Karen Davies is the author of The Red Knight (my review) and a thoroughly interesting person to stalk, er follow on twitter. I was looking for an interview with her because I was being nosey. As I couldn’t find one I thought I’d try and get her to answer some of my strange little questions. She agreed, which was nice.
I have to start with the thing I most want to know. There is a follow-up to The Red Knight, right?
Yes, there is! In fact, the follow-up is the story I started to write before TRK, but the flashbacks grew into a novel damn them!
What other goodies do you have coming out soon?
I’ve got a short story, The Last Hunt coming out soon in an anthology called Tales of The Nun and Dragon which is going to be published by Fox Spirit and a couple of reviews for Geraldine Clark Hellery about all things dragon. Other than that, I have another novel to finish that’s the follow-up to my short story The Deal in Day of Demons, before I can crack on with TRK part 2.
The Red Knight is your first published novel. How does it feel to be a published novelist?
Really nice, but not much different to being an unpublished novelist in all honesty. I had a glass (four) of fizzy wine with my other ‘arf and then it was business as usual, pretty boring really, aren’t I? I don’t think it’s sunk in yet.
In some ways your writing reminds me of Robin Hobb, which author/s have been a major influence on your writing?
Gosh that is a tricky question. And thank you, she’s one of the best fantasy authors out there IMO, I’m flattered. I did my degree in literature, and so I suppose I’ve been influenced by a really wide range of writers. I also think there’s a diference between who I like to read and who’s influenced my writing, I’m not sure if I even know who’s influenced me. Certainly Gemmell, (Emily) Bronte, Joseph Conrad, Robert Howard, and indeed, Robin Hobb/ Megan Lindholm, inspire me. Oh yeah, and Voltaire, because he had a wicked sense of humour.
Unless the picture on your website are fake you’re most definitely of the female persuasion. Do you feel your journey to publication has been affected by your gender? Do you feel equality in opportunity is close at hand?
That is really me on the website, warts and all. I couldn’t possibly say if my gender has been an issue, how would I know? I think perhaps what I write — how I mess around with stereotypes might have affected my journey to publication, (it’s a bit different) but I try not to speculate, that way lies madness. I don’t think equality in opportunity is close at hand, no. On it’s way perhaps, but not close.
Your website bio is really interesting. Can you tell us about some of your really interesting experiences that have helped inspire your writing?
*quickly checks the bio* I can’t tell you about the really interesting experiences, I might get into trouble:) I think you mean the acting and sword fighting stuff? They’ve given me tools that help me write, but they don’t inspire my writing.
To be honest, I was born into a horribly violent environment that first of all inspired my reading, as a means of escape, and then inspired my writing and art work (I draw and make stuff too) as a means of trying to understand my own experiences, initially at least. Turning everyday reality into fantasy (or SF, I’m not picky) became second nature from a very early age. Everything gets ‘the treatment’ from waiting for a bus to falling down a mountain. I find inspiration everywhere and in just about everything. I accept that I’m an inveterate daydreamer with one foot in the real world ™ and one foot in Fantasy Land. It’s a bit like playing Twister, as my head is (clearly) quite often stuck up my arse ;p
What kind of music do you listen to whilst writing?
I’m a sucker for film soundtracks, but my tastes run from New Model Army to White Zombie. I make playlists as I go when I’m drafting, which utterly ruins certain tracks because whenever I hear them I think of ‘that bit’ in the story. I don’t listen to anything during last edits, because at that point I need to hear the words in my head, if that makes sense?
Within Temptation, Requiem for a Dream OST, Linkin Park; all played a part in setting the mood of certain scenes in The Red Knight. My current work in progress soundtrack is a mix of Pirates of the Carribean OST and some trance orientated banging choons, but that will grow and evolve as the story progresses.
Do you have any signings or appearances conferences planned where people can buy your book?
Nope. That was an easy one, wasn’t it?
You’re going to be stuck on a desert island and can choose five books to take with you. What are they and why?
The Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, because he writes like Turner paints IMO. Legend by David Gemmell and Lord of the Rings by Tolkien because they are books I can read over and over. Siddartha by Hermann Hesse, again, his prose rocks my world, and last Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte. It’s the powerful prose and complicated characters that I love, and I’ll also need a little bit of Yorkshire grimness to keep me cool in the tropical heat.