Monday, January 25, 2010

A Conversation with Deidre Knight (& Giveaway)

Butterfly TattooReaders, please join me welcoming Deidre Knight, author of Butterfly Tattoo who's guest blogging here today!

Who is Deidre Knight? She's a lady who wears many caps - a literary agent, mom, wife, novelist and southern woman - and proud to answer to all of these titles. Before she founded The Knight Agency in 1996, Deidre worked behind the camera in movies and television. During the thirteen years since she launched her literary agency, she has grown The Knight Agency to national prominence, shepherding authors on to every major bestseller list. She has been writing in one form or another ever since, creatively stalking Spartans, aliens, werewolves, and other sexy Alpha males who strike her fancy. Strictly on the pages that she pens, of course. Butterfly Tattoo is Deidre’s seventh published book. You can follow her on Twitter and also at her Ning social networking group.

Today, Deirdre is here to answer some questions we've all been dying to get the answers for!

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Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos1 - What inspired you to write BUTTERFLY TATTOO?

I was at a time in my life where I was processing my own grief over several different significant losses, and trying to put myself back together, much like these characters do over the course of the novel. I wound up channeling a lot of my journey into the book—it definitely wasn’t a “rush write.” For me, writing is often about reinterpreting things, looking at them through a prism, discovering a new understanding of the events of my own life. Writing Butterfly Tattoo was definitely one of those times.

2 - Why do you think readers and critics have responded with such powerful and impassioned support for this unconventional love story? 

That’s a great question. I believe readers really respond to the message that love is universal, that it transcends barriers, that it can’t be limited or defined into something smaller than it is. And everyone can see part of themselves in these broken characters, people who are trying to start over, to heal. We’ve all had our down times, and especially right now, with the economy and world the way it is, I think the themes of hope and redemption probably resonate even stronger with people.

3 – What is the most important message you want people to walk away with after reading this book?

That love comes in many forms and that family does, too. There’s a line in the book, something like, “Family is wherever you find it.” I truly believe that. I’m the product of a big blended family, one that doesn’t necessarily look like you’d expect. I’ve also been blessed to find “family” among a variety of friends throughout my life, groups that come together and nurture and support each other.

I also want people to realize they can overcome whatever has happened in their life. That God does bring healing, even when you’ve suffered or are still suffering immense pain and grief. When I started writing this book, I was numb and lost, just like Michael Warner is in the beginning. But by the time I’d finished writing the novel, I’d also walked out my own healing journey. So I want people to read this book and feel hope and empowerment.

4 - How did your environment/upbringing inform and/or influence your writing?

As mentioned above, I’m from a big blended family. I was raised with a stepmother who I was very close to, and she passed away while I was writing this book. For thirty years, she was my other mother. And I’ve also had an amazing stepfather for the past twenty years—which means even more because my own father passed away more than ten years ago. My stepfamily (and I don’t usually use that term—we are *family*) is a loud, wonderful, boisterous crew. Think of My Big Fat Greek Wedding, only with my stepdad wearing a kilt at big holidays. I think my love of family—and appreciation of its many faces and forms—is the bedrock of BUTTERFLY TATTOO.

5 - Whose point of view was more challenging to write, Michael or Rebecca’s, and why?

They were equally challenging. I never had the sense that one voice was easier than the other, although I was a little in love with Michael myself. So maybe I should say Rebecca’s was harder. I loved putting Michael on paper and getting to spend time in his head. He’s still real to me, even now.

6 - If you had it to do all over again, is there anything about BUTTERFLY TATTOO you would change?

Honestly? No. I’m very happy with how it turned out.

7 - After waiting almost six years to see this book released in print from, what is the best advice you can give other authors on how to handle the long journey to publication?

To realize that a big part of realizing your dreams can be timing. I never gave up on this book, never accepted that it was unpublishable. I didn’t keep sending it out there every month or anything; I shelved it for quite a while. But I really never did give up in my heart and I believed that one day, it would be published. Too many writers are daunted by rejection, either taking it personally or as a sign that they don’t have talent. You have to keep at it, don’t give up, and visualize what you want.

8 - If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?

It’s funny, but a number of my clients are also literary mentors. For instance, Louisa Edwards was my first editor. We often talk about craft and ideas. Karen Marie Moning was my client for ten years and we’ve always had amazing discussions that inspire me. My own husband is definitely my first and greatest literary mentor (he mostly writes nonfiction). I learned a lot about writing from him, starting back when we were dating.

9 - Can we expect more contemporary romances from you in the future? Is there anything on the horizon you can share about upcoming projects?

I’m really excited about a digital novella I have coming out from NAL/Signet in May called RED BLOODED, about a blinded Iraq war vet who winds up hunting vampires. I’m also developing several more novels in the vein of BUTTERFLY TATTOO and look forward to sharing more about them very soon. For now, though, look for more of my Gods of Midnight novels with Signet, as well as a short story in DARK AND STORMY KNIGHTS (July, St. Martins Press).
Thanks for those candid answers, Deirdre. It's inspirational to see how you juggle so many things and yet find time to write. Something I've been meaning to do for a long time and somehow never seem to find time for. Hopefully that'll change soon :) It was great to have you here and hopefully we'll do something again in the future!
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GIVEAWAY

The Prize

A copy of this book will go to one lucky reader.

To Enter
  • Tell me why you want to win this book.
  • You must include your email address at the end of your comment, so you can be notified should you be chosen as a winner. Use the format abc AT xyz DOT com, to avoid spammers. 
  • Readers who've won here in the last 6 months are not eligible.  
For Extra Entries

Please leave a NEW comment for each extra entry you do.

Deadline   Midnight CST of Feb 25, 2010.

Eligibility  US only.

Please read the Disclaimer. Good luck!
Note - This book was received for review/feature consideration.
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29 comments :

  1. Deirdre,

    Although I'm ineligible for the contest, I felt I had to drop in and comment how similar your writing journey is to mine.

    I shelved my current novel several times, waiting for me to become a better writer. Like yours, it comes from my heart and I couldn't rush it.

    Your book sounds intriguing and I hope to pick it up here in Canada.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I would like to read this because there are times in my life when I need to overcome things and this book would be very helpful to read.
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  3. I follow
    pbclark(at)netins(dot)net

    ReplyDelete
  4. The premise sounds like it would be very interesting to read.
    msboatgal at aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I already follow
    msboatgal at aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. subscribe via google reader
    msboatgal at aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi Deirdre! I will be honest and tell you that I have yet to read anything you have written but over the last couple of years I have heard your name over and over again by other authors that I read. I would LOVE the opportunity to get my hands on one of your books. If your as good as I've heard you were then the book will be a fantastic read. :)

    jessica(DOT)wilhoite(AT)hotmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  8. Thanks for the awesome comments, gang!! I really appreciate all the support and kind words. Jessica, I love that you keep hearing about me! LOL! Only because I hope that means that buzz is starting to grow for my books. And, Sandra, my tweep! You should listen to that voice that says not to let a book go. I think it guides you. :)
    Deidre Knight

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  9. Great interview, D! And for the record, you have absolutely been a writing mentor to me, too.

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  10. I just bought and read Butterfly Tattoo this weekend, and it was the most profoundly emotional book I've ever read. I haven't cried that much reading a book in my life!

    I plan on buying a copy of BT in print anyway, but it would thrill me to win a copy!

    I have a feeling these characters will be in my head for a LONG, long time.

    kristincheee(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  11. I would like to win this because it sounds like something I would enjoy reading.

    +1 I subscribe through email

    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I have been so wanting to read one of Deidre's books!

    dyromance (at) gmail (dot) com

    +1 Following blog via RSS on Google Reader
    +1 Following you on Twitter and Tweeted about contest http://twitter.com/DYockman/statuses/8244641428

    ReplyDelete
  13. Deidre Knight is a new author to me and I love to read books by new authors. This one looks amazing!
    Please enter my name in your draw. Thanks.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  14. I subscribe via Google Reader.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  15. I am a follower of your blog.
    wandanamgreb(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  16. Deidre I enjoyed your Midnight Warrior series immensely! Butterfly Tattoo sounds so good!

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    ReplyDelete
  17. I'm subscribed to A Book Blogger's Diary feed

    alternate email other than blogger
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    ReplyDelete
  18. I'm subscribed to A Book Blogger's Diary Email Updates

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    ReplyDelete
  19. I follow this blog

    alternate email other than blogger
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    ReplyDelete
  20. Oh, I love seeing that Jennie volunteers with 826National! I'm thinking about doing the next Read-a-Thon to benefit them!
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  21. I am a Subscriber.
    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have heard many things about this book, primarily that it takes a very different approach to the romance novel. Most importantly, most reviews comment on the strength of the characterization and story development. It sounds like a well written, heartfelt story of people trying to recover, survive and make the best of their lives. That it takes a different approach, makes it all the more interesting.
    librarypat AT comcast DOT net

    ReplyDelete
  23. I want to win this book because I read it on kindle last year and it one of the most beautiful books I've ever read! These characters still pop up in my head months later. I planned on buying it once it came out this year. Love my kindle but this is the type of book you want to hold and re-read over & over so I would love a chance to win it!

    -Subscribed to email updates
    -Follow the blog
    -Following on twitter
    -Tweeted the contest
    -I will put a link to the contest on my side bar on my blog (I'm having a charity book auction so can't put a new post up for a bit) http://forwhatitsworth-kea.blogspot.com/

    teamsheltie AT gmail DOT com

    Karen

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  24. I would love to win this book because this sounds like the exact type of book I need to read right now.

    I have to say that I when you said this "don’t give up, and visualize what you want" because I absolutely believe in this.

    Thanks so much for the opportunity.

    dbkagrayson2002 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  25. I subscribe via email.

    dbkagrayson2002 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  26. I requested to become a friend on facebook (Becky Grayson).

    dbkagrayson2002 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  27. I am a follower!

    dbkagrayson2002 at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  28. I'd like to read this book because I've never read this author before.

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    ReplyDelete
  29. I also subscribe to your email.

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    ReplyDelete