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Author Interview: Anneliese Knop

Anneliese is an Associate Licensed Counselor, freelance writer, and self-proclaimed “blindfluencer”, using her blog to promote accessibility for the blind and service dog users in her community. She loves to travel, read, hike, and plan adventures for her friends.

Interview

Use three to five words to describe yourself.

LIstening, growing, challenging

Can you give us a little background on your debut?

Jubilant is the first book in a nautical fantasy adventure series featuring character-driven stories, a slow-burn romance, and intricately woven conflicts.

Everyone knows Alokites enslave each other. Kidnapping foreigners would be an act of war!

Kelta’s life on a small clan warship has given her peace and anonymity, and a way to fight through her grief. But when the Keltorax is called upon to hunt through international waters for a missing ambassador Kelta can no longer remain safely in the shadows. Will she sacrifice her future for her family, or will she let the mission fail and keep her secrets?

After being barred from studying magic, working up through the ranks of the Ellondese Navy is the only way Wren Elspur can make a name for himself. Passing his lieutenant’s exam should have put him on the fast track for promotion, but politics, an arranged marriage, and an alliance with the southern savages threatens to pit his conscience against his career.

An unexpected alliance is the only hope for innocent people kidnapped into slavery. As an ancient evil stirs in the west, Kelta and Wren find themselves fighting side by side in a war they don’t yet understand.

Can you give us any insight into your planning and writing process?

I’m one of two authors building this series, my co-author is Galadriel Coffeen, author of the new Royal Investigators’ Service series, debuting last year with THe Case of the Dragonbone Engine. Galadriel and I have been writing partners for 15 years, but this story was born eight years ago, Thanksgiving Day. I’m delighted our characters will see life almost exactly eight years to the day from when they were born.

Galadriel and I use instant messenger to engage in text-based roleplaying games of our own creation. We like to “out-chaos’ each other by throwing increasingly complex and dangerous situations at each other’s characters to see how those personalities evolve and solve the presenting problems. Every now and again, a set of characters and adventures grows into something more than just a game.

We’re both NanoWriMo veterans, using November to draft new stories to be edited thorughout the year. Recently we’ve gathered friends into a local writers group, and are enjoying participating in others’ writing journeys as well.

Silence or music or other when writing/editing?

Varies, depending on how much internal noise is or is not distracting me.

You can erase one book or series from your mind entirely so that you can read it again for a first time, which do you erase?

Michael J. Sullivan’s Ryiria Revelations and Chronicles

Who are some of your favourite authors/books?

Timothy Zahn, Michael J. Sullivan, Kathy Tyers, Patrick O’Brien

Who are your favourite book characters?

Grand Admiral Thrawn, Firebird Mari Brennen, Agent Beka Finley, Anne of Green Gables

Do you have any favourite magic systems?

I like the madra system in Will White’s Cradle series.

You can bring one world from a book or series to life and live there, which world do you choose

This might sound like a cop-out, but I’d rather stay in this world where I can enter all other imaginary worlds at will, simply by opening a book. Why choose one when I could have them all?

What book or series would you love to see on the big screen?

I think Will White’s Cradle series would make a fine animated series. Barring that, a TV series based on Master and Commander by Patrick O’Brien.

You can collaborate with one other author, who do you choose?

Timothy Zahn.

Have any cultures/civilisations inspired your writing?

The Taxian culture in Jubilant is loosely based on the idea of “what if Klingon culture wasn’t so obsessed with honor? And wasn’t in space? And had dragons?” But if I had to pick a real-world culture that inspires my writing I’d say Ptolemaic Egypt, or OT Israel, particularly during the Exodus.

What is your favourite mythical creature?

Unicorns or dragons. Do I have to pick just one?

What is your favourite mythical race?

Tieflings

You can have one superpower, what is it?

Telepathy, but only if I can completely controlw hen I use it. I respect privacy, but with informed consent this could be a powerful therapeutic tool in counseling.

You have the ability to morph into any real—not mythical—creature. Which creature do you choose?

A cat

You can go back in time and live a different period of history, when do you choose?

During the Shogunate in Japan

You can meet any five people in the world, who would you choose?

Pat Ogden, Timothy Zahn, Beth Allison Barr, Iain Abernethy, Dr. Uma Naidoo

Would you rather…

  • ride a dragon or fly a spaceship?
    • Fly a space ship. it might take me to where the dragons live.
  • have the ability to fly or be indestructible?
    • Ability to fly. Indestructability doesn’t mean absence of pain, so if I’m going to get hurt I’d like to do it from the sky.
  • be an elf or an orc?
    • Elf, because their languages are prettier in my opinion.
  • have the ability to travel to mythical worlds, from your favourite books, or the ability to travel faster than light and visit planets and solar systems in this world?
    • FTL travel, definitely. New worlds can inspire books, and more mythical worlds. But even without that, there are so many good things about reality to discover that Id’ want the ability to find them all.
  • face one orc or three goblins in battle?
    • Size matters not. I’ll take the orc
  • be an expert swordsman or archer?
    • Swordsman. I’m blind, I’m better in melee than at range.
  • be able to wield elemental magic or raise and control the dead?
    • Elemental magic. I have a natural affinity for water.
  • live in a city under the ocean or one floating in the clouds?
    • Under the ocean! Watch out, atlantis, here I come!
  • be able to see the past or see the future?
    • I’d like to see the past. Learning from my mistakes seems more valuable than knowing I can’t avoid more of them.