halloween Frivolities Day 54: Among the Stacks with Brian Knight


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Hi, Brian.  Thanks for stopping by The Gal today.  Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brian Knight:
I'm a father, husband, and writer.  I have a respect for education, and sorrow that I wasted  all of my opportunities to get a good one when I was younger.  I love coffee, Hawaiian Shirts, and a good story.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are five things most people don't know about you?


Brian Knight:
  1. I grew up a Jehovah's Witness, but not a very good one.  I oscillated between thinking God was made up by old men to control everyone else, and thinking he was a monster.
  2. I developed a love of science late in life.  Cosmology, theoretical physics, Quantum Theory, String theory.  Stuff so cutting age it sounds like science fiction.
  3. When I was younger, I used to read Tarot cards.  I was good at it, too.
  4. When I'm playing my Friday the 13th game and Jason catches me off guard, I sometimes scream like a little girl.
  5. There are some things I have never shared with anybody, things that have happened to me that I haven't told anybody, and never will.


The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is the first book you remember reading?

Brian Knight:
The first book I remember reading and enjoying is an Indiana Jones choose your own adventure book.  When I was a kid I wanted to grow up to be Indiana Jones.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What are you reading now?

Brian Knight:
I'm currently between books.  I’m trying to get back into the swing of writing after taking a few years off to pout.  If you count audiobooks, I’m currently listening to Stephen King’s Danse Macabre.  It’s my go-to when I’m getting back into a creative mind-space.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's a book you really enjoyed that others wouldn't expect you to have liked?

Brian Knight:
Carl Sagan’s The Demon Haunted World.  I started it not really knowing who Carl Sagan was and expecting it to be about demons, ghosts, and monsters.  It ended up being about reason and science, and it taught me the value of critical thinking and wonder tempered by reason.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What made you decide you want to write?  When did you begin writing?

Brian Knight:
wrote my first short story in the fifth grade as a class assignment, it involved a bunch of heads floating around an old house and talking to each other, and my teacher told me I was good at telling stories and should keep doing it.  I became a writer before I was really even a reader.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have a special place you like to write?

Brian Knight:
Not really.  I’ll write anywhere I can settle down and get comfortable for a while.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any quirks or processes that you go through when you write?

Brian Knight:
Procrastination, while I think about my story, characters, and scenes that strike me as exciting.  Then panic, as I realize I’ve been daydreaming for hours and not written anything yet.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Is there anything about writing you find most challenging?

Brian Knight:
Starting.  Getting a firm grip on the story I want to tell.  Once I have it in hand I usually do well.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What's the most satisfying thing you've written so far?

Brian Knight:
The third and (so far) final book in my mid-grade fantasy series, The Phoenix Girls.  It was the longest piece of fiction I’ve ever written, and I think the funnest.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What books have most inspired you?  Who are some authors that have inspired your writing style?

Brian Knight:
Anything by Stephen King or Charles Grant.  Stylistically, I really couldn’t say.  I think someone who is well read in the genre, and my own work, would be better qualified than I am to answer that.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What do you think makes a good story?

Brian Knight:
think a good story should make you feel something, anything, strongly.  It can make you laugh, cry, cringe, shudder, puke, and when you finish it, it should make you wish it were longer.  For myself, I like a story that is fun and scary at the same time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What does it take for you to love a character?  How do you utilize that when creating your characters?

Brian Knight:
If I can identify, even in a small way, with a character, then I am more likely to root for that character.  If that character can make me wish I were more like them, I will love that character.  I try to write characters that I wish I knew personally, or in the case of villains, would personally loath.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Which, of all your characters, do you think is the most like you?

Brian Knight:
None of them.  I want them to be better and more interesting than I am.  They all have a little bit of me though, whether I want them to or not. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Are you turned off by a bad cover?  To what degree were you involved in creating your book covers?

Brian Knight:
think in many cases a bad cover in indicative of the level of commitment a publisher has to a work.  If they skimped on the cover, what else did they skimp on?  It’s probably not fair to the writer, but it does give me pause.  In the past my publishers have mostly let me have some input, and in a few cases choose the art or artists.  Now that I’m bringing my old stuff back into print on my own, I am making all of the decisions.  So far I have been very happy with everything I’ve chosen.  Every one has been something I wanted for that book, not just something I settled for. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What have you learned creating your books?

Brian Knight:
What not to do next time.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What has been the hardest scene for you to write so far?

Brian Knight:
rape scene in the work in progress.  It was painful to write, and I suspect will be painful for many to read, but it was important.  I didn’t write it to titillate or shock, but because it is the pivotal moment in the character’s life and informs everything she does afterward.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes your books different from others out there in this genre?

Brian Knight:
Every writer is different, and every story is different.  As to what makes me different from others in the field, I don’t think I’m qualified to say.  It would take someone much better read than I am to give a good answer.  

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
How important is the book title, how hard is it to choose the best one, and how did you choose yours (of course, with no spoilers)?

Brian Knight:
Sometimes I start with a title, sometimes I struggle to find a good one once the story is finished.  I think a good title is very important.  It’s the first hook, even before the cover and story synopsis.  When I choose a title, I want something that teases the story and is appropriately enticing. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What makes you feel more fulfilled: Writing a novel or writing a short story?

Brian Knight:
Writing a novel.  In many ways novels are easier, but they also command a  much greater commitment.  There is no better feeling than writing the end on a novel.  Well, except for completing all of the revisions and edits that make it a readable novel. 

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Tell us a little bit about your books, your target audience, and what you would like readers to take away from your stories.

Brian Knight:
My target audience is me.  I write things I would like to read, and I can only hope others will feel the same way.  Usually that means horror, but I have also written action/crime, and mid grade fantasy (I blame J.K. Rowling and Harry Potter for that).  I would like my readers to enjoy the time they spend with my books.  Whatever they take away from the experience beyond that is between them and my books.  I don’t like to intrude.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Can you tell us about some of the deleted scenes/stuff that got left out of your work?

Brian Knight:
Most of my deleted scenes were deleted because they were boring, or ran counter to the story I was telling.  I don’t think I’ve ever cut something that was worth remembering.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What is in your "trunk"?

Brian Knight:
have two “Trunk Novels,” one of which I was stupid enough to submit to a very bad publisher many, many years ago.  It was available for a very short time, and will never come back into print.  The other is a kind of fucked up hero/horror mashup that is only special to me because it was the first long work I ever completed.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
What can we expect from you in the future?

Brian Knight:
am rereleasing much of my out of print work via my new imprint, Tulpa Books.  Upcoming new projects include a collection called DANGEROUS TOYS, a serial killer novel tentatively titled THE GIRL WITH THE GUTS, and a supernatural horror novel called HOG ISLAND.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Where can we find you?

Brian Knight:
They can subscribe to my mailing list as well.

The Gal in the Blue Mask:
Do you have any closing words for your fans or anything you'd like to say that we didn't get to cover in this interview?

Brian Knight:
If you’ve made it this far into the interview, then thanks for hanging in there!  I hope you’ll check my work out.  My novels FERAL and BROKEN ANGEL are available for preorder now for 99 cents at Amazon, Kobo, and Nook.  My collection DRAGONFLY is also available for preorder, and will be in Kindle Unlimited.



About the author:
Brian Knight lives in Washington State with his family and the voices in his head.  His favorite things include coffee, writing outdoors on warm summer nights, and Hawaiian shirts.

About the books:
Life in Clearwater was quiet, even a little dull for Grim, but it was better than the time he'd spent on the streets of Seattle.  Then the strange girl arrived, abandoned at a roadside diner.  Drugged, sick, with no memory of the past.  Grim had a bad feeling about her from the beginning, but he didn't say anything when his foster mother, Clara, took her in.  If anyone needed a home, it was this strange, sad girl.  Clara's new Angel.  As Angel's health improves and her memory returns, the hot Clearwater summer becomes increasingly strange.  Insanity creeps through the small town like a plague, spawning violence, and no one is immune.  And death has arrived in the form of a shadowy figure lurking in the woods at night.

Shannon Pitcher was trying to forget the brutal murder of her ex-husband and the loss of her only daughter, when fate brought her to a lost, scared little girl named Charity at the gate of an abandoned and haunted place called Feral Park.  Now she must save Charity from the same Bogey Man who killed her own daughter, and from the wild children of Feral Park.  Gordon Chambers has searched six years for his daughter.  Even when his estranged wife is found slaughtered and his daughter, Charity, disappears, hope remains in the form of strange dreams.  Gordon follows a trail that leads him to the small city of Riverside, Washington, and Shannon Pitcher.  After years of living as prisoner of the fairytale monster that killed her mother, Charity has escaped.  But the Bogey Man wants her back, and he will not stop until he has her.  There is only one safe place for her now, but the price of safety will be more than her innocence; it will be her soul.  The key to her escape may be the very thing that makes her so special to the supernatural killer. 

Vengeful revenants, ghost children, woodland zombies, and lustful, demonic toys are among the menagerie of small horrors showcased in Brian Knight's first collection, Dragonfly.
            Gripping, touching, and sometimes humorous, Dragonfly deals a powerful range of emotions from love to hate, hope and loss.
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