What have you written?
My first full length novel, The Wolf of Descarta, was released on November 21st. Wolf the first in a three book series, The Dream Box, and is based on the novelette I published in TZPP’s RealLies, an anthology of short works.
Both The Wolf of Descarta and RealLies are available in print and e-book formats through Amazon and Barnes & Noble.
I also maintain an eclectic blog at www.pikeknight.com.
What is your favorite genre to write?
My roots are probably in the Fantasy genre, but I mostly write Science Fiction. The Dream Box series is a blend of the two due to its emphasis on exploring our fantasies through simulation.
Mom’s home cooking. Bar none.
Tea or coffee?
Both in the form of Monster energy drinks!
Pizza or ice cream?
That’s an unfair question. I think pizza beats ice cream if one hasn’t had it in a while, but there’s always room for ice cream.
Where would you like to visit?
I’ve wanted to visit Europe and Japan for many years. I’m also a fan of New Zealand because all the best movies seem to be filmed there.
Favorite musical artist. Do you listen to music when you write? What?
Disturbed—and yes, I absolutely listen to Heavy Metal when I write. I like any kind of music with complexity and decent lyrics, however.
What makes you laugh?
My daughters’ antics are among the funniest in the world, in my not-so-humble opinion. One is a mad scientist, the other a philanthropist /idealist. (They’re six and nine years old respectively.)
How old were you when you started writing?
My first story that I considered creative (as opposed to a school assignment) was probably one I wrote in the sixth grade for a middle school academic fair (so still kind of an assignment). I received Honorable Mention for it after the school’s staff accused me of cheating and having my parents help me. Apparently, they didn’t believe a 12-year-old could write anything halfway decent.
You know, I illustrated that sucker too. The teachers never accused me of cheating at that. That probably explains why I’m a writer and not a visual artist…
Describe your perfect evening.
Um… one where I get to go to bed without worrying about what time I have to get up in the morning? I’m a full-time teacher and author as well as a single dad, so my days are packed.
Oh, I understand completely. I taught for thirty-five years. Never enough time. Where do you get your inspiration?
Much of my inspiration honestly comes from comic books, anime (manga), and video games as well as literature and film. I see all of these creative mediums of storytelling as art forms.
What do you do when you get a writer's block?
In a creative setting, writer’s block generally happens when the writer is trying to force his or her characters to act in ways they would not naturally act. Writers tend to do this when plot begins to trump characterization—which should never happen.
When I catch myself doing this, I slow down the writing process and focus on how my characters would act in the scenario I’m creating. I then let that guide the plot.
In an academic setting, “writer’s block” is just procrastination, and we all know this.
I have a friend who says "I never get writer's block; I have a mortgage. Who is your favorite author?
I’m a high school English teacher with a degree in Lit, so this question is probably impossible for me to answer. I enjoy the reading and teaching the Classics as well as works written by contemporary writers from many different genres. My taste in writing is like my taste in music—eclectic.
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
If you’re going to pigeonhole me here, I’d probably advocate for Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad or Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk.
Who is the one person who has influenced your personal life the most and why?
My greatest influence growing up was probably my grandfather. He taught me quite a bit about the way a gentleman should behave and jumpstarted my concept of modern chivalry—such as it is. The chivalric archetype outside of its Fantasy/Historical Fiction context is a common thread in all of my current projects, and this has much to do with my perspective on life in the postmodern world.
If you could sit down and have a conversation with ONE person, living or dead, real or fictional, who would it be and why?
That’s easy. I’d teleport to Camelot and smack some sense into Sir Lancelot.
What advice would you give someone who aspires to be a writer?
All of these sound canned, but they’re true: 1) believe in yourself or no one else will, 2) develop thick skin, 3) know who your audience is before you sit down to write a book, 4) thoroughly read all the submission guidelines on any publisher’s website before submitting, 5) take rejection with a grain of salt—most writers aren’t rejected based on their craft but on marketability with an individual publisher, 6) use your fiction to tell the truth, and 7) never give up.
Follow me on Twitter @pikeknight or Facebook at www.facebook.com/danielpikeknight
Order The Wolf of Descarta at http://www.amazon.com/Wolf-Descarta-Dream-Box/dp/1937365220/