Posted on 10/29/2018 at 08:00 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
We’re accustomed now to seeing unusual professions or degrees preceding authors’ tales of writing success.
But usually it’s a case of a history major writing novels set in the Middle Ages, or a lawyer producing legal thrillers.
So we were surprised to learn that paranormal romance author Gwen Knight majored in archaeology and geography despite having written fiction since adolescence.
After talking to her, though, we realized it made perfect sense — in both her studies and her stories, Knight is uncovering worlds that we don’t encounter in daily life!
We did some digging ourselves on the USA TODAY best-selling author, and here’s what we found.
SADYE: You started writing at a young age — what did you write about?
GWEN: I started writing when I was eleven years old, and my first short story featured a monster that I was convinced lived under my bed.
Afterward, my stories tended to stray more toward horror. I loved horror growing up, and watched any scary movie I could get my hands on.
I still have everything I wrote as a kid in a giant Tupperware bin in my basement — things like stalkers from online chat rooms, vampires bleeding people out, monsters hunting people at night.
You know, kid stuff ;)
SADYE: What started your interest in the paranormal?
GWEN: I definitely have to credit this to Anne Rice.
She was the first paranormal author I ever read, and I fell so hard for Lestat in Queen in the Damned. For a vampire, he seemed so real.
After Anne Rice came Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. The thought of a kick-ass female heroine who could fall for a vampire really spoke to me.
I wanted to write stories like that, ones that included the paranormal, but also made people feel.
SADYE: If you could be one paranormal creature or have one of their abilities, which would it be and why?
GWEN: Oh, I would totally be a vampire, since they were my first paranormal love. Plus eternal life, gotta love that.
SADYE: How does one go from earning degrees in archaeology and geography to writing paranormal romance?
GWEN: There's an inherent romanticism to archaeology.
People hear the word “archaeology” and immediately think of Indiana Jones, Tomb Raider, The Mummy, etc.
They picture excitement, adventure, and traveling the world. Paranormal romance offers these things, as well.
I've always loved writing and have since long before I went to university for my degree.
During school, I did a dig in Israel, visited Cairo, Rome, etc., but ultimately my love of romance pushed me into full-time publishing where I use those experiences to write adventure-filled novels.
SADYE: What made you decide to seek publication, and what was that journey like?
GWEN: I'd always known I wanted to write professionally.
After I graduated university, my husband and I moved to a new city for my job, and he encouraged me to attempt traditional publishing.
He'd been reading my work since we were teenagers and was always my biggest cheerleader when it came to my writing.
We went online together and saw that Harlequin had an open-call for paranormal romance novellas.
I didn't have anything written that I thought fit the bill, so I quickly got to work and wrote something that matched their requirements.
I honestly didn't expect to hear back from them, so when I received "the call" from Harlequin, I was speechless. It all happened so fast.
The contract was for two books, so I wrote a second one for them, and then decided afterward to give indie publishing a whirl. It's been five years since then.
SADYE: You contributed to a blog post about why authors always have cats, so do you want to tell us more about your current feline companions?
GWEN: I was so excited for this question. I love my kitties!
I have two monsters: a black cat named Merlin, and a ginger kitty named Percival.
(We have an Arthurian legend theme in our house for animals names. Our dog is named Galahad.)
But Merlin and Percival are two very different beasts. Merlin is very quiet and independent. He doesn't like much attention, usually only asking for about five to ten minutes of cuddles a day before he's done.
Percival, on the other hand, is a little love bug. He's just over a year old and still sleeps in my lap, stretches across my shoulders, follows me everywhere around the house.
He's a very vocal cat, too. Loves to talk to you and chirp as he wanders around the house. They both enjoy keeping me company on my desk as I work.
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Categories: Author Interview