What made you pick Guinevere as the protagonist instead of The Lady of the Lake?
Honestly, I never considered picking the lady of the lake as the protagonist. When I first formed the idea it always revolved around Guinevere as the main character. This mostly comes from the idea of writing this as a series and exploring additional character relationships. Lots of things have changed from the original idea but the protagonist has always remained consistent.
I love that there were dinosaurs included alongside this famous King Arthur legend retelling. What inspired you to include dinosaurs and pirates?
The idea for the universe came in pieces. When I first told my husband my idea of steampunk and dinosaurs, he thought that it was a little much. But when he read the first draft, he realized that it all worked together. I have always liked dinosaurs, and they seemed like a perfect fit in the story. What is a dinosaur but a dragon?
This question is for the readers who also hope to be writers one day. Can you tell us about your writing process? As in: are you a panster or a plotter?
My writing process is fairly chaotic. Usually I have some idea of the basic plot but often add additional scenes in the middle as I go. I don’t write in order (e.i. chapter one, chapter two, etc.) but rather jump around. Once I finish a scene, or chapter, I try to leave it alone and not constantly edit it. Eventually there are enough scenes that the book comes together into something cohesive.
Who was your favorite and least favorite character to write?
My favorite character to write is probably Merlin. I had a lot of fun writing all of the knights, with her in particular. I don’t have a particular character that was my least favorite to write.
There is a lot of action in this book. Did you start off with something in mind (as in writing about dinosaurs and then adding in the pirates) and then added other elements or was everything planned out this way from the beginning stages?
I had an idea of what I wanted the world to be before I started writing the book. I really wanted to create this universe that blended steampunk with other fantasy elements such as the dinosaurs. As I went about writing the book, the scenes flowed into each other and a lot of the action elements just came naturally. What was really critical to the cohesiveness of the story was the editing. I did several rounds myself as well as had a beta reader read the book and give feedback before I began querying it for publication. It was in this stage of the writing that everything melded together.
What is something that you hope readers will take away after reading the Rise of Knight and Sword?
I just hope that readers enjoy it, recommend it to their friends, and are excited for the next book in the series.
How long did it take you to write The Rise of Knight and Sword?
It took me just under a year to write the first draft and then an additional six months of revising before I began the querying process.
How many books do you plan on having in the series (if you are allowed to say this)?
There will be several (at least four) books in the series. Right now, I am working on editing the sequel and writing the third book. I also plan on releasing a series of short stories focusing on each of the knights that will further expand the universe between books two and three.
Which character do you relate to the most (personality-wise or other)?
I would say that I relate the most to Guinevere which makes sense since I made her the main character of the book. One thing I wanted her to be relatable with is her internal dialogue and anxiety which is something I too have dealt with. There is a lot about her that is different than myself which is what makes writing characters fun.
Other than reading, do you have any advice for anyone who is interested in getting their book published?
Just keep trying. It took many months and lots of rejections before I found publishers that were interested in my book. Its hard to hear criticism and rejection for something you have devoted so much time and energy towards, but you have to reframe how you view it. Remember why you started writing in the first place and figure out what success means to you. Is it finishing the novel? Getting published? Selling a single, or a hundred, copies of your book? Being a bestseller? It is up to you to decide.