Welcome, today we are talking with Dee S. Knight! I would like to thank you for taking time out of your busy writing schedule to answer a few questions. First, let’s delve into who you are. Some of the questions may be untraditional but you’d be surprised at what readers connect to, and sometimes the simplest ‘I can relate to that’ grabs their interest where nothing else can.
Can you share a little something about Dee S. Knight that’s not mentioned in your bio on your website?
Hmm. For anyone who’s followed me, it’s known that hubby and I drove a tractor-trailer for eight years, all over the U.S. and into a few Canadian provinces. But what might not be known is that Jack taught me to drive on two-lane Georgia roads coming back to the terminal from a delivery late at night. I would push in the clutch and he would shift gears while I steered. Then for two days he had me run the truck around the terminal yard—start-stop, shift gears, stop-start, make a turn to see how different it is with a trailer attached. On and on, over and over. Then we went on to the road. With real people. Does that scare you enough? It scared me, too, but I was young and pretty fearless.
Another thing, due to polio and the surgeries I’d had, I couldn’t stand on tippy toes. I almost didn’t pass the physical because of that—you use your toes to push in the clutch and shift gears. So I learned straight away to listen to the engine to know when to shift and didn’t use the clutch except when stopping and starting. We were safe—never had a ticket or accident—and we had a blast for those eight years.
When did you know that you wanted to be a writer?
I don’t think I ever had a conscious thought that I wanted to write. I had time on my hand, the support of my husband, and just starting writing because it sounded like fun. I’d written maybe four books before I admitted to how much I enjoyed doing it and thought it might be something I wanted to keep up. But it took many more years before, when someone asked what I did I said I write books.
How long have you been writing?
I wrote my first book, Impatient Passion, in 2002 and it was published on February 14, 2003. I stopped for a few years while life interceded around 2007 and took it up again, then stopped again. It’s been a bit of an up and down situation, but I’m involved in self-publishing the books now, so I’m at it seriously.
What have you found most challenging about it?
I hate saying this, but actually hitting the keys and getting words on paper is the hardest. I have what I think are great ideas, I develop plot and dialogue in my head, but when it comes time to sit at the keyboard for a few hours ever day… Well, I’m just not as disciplined as I should be. Bad me!
What does writing do for you? Is it fun, cathartic, do you get emotional or exhausted when writing certain scenes?
I love getting a story out. That is, I love seeing a finished product and knowing that it is something I developed myself, something I created. What a thrill! And when I am at the keyboard and knocking out a thousand words an hour, it’s fun. I do get emotional when writing, and when a scene is meant to have a lot of emotion I sit there typing through tears.
What scenes are the hardest for you to write?
I think action scenes are the hardest for me to write. I tend to write longer sentences and they lack the punch of shorter sentences with really strong verbs. I have to look through that in editing. And I really like editing, by the way.
Describe what your writing routine looks like. Are you disciplined with a strict schedule or do you have to be in the mood?
Sadly, I’ve always had to be in the mood to write. And I’m almost always in the mood to read more than I am to write! I don’t know how many people have told me to treat writing like a business more than a hobby, and I have tried.
When I do write it’s pretty fast. As I said, I can knock out 1,000-1,500 words in an hour if I’m in the mood—I used to do that during lunch when I worked. I enjoy the feeling of progress when that happens.
Did you go into writing thinking that it would be a hobby or a job?
When I started writing, I didn’t really think about it at all. It was a lark. Something to do until we moved again. (Hubby was a consultant and we moved frequently to wherever he found work.) I started thinking of it as a job after a few books were done, but not as a job I needed to go to every day—which I should.
To date how many books have you written?
Gosh, I think around 20, plus contributions to anthologies and novellas. Now I am rewriting several of them, having gotten back the rights to 10 books. Updates and new cover art are keeping me busy!
How has your writing style changed over the years?
It’s changed considerably, when I remember my first few books. I thought I could tell a story, but I didn’t know anything about creating a novel! I didn’t really understand point of view, or scenes or sequels, or building a story. I still think the stories themselves were good, but I believe things improved after I learned more about the craft of writing, not just about telling a story. I don’t think my storytelling has changed, but I have added the mechanics of story building to make the books fuller.
What inspires you?
Love of my family and especially of Jack. Because of that love, I have the desire to do right by them and not disappoint. Jack is the first person who said, “Write a book,” and he’s always read them, brainstormed with me, given advice. When he says a book is good, I can trust him. He’s my north star, and my inspiration.
Let’s move on and give readers some insight into your personal life. What is your favorite:
- Animal – Cat
- Food – Pork chops
- Movie – Dr. Zhivago
- TV show – (Currently) SEAL Team, but in the past, Law and Order and Mary Tyler Moore
- Singer – Andy Williams (favorite song, “Moon River”)
- Author – That’s too hard! I love Nelson DeMille, Linda Castillo, Suzanne Brockman. Lately I’ve been buying every book by Vi Keeland and my partner in crime, Jan Selbourne, blows me away with her historical fiction. And Terri Osburn—I’ve loved everything I’ve ever read of hers, and I think I’ve read all she’s written!
What are your pet peeves?
Spitting. ICK!! Leftover from trucking days, when someone passes, cuts back in front of you and then slows down.
Who is your hero?
I’ve been lucky to be surrounded by lots of heroes! My father-in-law was one of the finest men I’ve ever met. My mom is a real inspiration in how to live life—she’s strong and so loving. She hard a hard row to how with me since I have polio at 10 months of age and didn’t finish surgery until I was 15. That’s a lot of years of traveling to hospitals, keeping up with my physical therapy, and worrying. She’s a truly good person, too, and someone I aspire to model. And then there’s Jack. He’s such a good man—honest, kind, giving. I’m very grateful to have had the people in my life that I have.
Give us one thing on your bucket list.
To travel on the Going to the Sun road in Glacier National Park. I’d hoped to do it this spring, but corona virus interfered, darn it!
What would readers find surprising about you?
If they met me, I think they’d be surprised that I write erotic romance. I was going to meet another writer with whom I’d only shared emails before. We had a common friend who told her to look for someone you’d never guess wrote erotic romance. Sure enough, she picked me out! I guess I have a look of innocence about me, lol.
If you could go to heaven, who would you visit?
I hope someday I do go to heaven! Not right now, you understand, lol. But I’d love to see my grandfather again, and my dad, and in-laws, of course. But having traveled all over the country by truck, I’d love to meet Lewis and Clark, who did it by boat and on foot.
Any bad habits?
Procrastination. I love to eat. Some would say that the amount of reading I do is a bad habit…
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you?
I’m not sure it’s the funniest thing, but… When I first started writing, everyone used Yahoo loops to share their books and meet readers and network with authors. I had no idea what a loop was, but another author told me to go onto Yahoo and send out a message. I was nervous, trying this and wanting to make a good impression. I was new and my first book had just come out, so I took my time. I wrote a subject: Hello, All. Then I wrote a (what I thought was) a nice paragraph introducing myself. I sent out the first one, and then copied and pasted it, sending it to gosh, maybe fifteen other loops. It wasn’t until I was finished that I noticed I’d mistyped the subject and said: Hell, All. LOL. All I could do at that point was laugh.
Now that our readers know who Dee S. Knight is tell readers what you’re working on now.
I’ve written a series called the Good Man series, about triplet brothers. The first two books (Only a Good Man Will Do, and One Woman Only) are out and I’m working on the third. Plus, Black Velvet Seductions is publishing an anthology this fall about second chances in love and I’m about to get edits for my short story.
As soon as I finish Book 3, I will be moving on to a new trilogy by Anne Krist. (I write under three pseudonyms: Dee S. Knight (erotic romance), Anne Krist (sweet(er) romance), and Jenna Stewart (ménage and shifters)).
Any advice for aspiring authors?
Yes. Don’t do what I did. Write, write, write, every day even if for only a few words. 100 words a day is better than no words per day. And learn your craft! Self -edit!!! And then ask someone else to read your work to catch anything you missed. Read your work out loud—you will find so much more than when you read to yourself.
I have done many things in my life, with jobs ranging from gift wrapper to trucker to technical writer, and much more. Writing romance is the only thing I’ve found I want to do when I grow up. I’m blessed to have found it, blessed to have such support in family and friends, blessed to have found a family of colleagues—wonderful authors who share their knowledge, cheer my successes, and cry with my failures. I hope I’m as supportive for them.
Thanks for this opportunity to share with the Coffee Time readers!
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