Mackenzie Flohr talks to Sean Tuohy about her writing process.
By Sean Tuohy
Author Aya Knight lives in a world of fantasy that she has created and none of us blame her. Knight is the author of the much loved Chronicles of Kales series and is currently working on her next project. Knight took a moment to step out of her fantasy land to speak to Writer’s Bone about the craft of writing.
Sean Tuohy: When did you know you wanted to be a writer?
Aya Knight: I think a part of me has always been into storytelling. Since a young age I would engage in activities that would put my (at times) overactive imagination to use. Dungeons & Dragons was something that I enjoyed since it revolves around stories that push you to use no more than your mind. I also love to read, though I’ll admit, I don’t get to as much as I’d like. As I grew into my 20s, an idea began to brew that I just couldn’t stop thinking about. It was the core concept of my first novel and I knew that I needed to get it onto paper. What started as the desire to write a “cool concept” down, quickly turned into page after page of content. I found myself invested in the world and knew at that point there was no turning back. I was determined to make writing novels my profession. Since then, I’ve never looked back and hope to continue this passion for many years to come.
ST: What authors did you worship growing up?
AK: Stephen King is definitely a top-runner. One of the first books I remember carrying around (and the only book I’ve ever read through twice), was Pet Sematary. I can still remember how gripped I was on every page, how he was able to pull me completely into this alternate reality with no more than words on paper. I also really enjoyed Dean Koontz. I find he has a natural talent to blend genres together. A couple of his books were great thrillers, yet had fantastical elements to them. Lastly, I’d like to credit a more recent author on the timeline. J.K. Rowling. What can I say? I’m a sucker for the Harry Potter series. It was a very well written story and I think a lot of people don’t realize how difficult it is to craft a tale that takes place across seven books, while masterfully wrapping up all loose ends and tying the characters together with closure.
ST: What kind of writer are you: Outline and then writer or just write and see what happens?
AK: Definitely outline! I’ve tried both methods, and found that without outlining, I end up investing a lot more brainpower into developing a plot. It not only ends up taking me longer, but I end up missing elements that could have been avoided if I’d taken the time to block out main events in advance. For me personally, I’ve found outlining to be a great cure for writer’s block.
ST: Did growing up in South Florida have an effect on your writing?
AK: I would say that the location itself had no influence on my writing, but the people I’ve met and experiences encountered (while in South Florida) played a role in my writing.
ST: What advise do you give to other authors?
AK: It may sound cliché, but I always urge anyone who wants to complete a book, to write every single day. Set a realistic goal for yourself, (such as 1,000 words per day) a goal that fits your lifestyle. Don’t try to set your goals too high or you’ll end up disappointing yourself, and possibly un-motivating your drive. Set a goal that is realistic to accomplish—then, if you happen to achieve more, it’s icing on the cake.
ST: Can you tell us about Silver Knight Publishing?
AK: Silver Knight Publishing was an amazing experience and enabled me to learn a great deal about the inner workings of the industry. We represented many wonderful and talented authors. However, the company has since merged and is no longer operational for submissions.
ST: Can you tell us one random fact about yourself?
AK: Hah, all right. I’m a huge fan of amusement parks (I think I get even more excited than my kids)! And, when I say a huge fan, I’m talking the whole nine yards—I’m that person who walks around with Mickey Mouse ears or a Harry Potter wand.