I'm so excited to have Dayana Knight as a guest today, as she's announcing her newest work, Witch Familiar-a novella I had the pleasure of reading, and blurbing!
Welcome Dayana! Can you tell my readers a little bit about your newest book, Witch Familiar, and the inspiration for it?
I am thrilled to be here with you Dylan. I am actually a big fan of yours. I loved Despite the Fangs and Despite the Ghosts!
(*blushing*) Awww...thanks! You're so sweet!!
Well...actually Witch Familiar came about as a dare to myself. What I mean by that is I am so not a write-on-demand type of girl. So when this opportunity came up, I decided to toss the negative to the wind and see what I could do. With three words in mind--witch, wolf, and raven--the story was born. The story is about a hedge(green) witch, Brianna McShae, who suddenly finds herself cauldron-deep in danger. Since this is a short, I don't want to give too much away so allow me to share the blurb:
Breanna McShae is a practicing green witch—harm to none, do as you will is the mantra she lives by. She must seek a familiar as her powers have reached peak and grounding does not pull enough of her magick back. After performing a ritual asking the Goddess to provide her with her given familiar, she finds she has two animals vying for her attentions—a wolf and a raven. The catch is one of them is the love of life and the other devastating trouble—a sikkqui—a creature that can assume any shape and sucks the very essence of human spirit and soul out leaving none but death and destruction behind. The only way to destroy it is too perform a dark ritual, which is taboo for a green witch. Her biggest problem is to figure out which animal is the sikkqui and then go against her very nature to destroy it without destroying herself and the shifter who has captured her heart.
I loved the story both for its dark, spooky elements and for its romance. Great blend, Dayana! Okay, next question: What do you believe is THE most important thing writers can do for themselves to get an agent/publisher in today's market?
I think the most important things in today's market are: unique twists on storylines, be sure you follow publisher guidelines, know what it is they are looking for and most important on the author end is be sure you have the perfect manuscript to submit. Always, ALWAYS proof you work. Nothing worse than sending in the WRONG version or finding a kazillion typos or mispelled, misused words after you hit send.
If you could have done anything differently with your writing career so far, what would it be?
hmmm...well I would not have let too much time pass between projects. Unfortunately life does get in the way. I had great momentum going with my earlier books then lost it when I had to step away from my creative side for a time. The best advise I can give is keep writing no matter what is going on around you however hard it seems. I, for one, need to follow my own advice:)
Hey, we all know that life happens--and I think you're going great! Who are your writing role models, and how have they influenced you?
I love Patricia Cornwall and her knack for suspense, Janet Evanovich for her delightfully quirky and humorous characters, Laurel K Hamilton, for her outrageous world building and hunky characters, Victoria Holt for her gothic flare and old-fashion ghost stories complete with mansions and haunting imagery, JR Ward, James Patterson and so many others.
I have always loved writing. I even penned a romance novel in a spiral notebook in my early teens complete with a sketched cover of a couple walking away with fingers laced in each other jean belt loops. I would love to read it now:) I can't say how much influence these authors have had over my personal writing. I believe as we practice the craft, we develop our own unique voice. I only hope my stories will pull at the emotions of my readers as these authors' stories have pulled at mine.
What's one fact about you that most people don't know?
I am actually petrified to stand up before a crowd and speak. Public speaking is so not my thing, however, at times I must and do conquer LOL albeit, shaking like the proverbial leaf with trembling voice!
:) Thanks for chatting with me today, and best of luck with your release of Witch Familiar! I know people will want to check you out online. Can you give us your website links and contact information? dayanaknight.blogspot.com
Dayana Knight was born and raised near the legendary Pine Barrens of Southern New Jersey,
home of the legendary Jersey Devil also known as the 13th Son. Dayana has always been fascinated
with all things supernatural and paranormal. She began writing at age eleven and published a poem in
her sixth grade yearbook. Dayana enjoys solitary walks in mist-covered forests, visiting century-old cemeteries, and spine-tingling ghost stories. She loves old houses and antiques, which she says breathe lives of their own. Oh, and the stories they could tell if only they could talk! And of course, her favorite holiday is Halloween/Samhain. She now lives in Southern Florida with her husband and her two beautiful dogs: a Sheltie,Bea and Collie, Shane.
Visit Dayana at: dayanaknight.blogspot.com