On Saturday I was MC for the Summer Author reading at our local coffeehouse, Social Grounds Coffeehouse. I had read the month before so was pleased to act as MC this time. It is always a pleasure to support my fellow writers and especially cool to hear them share their stories.
The three authors reading were Linda J Pedley – who thrilled us with excerpts from her ‘Journey’ trilogy, Journey of Brothers, Journey of Desires and Journey of Truth. Beth Rowe reading from both of her YA adventure/mystery books, Bird of Barjay and Mischief, Mischief and J.E. McKnight from his intriguing sci-fi, The Arrival.
Having such a diverse selection of stories certainly made the evening a fun one and the audience loved the opportunity to ask the authors questions later. It is so important to support your local authors not only at readings but by purchasing and reviewing their books. There is months, if not years of work, in each book you read. Stories that are easy reading are hard writing!
Thank you to Dream Write Publishing (www.dreamwritepublishing.ca) and Social Grounds Coffeehouse for making this series of author readings possible. if you wish to purchase any of these books or indeed the 70+ others on the purchaser site please feel free to browse!
Have you attended any authors readings, whether reading or listening?
What was your experience like?
What did you learn?
Do you know your local authors? If not contact your library.
Please welcome Joe to my blog. He is a great writer, a talented artist as well as author and the President of the Writers Foundation of Strathcona County.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I have always had a love for storytelling. Even when I was young. When I was fourteen I saw a game called Time Soldiers and I basically took it from there. Many rewrites later the final draft looks nothing like the original; even the title – Time’s Hostage – is different.
How did you come up with the title?
I needed a title that wasn’t already owned by a video game so during my last revision, I looked into my story to find a title that worked with the story. I knew I wanted to incorporate time into the title so that’s where I started. Then, because one of the characters is kidnapped and taken through time, I came up with Time’s Hostage.
Is this your first book? How many books have you written (published or un published)
Time’s Hostage was my first; it was published in 2013. Since then I have published two more with a fourth one coming out in fall of 2016. I am currently writing a fifth book and planning a sixth one to be started in November 2016.
Is there a message in your novel that you want your readers to grasp?
Occasionally I throw in a message but mostly I just want the reader to have fun and enjoy the world I have created.
How much of the book is realistic?
I try to immerse my characters into the real world whether that be a world where they travel through time, exist on another planet or live in a world of enhanced humans. I try to create relatable characters no matter what environment put them in.
Are your characters based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
I don’t base my characters on real people usually but sometimes a steal memories from real life and insert them into my stories.
If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?
I am answering this one for Fly On The Wall as it is my newest one as of Summer 2016. I’m not so sure I would change anything. This book was different than anything I had written previously and that’s how I try to write all my books. Keep them different from each other; try new things. It was a lot of fun for me to write.
Do you have anything specific you want to say to your readers?
Just that I hope everyone who reads my books gets as much, if not more, enjoyment from my stories as I did writing them.
What is your favorite part/chapter of your book/project?
I don’t know that I have a specific favorite part or chapter in my novels. What I really do enjoy is creating completely new worlds. In my novel The Arrival and my newest book, Powerless, due in fall, I got to create worlds far apart from our own – a distant planet and an alternate universe respectively.
What is your favorite theme/genre to write?
Sci-fi has to be my favorite genre. Four of my books are of a science fiction nature. Two of which happen to be time travel, which would be my favorite theme. Although I do try and change it up. Right now I am writing a suspense novel.
Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?
I’m sure there probably is a subject I wouldn’t write about but I haven’t been approached to write anything so I haven’t had the opportunity to weigh out whether or not I felt comfortable in writing it. I basically get inspired to write certain stories that both interest and excite me.
What book are you reading now?
I am reading Uncle John’s Bathroom Reader.
Do you see writing as a career?
I would love to have a career as a writer and to do this full time.
Where do you see yourself in ten years?
By then I hope to be working full-time for a local publishing company, still writing, and possibly making the Comic Con circuit.
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?
Research is always challenging. I have dealt with scenes involving medical, law enforcement, science professionals, and time travel. The trick is to make each scene believable and authentic.
Have you ever hated anything you have written?
Of course. If I really hate something I have written and editing cannot fix the issue, I would consider revising or just scrap it altogether.
Which book do you wish you had written?
This might come across as a pure money grubbing answer but I wish I had written the Harry Potter series. I title like that would make my wish as a full-time writer come true.
What is your best marketing tip?
Actually, I’m still working on my marketing. But from what I can tell, social media is a great way to go. Get your name out there. The more people who know who you are and what you’re writing, the better your chances are.
What genre is your next project? What is it about?
My current WIP is a suspense novel. It’s about a woman who has been keeping secrets from her husband, which could end up turning her life upside down when her husband vanishes.
Can you tell us about your upcoming book?
My newest book, Powerless – due out in fall of 2016 – is about an alternate world where everyone has enhanced abilities but someone is using a serum to rob people of their abilities; sending them to exile on Institutional Island. One man who has had his abilities taken away from him before he had the chance to gain them finds a way to stay on the mainland to protect the city from this threat.
How do we find your books, blog and bio?
You can find my books and bio on the Dream Write Publishing site – www.dreamwritepublishing.ca/j-e-mcknight. I don’t have a blog but you can also see me at various events around Strathcona County. As well, I will be at the Edmonton Comic and Entertainment Expo in September 2016. Booth 1101 – come and meet me.