Author Interview with... Karsten Knight!11:00 AM
I'm so happy today to be helping take part in the Canadian blog tour for Karsten Knight's upcoming debut novel Wildefire, the first in a trilogy, which will be officially hitting shelves on July 26! If you love novels that are mythology-influenced with a dash of romance and a feisty heroine leading the way... then I'm sure you'll be wanting to get your hands on a copy right away! Thanks to Simon & Schuster Canada, I was able to ask Karsten a few questions...
Every flame begins with a spark.
Ashline Wilde is having a rough sophomore year. She’s struggling to find her place as the only Polynesian girl in school, her boyfriend just cheated on her, and now her runaway sister, Eve, has decided to barge back into her life. When Eve’s violent behavior escalates and she does the unthinkable, Ash transfers to a remote private school nestled in California’s redwoods, hoping to put the tragedy behind her. But her fresh start at Blackwood Academy doesn’t go as planned. Just as Ash is beginning to enjoy the perks of her new school—being captain of the tennis team, a steamy romance with a hot, local park ranger—Ash discovers that a group of gods and goddesses have mysteriously enrolled at Blackwood…and she’s one of them. To make matters worse, Eve has resurfaced to haunt Ash, and she’s got some strange abilities of her own. With a war between the gods looming over campus, Ash must master the new fire smoldering within before she clashes with her sister one more time… And when warm and cold fronts collide, there’s guaranteed to be a storm.
1) Who was your favourite character to write about in Wildefire?
As cliché as it is to say “the villain,” I loved writing Eve, Ashline’s storm goddess older sister. On the surface, she’s leans toward the sociopathic side, but beneath her reckless exterior, there are some really turbulent psychological waters. I think a lot of readers will pick up WILDEFIRE expecting the typical paranormal romance…and while there’s definitely a romantic plot thread, the focus of the book remains the complex sibling relationship between Ashline and Eve.
2) If you could have any special abilities or powers of a god, what would you want them to be?
Teleportation. It would make it so much easier, quicker, and cheaper to travel for instant vacations—er, I mean, book research. Definitely book research.
3) What kind of research was done to learn more about the different world mythologies found in your debut novel?
I had to research a lot of world mythologies—Polynesian, Zulu, Shinto, Egyptian, Norse, Greek—before I found the right gods and goddesses for Wildefire’s cast. But since the characters in Wildefire are reincarnations of those gods, and not the gods themselves, I really wanted them to move beyond their histories and be able to carve their own stories, while remaining spiritually true to their mythical origins. After all, it’s a work of fiction, not a mythology textbook.
4) Wildefire has a refreshing, diverse cast of characters with different ethnic backgrounds. Would you say there is enough diversity found in YA novels?
I think the YA genre is definitely moving in that direction; we’re starting to see even more diversity in main characters, rather than just the supporting roles. What’s even more important, however, is for YA to have books with diverse characters whose stories and lives aren’t singularly defined by just their race, or just their religion, or just their sexual orientation—characters who live a whole and comprehensive journey toward adulthood. In Wildefire, Ashline Wilde is a Polynesian-American, and a young woman, and a teenager, and a Jew, and an athlete, and a volcano goddess—many facets that shape her, but none of these things solely define her.
5) Can you tell us any hints about what will happen in book two?
All I’ll say for now: Tropical. Atlantic. And one very attractive Aztec.
Thanks so much for answering my questions Karsten! You can also check out yesterday's stop on the Wildefire Canadian blog tour at Dreaming of Books.
And if you'd like to learn more about Karsten Knight and Wildefire, why not check out his author video created by Simon & Schuster below? (You can also watch more of Karsten's funny vlogs on his website too!)