An Interview with Connie Knight: Author & Journalist
Sylvia: Hi Connie, it’s a pleasure to meet you and I am excited to share your story. Please tell us about you and your book.
Connie: Hello Sylvia, thanks for interviewing me. I started writing in the eighth grade, and I’ve kept on with it since then. I’ve loved to read since kindergarten, and writing seemed a natural consequence. In college, I studied creative writing at San Francisco State University, including a year in the master’s program. Then I returned to San Antonio, took a year of journalism classes, and built a career writing for newspapers and magazines.
My cozy mystery Cemetery Whites has just been published in the eBook format. It first appeared in paperback two years ago with a different publisher. Now it’s available from Amazon and Barnes and Noble as a Kindle or Nook book
Sylvia: What inspired you to write your first book?
Connie: Cemetery Whites is my first book. I’d always wanted to write a novel, but journalism took most of my time. Then suddenly there was space. I decided to write a mystery set in rural Texas where my father grew up. We visited my grandmother there frequently when I was in grade school,. The memories of the country and my father’s large family of uncles and cousins gave me a setting and characters to work with.
My book is a cozy mystery, the kind of mystery that sets forth a puzzle, usually in a small town. Agatha Christie’s books are of this genre, and so is the old TV show Murder She Wrote.
Sylvia: Yes, I am familiar with both. Sound like a very interesting read. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Connie: I hadn’t thought of sending a message, but family loyalty is crucial as the plot develops. The story goes into Texas history. Two murders are solved: one from 1875 and one from today.
Sylvia: Do you have any advice for other writers?
Connie: Writers differ from each other, just as painters, dancers, and musicians do. My advice would be to strive for a level of quality in the genre you undertake. There are many books, magazines, classes, and seminars about writing. Try them out; follow those that work for you but discard those that block or stymie your progress.
Sylvia: Great advice! What marketing techniques have you used to sell your books? Which have been most successful?
Connie: The eBook version of Cemetery Whites, just published, will be publicized through press releases, book reviews, book-signing events, perhaps a radio interview. Then come the websites and Social Media Marketing sites. Publiciz
ing your book online provides the opportunity of letting many readers know about it. It’s easy to acquire Cemetery Whites for your Kindle or Nook, so I hope the eBook format will increase book sales.
Sylvia: I hope sales will explode for you. Why should we buy your book?
Connie: I hope you’d find it worth the $4.95 in terms of enjoying it. As a cozy mystery, it’s easygoing and humorous. Reading it is a good way to relax over the weekend. Also, it contains some Texas history. If you’re in school, ask your history teacher for extra points when you read it. Why not?
Sylvia: Reading is good for the soul! I love curling up with a good book. Is there a special place that you prefer when you write?
Connie: Like Virginia Woolf, I want a room of my own. A quiet place with a large table. I need room for stacks of papers—research documents, chapters, revisions. A room at home so you can feel comfortable, raid the fridge and pour a cup of coffee, stay up late, and find the reference book you’re looking for.
I hand write my notes, sketches, outlines, and chapters, then type things up on the computer and print them out for revision. A nice quiet well-equipped room is ideal. You can think about things elsewhere, but writing them down takes home space.
Sylvia: Wow, so you write the old fashion way, pen to paper. What is the meaning of your book’s title, Cemetery Whites?
Connie: I thought everyone would know the meaning of Cemetery White, but many readers ask me about it. It’s the name of an old-fashioned white iris that was often planted in old graveyards and homesteads. It still exists. It’s very hardy, and sometimes you see it growing where a farmhouse once stood, where a tombstone is surrounded by a large patch of irises.
In my book,Cemetery Whites irises mark the grave of the 1875 murder victim, and the man digging them up in Chapter One is shot and falls down. His body is found in the large patch of Cemetery Whites.
Sylvia: Very interesting. Learn something new daily! What projects are you currently working on?
Connie: I’m working on acquiring social media marketing skills for marketing Cemetery Whites, and I’m starting my third novel in the series–untitled so far. The second novel, Chances Choices Changes Death, will follow Cemetery Whites in publication, hopefully in the fall.
Sylvia: What is your POWER WORD? Why this word?
Connie: I guess it would be LEADERSHIP or JUSTICE. Justice is important to me; that’s what you get if your mystery is solved. It takes leadership for the detective, amateur or professional, to acquire the information that brings the murderer to justice.
Sylvia: Very powerful words! Please share your social media and book contact information.
Connie: There’s a lot to list. Cemetery Whites is available through Amazon.com and Barnes and Noble in their eBook sections.
- Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Cemetery-Caroline-Hargrove-Hamilton-ebook/dp/B00CIB2PYS/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1368036863&sr=8-2&keywords=cemetery+whites+connie+knight
- Barnes and Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cemetery-whites-connie-kniight/1115182760?ean=2940016404684
For Social Media:
- Website: www.connieknightmysterywriter.com
- Website: www.connieknightbooks.com
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/conniejs59