ED – The Eerie Digest is proud to present author Alex Knight to all our readers. Alex you have written many short stories and several novels. Some of your short stories will be appearing in The Eerie Digest over the next several months. How do you keep up with such an active writing curriculum?
AK – Thank you, as a fan of The Eerie Digest, I’m thrilled to be here. In answer to your question, I love writing and always have several projects on the go at the same time. Quite often they are at or near the same level of completion so I may not have anything new out there and ‘suddenly’ I have two or three novels being edited and five short stories available. I’ve learned the hard way to keep a mini recorder with me at all times to capture that one perfect sentence or thought before it’s lost forever. The recorder is compatible with my ‘speech to text’ software so that makes the whole process a lot easier. I’m also lucky in that my family and friends are very supportive of my writing habits. Finally, I’m blessed with a partner who helps with research, designs my covers and he keeps our home life running as smoothly as possible.
ED – What got you interested in writing?
AK – Like a lot of other writers I became an avid reader at an early age. At the age of seven I would read all of my older sister’s romance and gothic romance novels when she was through with them. They were pretty tame back in those days but I loved that they took me away to distant places. From those I graduated to biographies, non-fiction and thrillers; pretty much anything I could get my hands on. I knew at an early age that I wanted to write and provide others with the same entertaining escapism that I enjoyed so much. Not knowing how to pursue my dream I didn’t do anything about it for the longest time. Finally I decided that if I didn’t get a move on and have something published before my 50th birthday it was never going to happen. One weekend I saw an advertisement for an online writing course being taught by Dr. Eva Shaw. It sounded perfect – I could give it a shot anonymously and if I was really awful – who would know except me? With Eva’s encouragement I submitted a couple of pieces to local papers; they were accepted and published before the course ended. I haven’t looked back.
AK – I prefer murder mysteries, psychological thrillers and horror. When I’m reading a novel I want to get lost in it and enjoy myself, much the way movie goers did during the depression. One thing I don’t like to do is use or read a lot of technical jargon that the average person is not familiar with. For me, as long as it’s plausible I’m happy. If I’m reading for entertainment, I don’t want to have to think too deeply about what I’m reading or to have to constantly refer to the glossary. I just want to enjoy the ride for as long as it lasts. I try to write in the same manner. Whether I’m writing about murder, horror or romance, I just want the reader to get caught up in the moment.
ED – You once said that you can build a story on a single word. How are you able to do this?
AK – I’m not sure how that happens but I hear a word randomly and it triggers my imagination. The story “The Bodyguard, The Mermaid and Dolphin” (in last month’s issue of The Eerie Digest) was the result of a colleague casually mentioning the words ‘a little tavern.’ Another short story, “Under the Deadwood Tree” was the result of another fellow writer mentioning that it was time we trimmed the deadwood (referring to non participating members of a group we belonged to.) It’s a story about a popular lecturer who might be a former abuse victim that killed and buried her husband. The stories I write may not have anything at all to do with the traditional use or meaning of the word. From an online sports headline about an NHL (National Hockey League) team being resilient I wrote a piece of flash fiction about mutant river rats aboard a sailboat. Of course not every word will inspire a story but it doesn’t take much to get me started.
ED – You have also written for many periodicals. Tell us about this aspect of your writing.
AK – When I first started out I would write and submit anything just to have a byline. I wrote humorous essays, poetry and short stories. A lot of my earlier work has appeared in print in free monthly newspapers as well as online magazines across the globe. As a freelancer I have also written several service bulletins, newsletters and ghost written a number of articles, but didn’t derive any satisfaction from them. I just don’t enjoy technical writing – it’s too much like work. Now I only write short stories and novels for the pleasure I receive from the characters I create and their adventures. I hope my readers enjoy them too.
AK – I just wrapped up Murder in Mendocino and it’s about to undergo the first round of editing. I have to confess I’m behind my self-imposed schedule on that one, but it will be available soon. It starts with a group of young teens finding a skull. Since they were smoking and drinking beer at the time, they don’t tell anyone about their discovery. But kids are kids and they can’t resist taking a picture of it. One of them posts the picture to a popular, social networking site. It goes viral and the investigation begins. Once the deceased has been identified suspicion immediately falls upon the wife who neglected to report her husband missing. As the investigators dig deeper, they discover that the victim wasn’t particularly well-liked and that several other people had a motive for murder.
ED – “Accidental Agent” has been another book of yours, and a romantic comedy. Please describe the theme behind the book and a little about the story.
AK – Accidental Agent was last year’s NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) novel. I liked the story but let it sit once November ended because I was busy with other projects. I revisited it earlier this year and decided to move forward. It’s about a young woman who finally has a date with the guy she been infatuated with for years – the guy who stood her up on prom night. Unfortunately, the date is the night before she leaves on a long overdue, lengthy vacation abroad. Through a series of misadventures and a case of mistaken identity, she unwittingly becomes involved in espionage, meets the real man of her dreams and learns to be careful what she wishes for.
ED – We understand that your latest project is “Incredible Luck!” and is a sequel to “What Luck!” What is the basis behind this incredible series?
AK – What Luck! started out as a piece of flash fiction. Originally the indigent heroine broke into a deserted mansion seeking shelter. She was amazed at all the lovely furnishings and treasures that were still in place and thought she was extremely lucky to be there. The resident vampire moved in for the kill, thinking he was extremely lucky in that he didn’t have to go out in search of his evening meal. However, the characters had something else in mind. The story kept growing and as it did, the entire beginning and a number of references to it had to be rewritten. The two main characters are very much in love, have a passion for life and enough money to do whatever they want. In Incredible Luck! the Sinclairs cope with a persistent investigative reporter, rescue a former acquaintance and turn the tables on gangsters in Vegas, all while dealing with an assortment of day-to-day villains. The third and final novel (as yet unnamed) will take place in the distant future.
ED – We have been told that you are also compiling a collection of your short stories and poems. Will you be making this into a book as well?
AK – When I look at what I’ve written in the last nine years, I realize that based on the word count alone, I have written the equivalent of a novel and a half per year. I’m still trying to decide what I want to publish and how to work out practical combinations. Because of the different genres, it will be hard to combine everything into one book or two.
ED – Alex, where can our readers find your work?
AK – All of my novels are available in ebook format only. What Luck! is currently available at Amazon’s Kindle store, at Booklocker.com and through my website www.alexknight.ca Murder in Mendocino, Accidental Agent and Incredible Luck! will be available through my website within the next few months.
ED – What other fields of writing are you looking to work on in the near future?
AK – A colleague once suggested that I write screenplays and I have to admit the idea is appealing. As I reread some of my short stories and works-in-progress, I can imagine watching them on television or a movie screen. It would be challenging because I know writing a screenplay is a lot different from writing a short story or novel, but I’d definitely give it a shot.
ED – Alex, our readers are really looking forward to seeing your short stories as they appear over the next few months in The Eerie Direst, and I am sure that we are going to hear much positive feedback on them. We want to thank you, and welcome you to our family of distinguished writers. Many thanks, and keep us informed of all the latest developments in your career!