Would you please introduce yourself and tell us what made you decide to write romance?
I'm Angela Knight, and as of last week, I'm a New York Times bestselling author of Berkley's MASTER OF WOLVES. (I'm still dancing in my chair over that one.) I decided I wanted to be a novelist when I was nine years old, when I wrote THE MOUSE THAT WENT TO THE MOON. I can still remember illustrating it in crayon. Since then, there have been very few years when I didn't have a book going, though I wasn't published in novel form until 2004. My first actual romance credits were in Red Sage's SECRETS novellas; my first novella was published with them in 1996. Since then, I've published more than 20 novellas, short stories and novels. Being published by Berkley Sensation is literally a dream come true for me.
You've written Vampires, Fantasy, Futuristic and what you call the Mageverse. How did you decide to write about them? What gave you the ideas for these areas?
I've been in love with vampires since I read Interview WITH THE VAMPIRE back in 1978 or so. Then there's a scene in DRACULA with Frank Langella where Dracula is dancing with Mina, and he almost bites her. Instead, he pulls back with this deliciously erotic smile, as though teasing himself with the aniticipation. That just got to me. From then on, I always wanted to write about vampire heroes. I finally published my first vampire novella, 'Blood and Kisses,' in Secrets Vol. 3 in 1997. But my vamps for Red Sage were all science based, which meant I needed to do a magic based vamp for Berkley. Because vamps are such thoroughly explored territory, I decided to throw in the Arthurian legends I loved as a child. The result was something I don't believe anybody else has ever done. The Mageverse, with its Sidhe, dragons, vampires, witches and werewolves is an endless magical garden of story possibilities.
As for futuristics -- I've been a science fiction fan since I fell in love with Captain Kirk when I was 12. My first published fiction was a science fiction comic book series in 1988 called CYCOPS. JANE'S WARLORD, my Berkley romance about a time-traveling genetically engineered cyborg, grew directly out of that fascination.
What was the inspiration for creating your current release 'Master of Wolves'?
Before I started writing romance professionally, I worked for 10 years as a newspaper reporter. While working for a small weekly paper, I had the opportunity to Interview a police K-9 officer named Doug Jones, with the Woodruff, SC police department. I was fascinated by Doug and his relationship with his drug dog, and I thought - what if the dog was actually a werewolf who could assume dog form? So I ran with the idea. MASTER OF THE MOON and MASTER OF WOLVES both grew out of that idea.
Do you do research for the books you write?
As a reporter, I covered several murders from the time the body hit the ground all the way through trial. I've done many Interviews with cops and lawyers and judges. As if that's not enough, my husband has been a cop for 18 years, so I also socialize with cops. So when I write about cops in my paranormal stories, I'm pretty comfortable with the subject. For my latest novella, I sat down and did a detailed Interview with a fitness instructor with the Spartanburg Athletic Club, Bethany Morton. Next week, I'm going to be hanging out at the club and doing some training with her as a basis for my next heroine. I do Internet research and research from books, but you can't ask a book a question. :>
To date, which book has been the most difficult to write? Of the books you've written do you have a favorite?
MASTER OF WOLVES was really difficult to write, because I didn't think it through well enough when I decided to do it. Werewolf goes undercover as a police K-9 German Shepherd, and falls in love with his handler. Great, high concept idea. Except I didn't stop to think about the fact that although he can fall in love with my heroine, as long as he's a dog, SHE'S NOT GOING TO FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM. So then I had to gut and retool the book twice to get it right. THE FOREVER KISS, my first book, was even tougher. My editor sent me a 12 page single spaced revision letter. I had to throw out 300 pages of a 400 page book and start over. Got it finished, sent it in thinking it was brilliant - and my publisher HATED it. My editor sent a five page revision letter that time, and the original 100 pages got axed. One massive rewrite later, the book was published. THE FOREVER KISS actually a favorite of mine, though I also love MASTER OF THE MOON. However, I think MASTER OF SWORDS, the book I just finished, is very good, and I think people are going to really like it. And MASTER OF WOLVES is a really fun book too.
Do you usually outline your stories before you write them, or do you "go with the flow"?
I plot them ahead of time, but sometimes what I plan doesn't always work, and I have to restructure them.
How long does it take you to write a book?
About five months.
What is the best thing about being a romance writer?
Sitting around thinking about hot men all day long, and getting paid really well. Is that not the best job in the world or what? And I adore getting happy fan letters.
Do you have any fears about writing?
Ohmygod! Ask my friends! Ask my critique partner! My mantra at the end of every book is always, 'This book sucks! I suck! This is the worst piece of tripe I've ever written! It's going to go down in flames!' And then it hits the New York Times list and gets TOP PICKS and five star reviews, and I go on to become convinced my next book sucks. I'm neurotic.
What are you working on next?
First is WOLFMASTER, the novella about the fitness instructor who gets turned into a werewolf. At the moment, I'm thinking she's going to start out as a vegetarian, which makes her sudden craving for the neighbor's cat HIGHLY disconcerting. And after that, I'm doing MASTER OF DRAGONS, which is about Kel, a dragon who has assumed human form. He's also the hero's sidekick in MASTER OF SWORDS; he has been trapped in the hero's sword.
What do you consider the highlight in your writing career?
Hitting the NEW YORK TIMES list, the USA Today List, the Publisher's Weekly list and Bookscan, all this past week. That was my dream. I can't believe I really did it. Though winning Best Erotic Romance from Romantic Times wasn't bad.
What books do you enjoy reading? Do you have a favorite?
Right now I have a serious jones for JR Ward's Black Brotherhood series. Just finished the ARC of LOVER AWAKENED, and it rocked! I also love Charlaine Harris, J.D. Robb/Nora Roberts, MaryJanice Davidson, Laurell K. Hamilton, Diane Whiteside, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Emma Holly, and Lois McMaster Bujold. Actually, if they're writing vampires, werewolves and paranormal, I'm probably reading them.
When away from writing, What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
I create artwork with a computer graphics program called Poser. You can see my work on my website, www.angelasknights.com.
Any tips about writing and getting published?
After you finish your work, let it cool a while - like a couple of months. Go back and read it. Look to see what sparkles about it, what leaps off the page. For me, it was love scenes, which is how I ended up doing erotic romance. What you do best and love most is what you need to be writing. Also, don't forget the e-book market. In print publishing, you have to have so much just perfect, it can be hard to find a publisher. E-books give you the opportunity to acquire the last bit of polish you need before tackling New York. I equate them to the minor leagues in baseball.
Thank you for taking the time to answer a few questions for We Really Dig Romance Novels.
Thank you very much for asking me!
Check out the Angela Knight books we have.
Author website: http://www.angelasknights.com/