I Get Imaginative and Explosive With Author Ciara Knight

I’m fairly certain that Ciara Knight and I are the same person. Well, we have different chromosomes, she’s female, I try to be male, she has three sons, I have two daughters (but it feels like three sons). She lives in the American South, I live in the American West. Okay, we might not be physically the same person, though I do have bouts of amnesia and wake up with Star Wars figures in my pocket and fried okra in my hair. But regardless, Ciara and I both are reformed pantsers, we both have huge imaginations that drive us crazy, and we both have books published by Crescent Moon Press. And we both love to write.

Ciara Knight always had a passion for storytelling. Over the past few years she has penned five novels and joined several professional writing organizations to better her craft. Ciara is happily married and enjoys family time. She has learned to embrace chaos, which is a requirement when raising three boys, and utilizes the insanity to create stories not of this world including, Fantasy, Paranormal, Sci-Fi, and Young Adult Dystopian.
For more on Ciara, check out her awesome website.

And her book? The Curse of Gremdon? Holy cow. Be careful. It will draw you in. Ciara Knight is the real deal.

She agreed to chat with me and we chatted and it made my Thursday night spectacular. Because Ciara is a spectacularly positive person. I try to be. Lord, do I try.
So, the interview. Hit me.

Aaron: We talked and you said you started writing after your kids were born and you left the corporate world. What prompted you to take up the pen and heartbreak of the writer’s life?

Ciara: The day I told my middle son he could do anything and my husband turned to me and said, “You’re a hypocrite.” Ah, my husband is so sweet and honest. 🙂 He knew I had a dream to write but was too scared to go for it. My husband knows me best and when the glove was thrown down in challenge, I had to accept.

Aaron: Like I said in the intro, we both have felt cursed by huge imaginations. With me, I still need to sleep with the lights on at times. And I get teased for being afraid of ghosts. For you, what are the drawbacks of having a relentless imagination? What are the benefits?

Ciara: Focus. I NEED to focus! My friends sometime wave their hands in front of my face and say, “You’re in Ciaraland again, aren’t you?” There are way too many characters battling for their spot on paper and it gets a little crowded in my little brain sometimes. What is great about it? I’m never bored. I can be sitting anywhere and be completely entertained.

Aaron: You gotta answer this next question because on the phone, what you said blew me away. I asked if you wrote at night or in the morning. You answered. My mind exploded, man. Totally. When and where do you write?

Ciara: I write at TKD practice, the football field, during violin lessons, and/or in carpool line. I’m a fifteen-minute writer. Give me fifteen minutes and I can give you several pages. 🙂

Aaron:As a reformed pantser, what made you change to flirt with plotting? As for me, I’ve relapsed. I just wrote a 140K rough draft for a novel I have to go back and plot. I go to meetings. It helps. Tell us about your writing style. Pantser, Plotter, or a killer mutant hybrid?

Artwork by Sarah Hartwell

Ciara: I’m definitely a killer mutant hybrid. 🙂 I start off with a detailed outline that includes POV, goals, motivation, conflict, and disaster. Then, I throw it all out the window and write the book. Yep, sometimes the characters take over and tell me I got the outline wrong. What spurred the outline in the first place? A complete rewrite in one of my books. NOT doing that again. LOL

Aaron: The Curse of Gremdon started out as a short story. How did you turn it into a novel? Was it hard? Did you plot that baby out?

Ciara: It did start off as a short story and I received a nice rejection telling me to convert it to a novel, so I did. I tackled it during Nano with no outline. [NaNoWriMo, national novel-writing month.] The book practically wrote itself. If anyone has met Tardon, the hero in The Curse of Gremdon, you know how pushy he is.


Aaron: The Curse of Gremdon has a distinctive world with rigid rules that have ignited an emotional fire-storm in some people. Which emotional reactions surprised you the most?

Ciara: I was shocked when I received messages about the fact Arianna wasn’t treated fairly. They didn’t like the male-dominated world. I found Arianna to be so brave for facing that world. Some disagreed and thought that women should be equal. I never expected readers to feel that passionate about the world I had created.

Aaron: How much of The Curse of Gremdon is romance? How much is high fantasy? If it were a mocha latte, how much is chocolate, how much is coffee? I don’t know what the milk could be. So we’ll ignore the milk part.

Ciara: I think it is half romance and half high fantasy. There is a big story full of twists and turns, but Tardon and Arianna’s relationship is a huge part of that. The story wouldn’t work without their love and they wouldn’t have that kind of epic love without the challenges they had to face.

Aaron: Reviews can be tough on writers, but how have you dealt with the drama? For me, I plan on never reading my reviews and making them all up in my head. Something like, “The voice of a new generation, Aaron Michael Ritchey writes with a fury that will leave readers breathless.” Yeah, my own happy little world. But how do you deal with reviews?

Ciara: I analyze them. Someone thought I was insane when I told them that, but it’s true. I feel like I will never stop learning my craft and the only way I’m going to give my readers what they want is to listen to what they have to say. I do encourage readers to write a review even if they hated the book. I can learn from that.

Aaron: What trap have you seen new writers fall into? What message of hope can you leave us with? Because we need hope. Writers need hope like addicts need dope. Even more so.

Ciara: Don’t take everything so seriously or you will go crazy. It’s a tough business full of up’s and down’s. Surround yourself with fellow writers that understand what you are going through. Let yourself cry over a bad review or call on your friends, but you are only allowed twenty minutes. After that, time’s up and you need to move on. If you dwell too long you could miss a fantastic opportunity.

Aaron: Thanks so much, Ciara. I found our conversation so empowering and I even became an optimist for about twenty minutes. A new record. Then I fell back into doubt, despair, and general angst. But only for twenty minutes, like you said. Onward! Onward! To battle!

Ciara’s blog
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I Get Lunar With Perigee Moon Author Tara Fuller

So, Tara Fuller is a Crescent Moon Press writer, and her first book, Perigree Moon just came out.  Get it while it’s hot, yo.  Since she is a newbie, like me, and since she is awesome, like me, and since she has a new book, which will be me, I badgered her into letting me interview her.  After the restraining order didn’t work, she agreed.


Her book is all Salem Witch Trials, time travel, smoky teen angst and a boy with dark hair and piercing blue eyes.  As you’ll see.  For the full story, you can check out the full pitch and full bio at Crescent Moon Press.  Fully linked.  Also you can click above, to her website and to Amazon.

But don’t go yet.  Let’s get to it.

Aaron Michael Ritchey: Let’s start right off with the hardest question of all. How do you cope with the brutality that is the writing life? The rejection, the constant self-doubt, the fist-shaking rants at heaven? That’s how I deal with it. Shaking my fist at heaven. And ranting.

Tara: Lol, there have definitely been some fist-shaking moments for me too. Lots of moments when I didn’t think I was good enough. For me, I just remind myself every day that anything worth having doesn’t come easily. And this has been my dream for as long as I can remember. I don’t think any amount of rejection could make me walk away from it. Writing is just part of who I am. I love it.

Aaron: What was the inspiration for Perigee Moon? Was it a sparkly-vampire-type of dream? Or were you walking along, and suddenly, yeah, witches, man, witches.

Tara: Nope. No sparkly vampire dreams for me. I had known for a while that I wanted to write a time-travel story. And then one day I was watching a documentary on the Salem Witch Trials (yes that is the sort of thing I do for fun) and it hit me. Why not combine the two? After about three days of plotting (Definition of plotting: me lying on my floor listening to music and staring at my ceiling fan thinking about witches and kissing) the idea for Perigee Moon was born!

Aaron’s Response: That made me laugh. Witches and kissing. Laying on the floor, listening to music. Great answer. I walk. For me, walking is plotting. Cool.

Aaron: How did you pick the title? I can’t do titles. I used up all my good title ideas in high school and college. I call most of my books by numbers. Yes, I’m working on Book 123. Kidding. Titles, talk to me.

Tara: I’m not great with titles either, but this one was pretty easy. The spell in this book that the entire story in hinged on must take place during a Perigee Moon (the time when the moon is closest to the earth). So this time, thankfully, I didn’t have to pull too much hair out coming up with one.

Aaron Responds: It’s a great title. And interesting. You can google perigree. Dang, you learn something every day.

Aaron: Speaking of witches, what drew you to the whole Salem thing? Do you enjoy the smell of burnt flesh? Please answer both questions. It’s important for our readers.

Tara: I have always been fascinated with history and the Salem Witch Trials were something I loved learning about. It’s really crazy to learn about the events that went on back then. It’s heartbreaking to say the least. As for the second question: the only burning flesh I’ve ever smelled was mine when my flat iron attacked me recently, and no I wasn’t too fond of that moment, lol.

Aaron Bites Back: Had to google flat iron. Okay. Gotcha. And yeah, Salem Witch Trials were fascinating. Those wacky Christians.

Aaron: Rowan Bliss is the name of your heroine, which is awesome. How did you pick that name? And can I use it as my stage name for my transvestite show in San Francisco this summer? Please, both questions, hit me.

Tara: Well, thank you! I love her name. When I name a character I approach it just like I did with my kids. I break out the baby name books. When I found the name Rowan it just felt right. As for your stage name, have at it. I’m sure Rowan would be flattered, lol. 😉

Aaron Ain’t Done: I’ll come out, dressed in black, very witchy woman.

Aaron: So, we talked, and you love music. Love the playlist section of your website. Link here. And yeah, that Snow Patrol “Run” song is awesome. How do you pick the music you write to? Random, or do you have a special way? For example, when I wrote The Never Prayer, I searched my music collection for all songs that had “Angel” in the title. Do you do something similar?

Tara: I am a huge music fan, so when I hear a song that speaks to me or a project I’m working on, whether that be from lyrics or just a melody, I store it away. The console of my car is jammed full of old receipts and scrap paper where I heard a song on the radio and said “Oh! That song is so Finn!” then proceeded to pull over so I could write it down so I wouldn’t forget.

Aaron’s Quip: That’s so sweet. Having a playlist really helps me, especially during the re-write process.

Aaron: Can you write without music? Can you revise with music? How do your writing routine and music intertwine?

Tara: I can write without music, but I usually don’t. It’s a very useful tool for me in the writing process. When it comes to revising I can go to the song I had on while I wrote that chapter and it helps take me back to the tone and mood of that scene.

Aaron Shamelessly Agrees: Me too. Same, same.

Aaron: Last music question. You will be judged on style and content. If suddenly your MP3 player was taken over by demons, and you could only choose ONE band/artist to write to for the next fifty years, who would it be? If you say Justin Beiber, I will love you forever. Others will judge. Oh Lord, will they judge.

Tara: Lol! I’m sorry to say that Justin Beiber wouldn’t be my choice. I would have to go with “City and Colour”. They are too amazing for words and have actually inspired a lot of the current series I’m working on (Kissed by Death).

Aaron Acts Out: I’ll have to check that “City and Colour” out. Because I’m completely self-centered, I must say, my answer would be Moby. And not just because he’s a hardcore vegan Christian.

City and Colour; Comin’ Home

Aaron: At its heart, what is Perigee Moon about? What transcendent human truths does it contain? In other words, theme. Crush me with theme.

Tara: At its heart, Perigee Moon is a story about growing up. Rowan is dealing with loss, falling in love for the first time, and finding out who she is and what her place is in life. She’s really not different than most teens. They are going through all of this too. She’s just going through all of this under extraordinary circumstances.

Aaron’s Muttering: Ah, coming of age. Traversing rocky waters.

Would you date Alex, the love interest in your book? Or would it merely be a physical thing? No blushing. But don’t go into anything beyond PG-13 rated descriptions.

Tara: Would I date Alex? Well, if I wasn’t married and was ten years younger of course! Alex is a good-looking guy but he is so much more than that. He is a character that broke my heart. But in a good way. He is strong, caring, intelligent, and just a little bit broken. And when he loves someone he does it with his whole heart. Even if that person doesn’t deserve it. Alex believes in family and respect. He’s an old-fashioned kind of guy.

Aaron Risks Embarrassment: What a great answer. I might be crushing a little. If I wasn’t married, twenty years younger, and well, you know, into guys with black hair and piercing blue eyes…

Aaron: What aspects of Perigee Moon did you draw from your own teenager years? For me, the answer is simple. I can’t remember that far back. I just steal everything from the Gossip Girls, since, of course, that is so totally reality.

Tara: One of the things I loved about writing this book was being able to draw from those memories. Feeling lost, not knowing who you really are yet, or what you’re going to be. The awkward moments when you finally meet a boy that you can’t walk away from, but don’t know how to act. The wonderful butterfly sensations of first love.

Aaron’s Second Shameless Agreeing: Me too. Same, same.

Aaron: You’re a late night writer. Can you write during the day if forced to? Or do you draw power from the night like a vampiric H.P. Lovecraft? What is the latest you have stayed up? Any all nighters? All funny stories welcome.

Tara: I do most of my writing at night because I have two small kids. But I write whenever I get a chance. On the weekends, I escape to a local coffee shop to write during the day. As for all-nighters? I’ve had plenty of those. Too many to count. I have sacrificed sleep for finishing up a chapter or reading a good book or catching up on True Blood more times than is probably healthy, lol.

Aaron’s Sleepiness Showing: In insomnia terms, I’m an early waker. But yeah, understood. It’s great your spouse is so supportive.

Aaron: For question 13, if you could be someone in Perigee Moon, who would it be? And why? How long could you stand being your villain? Or is that too many questions in one question? Pick one and love it. And thank you so much!!!

Tara: If I could be anyone in Perigee Moon it would be Rowan. Obvious choice I know, but she is so much stronger than I will ever be. The things that she manages to overcome in this story inspire me. I admire her. Plus she gets to kiss Alex. I mean, who wouldn’t like that? 😉

Aaron’s Final Finale Finally: Well, thanks so much to Tara Fuller! Great answers to what I have to say are great questions. Greatest. Interview. Ever.

To read the greatest review ever of Perigee Moon by Sam at Falling Books, go here:

God Needs Killin’

I am a huge fan of the PREACHER comic books as created by Garth Ennis and Steve Dillon. Pitch me, homie. A preacher coming from a nightmare childhood plays host to a primordial force and decides God has frakked up creation and goes on a quest to bring God to justice. Sidekicks are his hitgirl girlfriend and drunk, ne’er-do-well Irish vampire. And what happens when Reverend Jesse Custer finds God?

Quit readin’ now if you don’t wanna know. This here blog post is chock full of spoilers. Ye have been warned.

And if you are easily offended, yeah, there are better and more interesting things out there on the internet to suck away your time.

Back to the PREACHER. In the end, after tales of dysfunctional families, sodomy, torture, true love, serial killers, castration, and meat packin’, the preacher hires the Saint of Killers to murder God. Which the Saint is happy to do so he can get vengeance on God for killin’ the Saint’s wife and daughter. Hang ‘Em High meets Albert Camus. Or The Outlaw Josey Sartre.

Now, more spoilers, but ye gods, where have you been livin’? Under a rock? In the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman, God is also killed. To me, all of this points to the conclusion that God, as some understand him, needs to die.

In the PREACHER comics, God is a love addict. He sets up creation, creates man, then makes life unendurable so people have to turn to God. Which, in some mainstream Christian thought, is exactly how it all works. If you are sorrowful and hurting, turn to God, love him. But if God planned your life for you to miserable, that makes Him a manipulator, or a monster. See my Holocaust reference below.

Garth Ennis was bright enough and brave enough to document this theology in a violent, graphic, R-Rated comic book. God love him.
But see, this type of needy, diabolical God needs to die. The idea that God has any sort of human characteristics is just Greek mythology re-done. No, God needs to be bigger. In fact, God needs to be so big, He envelopes nothing. God is nothing. God does not exist. God is nowhere, nothing, nix, nihil, empty set. A void in the abyss. A unuttered whisper.

From Karen Armstrong’s brilliant, A Case for God, these are the apophatic aspects of God. Unknowable. Holy. Holy. Holy.

Holy is translated as divine, or sacred, but originally it meant simply other. Holy, holy, holy, God. Other. Other. Other. Unknowable. The Jesuits told me that trying to intellectualize God is like trying to pour the ocean into a thimble. Sit back and ponder that bit of prose, pardner.

If God created the universe, and God is anything like us, that would mean God planned the Holocaust. Which makes God a monster. No, the new God didn’t plan all of that. God’s job is not planner.

I deleted my paragraph on free will here. Free will is the escape hatch for all talk of God, and I don’t want to go out that way.
I maintain that God’s primary job is as a sustainer. Human beings are in an impossible situation and we don’t need some judge in Heaven, we don’t need a monster creator, and we don’t need a love addict. We need a sustainer, someone to help us through, something beyond, that we can hang our hopes and dreams upon, that won’t let us down because no matter how bad it gets, there is always hope. Roll away the stone. The tomb is empty. There is a God. Tim Tebow lead the Broncos in a victory over the Pittsburg Steelers. After something like 22 drives without a touchdown. A resurrection.

God’s job isn’t to stop our tears. It is to cry with us and be with us, in us, speak through us, sustain us.

Any other God that cannot or will not provide love and comfort needs a 45. Caliber Colt Killer bullet, right between the eyes.

I reckon.