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inkpopper of the Week: LA Knight

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 24, 2010

“My hobbies are singing (I used to be the assistant director of my high school show choir). Music is a HUGE part of my life. I also love researching random subjects. My two driving passions, research wise, are vampires and fairytales. I’ve studied vampires since I got into them at age 4. They even did an article about me as the “vampire expert” in my high school my junior year. I’ve been into fairytales and their literary spawn since I was 15. I also love to read – I have over a thousand books.

“I’m LDS (Latter-Day Saint/Mormon), and I live in Tucson, Arizona. One of my writing goals is to make Tucson famous through my projects, which are all set in Tucson. And I am a huge fan of the classic sword-and-sorcery, sword-and-space, and sword-and-sandal genres (like Conan the Barbarian, Jandar of Callisto, and Tarzan of the Apes).

“The three main genres I write in are adult paranormal romance (modern and historical), and YA high fantasy and YA urban fantasy. I dabbled in science fiction with fanfiction and with a short story, Switchblade and the Burn Man, but I prefer reading it, usually. And I have a lot of essays about fiction that need to get finished, so keep an eye out.”

Essays, however, are not the only thing that you should keep an eye out for from super inkpopper LA Knight. Not only is she the author of numerous books, short stories, and essays right here on inkpop – her most popular being Obsidian: Book 1 of the Twilight Chessboard (V2.0), which is currently ranked as # 40; she is also a participant in the Weekly Writer’s Challenges; recently won both inkpop’s Why Lie? Challenge and the Weekly Writer’s Week 10 Challenge; is running two contests of her very own – Play the Scales and Twilight ReVamped; has been referred to as a critiquing powerhouse by inkpopper Sila; and is working on creating a fairytale anthology featuring tales from some of your favorite inkpoppers.

You are currently putting together a fairytale anthology featuring the work of some of the top inkpoppers? Can you tell us more about this project?

LA Knight: I love fairytales. They are one of my favorite things, and I love finding new versions. Terri Windling, Ellen Datlow, Robin McKinley and Cameron Dokey are some authors who’ve kept me supplied until recently. But as my fairytale book collection gets bigger and bigger, I find it’s harder and harder to find good fairytale rewrites. And my writing mentor in high school, Vicki Lewis Thompson, told me that one of the things writers do is write what they want to read.

So I thought I’d write a fairytale anthology. But then I realized I’d probably get bored if it was just me, so I asked some of the writers I really admire on inkpop to contribute. It’s interesting to see what kind of things they’d come up with. Some are too busy, but others have agreed.

I don’t have a list, but some of the people I’ve talked to are Soundly_Awake (who wrote the Cinderella redux, Frailty) entropist, writerchick, poetofnowords (who wrote the awesome fairytale story Gifts and The Book of Days), elizabethmay, ashlutz, Jelsa Mepsey, and Sila. My sister is doing an essay about fairytales as well.

I’m extending the deadline (it was June 1) to July 1, since a lot of these people have lives or are in school. If anyone wants to possibly contribute, message me and we can talk. I want this to be epic. If it can work its way to the top 5 and HC likes it, it would be cool to see it published so I could buy it and put it on my fairytale bookcase.

However, I want to make sure we only get maybe 2-3 stories per fairytale, because I want this to be a fairytale anthology, not a Snow White anthology (which I have in the works) or a Rapunzel anthology (also in the works) or whatever.

What are your crazy writing quirks? What do you need in order to get inspired and kick yourself into the mood to write?

LA: I must have music (or a movie playing in the background). I have different playlists for different stories. For one of my short stories, Wicked Charm, I played the songs Russian Roulette and Stupid in Love by Rihanna over and over and over again to keep the right tone in the narration. I was really depressed by the end.

My husband keeps me liberally supplied with cold Pepsi (we currently have over 6 2-liter bottles in the cupboard and 2 in the fridge), and when I’m critiquing stuff he makes sure I have really big slabs of Hershey’s chocolate.

And I have to take off my wedding ring. I’ve lost weight since I got married, so it slides around on my finger and distracts me when I type.

But I don’t do those things to get inspired or to get myself in the mood. I write even when I don’t want to. I take breaks to work out hand cramps and to stretch my legs, but other than that… from the time I get up (whenever that happens to be) I write for at least 6 hours a day, except Sundays and days when I have to go out for whatever reason, and critique the rest of it (and do forums). I consider writing a job, so I have to put my hours in. Which is fine, because I like my job. =D

The Pepsi and chocolate is to help me focus and to keep my blood sugar up in case I forget to eat, or to wake me up if I’ve only had 4-5 hours of sleep. And I do everything to music, except shower (for fear of being electrocuted).

If you had the chance to star as a character in any book, what book would it be and why? Would you be a character that has already been created, or a new one?

LA: I almost said I wouldn’t want to be anyone, but then I remembered something. If I could be anyone in any book, I would be the wife of Shoryu, the Emperor of En in the book series Twelve Kingdoms. He doesn’t have a wife in the books because his wife died before he became emperor (and in the Twelve Kingdoms, you can’t marry after you take the throne). I’ve wanted to marry him since I was 18. He’s a noble warrior, he has long hair (which I love), and he comes from Feudal Japan. He’s very laidback and considerate of others, and his ex-wife is a real witch.

My only problem with being his wife is that his ministers would bother me about making him act like a noble. Since he wasn’t born to be a king and he’s pretty lazy, that’d be a bit difficult. But I’d get to be immortal, which would be neat.

Pop, Pop, Pop! Rapid Fire Questions:

Favorite movie? Favorite movie?! I have to pick? Um…The Homecoming; I watch it with my mom every Christmas. Or the new Sherlock Holmes, because I’ve been in love with him since I was 12. Anything from Tim Burton or Miyazaki.
Ron Weasley or Harry Potter? Neither – Draco Malfoy or Severus Snape.
Cake or ice cream? Cake with ice cream on top (I’m not a frosting fan; my wedding kinda killed it for me). And NOT chocolate for either. Blech.
Favorite season? Arizona winter – unless I have to go outside when it’s raining. Summers are dangerously hot here, and we don’t really have spring or autumn.
If you could have any super power what would it be and why? I’d want to be able to reach into books and pull stuff out, like the AURYN from The Neverending Story. If I had that, I could make a bazillion wishes and get anything I wanted. Like a house and a dog!

You didn’t ask me my favorite band!! I’ll tell you because they are AWESOME! I adore Blackmore’s Night, Nightwish, and the Cruxshadows. Those are the only music groups with more songs that I like than dislike. And I listen to a LOT of stuff, so that’s saying something.

Over to you…who do you think should be the next inkpopper of the Week?

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop Interviews, inkpopper of the Week | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

inkpop Fundamentals: May 11, 2010

Posted by cat eyes & skinny jeans on May 11, 2010

Boys and the vamp Though vampires have been a hot commodity in multiple forms of fiction (i.e. in book, small screen, and big screen formats) courtesy of Stephenie Meyer’s Twilight series, LJ Smith’s Vampire Diaries, and the now-defunct, but still highly-popular, Buffy the Vampire Slayer; much of these series have catered to a female audience, leaving males somewhat uninterested in sinking their teeth into tales featuring vamps. Author Jason Henderson has decided to change that. A fan of vampires for over thirty years; Henderson hopes to pique the interest of male readers via the release of his novel, (the first of a projected series), Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising, which follows the adventures of a 14-year-old vampire hunter.

The monster mash! Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice has been a favorite for over one hundred years; and Leo Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina has been prevalent in classrooms for decades. Now the aforementioned books, in addition to countless other timeless tales, have received a facelift from publishers with the addition of zombies, vampires, werewolves, and other paranormal entities; making the books of yesteryear more adaptable to today’s society in the form of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Android Karenina, and HarperTeen’s very own new release Little Vampire Women. The trend, implemented by independent publisher Quirk Books just one short year ago, is said only to be the tip of the iceberg. Expect more monster mash-ups to hit your favorite classics very soon! The Wall Street Journal.

‘Avalon High’ 2.0 Meg Cabot’s Avalon High has seen much success since its 2005 publication. The book, which follows the story of Ellie, the new girl in town who attends Avalon High, a place, she soon comes to realize, that is full of students all of which are reincarnations of individuals from King Arthur’s court; has been crafted into a three-part manga series featuring art by Jinxy Coronado, and was the recipient of two awards: the Texas Lone Star Reading List, and the New York Public Library Books for the Teen Age – in addition to snagging the number three spot on the New York Times Children’s Best-Sellers List. Now, Disney has teamed up with Cabot to bring Avalon High to the small screen starring Britt Robertson, Gregg Sulkin, Joey Pollari, Devon Graye, and Molly Quinn. The film is scheduled to premiere this fall on the Disney Channel. MTV.

Over to you…what is your favorite vampire series? Do you plan on reading Alex Van Helsing: Vampire Rising? What do you think of monster mash-ups – yay or nay? Do you want to see classics updated to involve paranormal beings, or would you rather read them in their original state, as the authors intended? Have you read Avalon High? Do you plan on watching the film adaptation?

Share your thoughts in the comments section!

Erika (aka inkpoperika)

Posted in inkpop News, Teen Trends | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »