Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
And here's the tagline for her book, "Resistance":
When a cunning emperor threatens the lives of any who refuse to worship his false gods, a half-blood haunted by his bloodstained past and a young woman with a perfect memory must overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.
Sounds cool, right?
I'll include the longer bio and more information at the end, but first things first, here's the interview!
"Don't you know? Animals like you have no soul..."
1. Who or what inspired you most to become a novelist, and when did you begin writing stories?
I don’t think I ever would have started writing if not for my mom. She’s been writing since she was in her teens. Watching her planning and writing her books when I was young must have looked fun because I started doing it. I was eight years old when I wrote my very first little story. I never really stopped after that. Reading The Lord of the Rings when I was fourteen made me realize that writing was something I actually wanted to take more seriously and do with my life.
2. Is there a particular character from your story that you see yourself the most in, and if so, who?
Definitely Jace from Ilyon Chronicles. That may seem kind of odd since he’s a guy and I’m a girl, but our personalities are very similar. He’s like a more intense, amplified version of how I react to struggles and different situations. I’ve had to deal with a lot of trials over the last few years with health issues and difficult situations with other people. I think God gave me Jace to help deal with all that. It was a way to take my experiences and emotions and do something positive and productive with it. So even though Jace and I have some different struggles, I see a lot of myself in him.
3. Out of all your characters, who was your favorite to write, and why?
Jace because he’s so easy to write and I understand him so well. And I just love to tell his story. Resistance is only the beginning. There is so much coming for his character in the story. I’ve never had a character arch that has been so incredible to tell. I also have to mention how much I love writing Kaden’s character as well. He’s just too much fun. :)
4. How did you know when "Resistance" was ready for publishing? Did you come to a point where you were wholly satisfied with it, or did you just have to eventually trust that it was good enough and publish it?
Good question. For one thing, I had a deadline, so it just had to be ready to publish. But I think I did come to the point where I was wholly satisfied, for the most part. I’m not sure if you can ever be 100% positive it’s ready, but by the time I sent it to my final proofreader a little over a month before publication, I felt I had done all I could possibly do with it. I had probably been over it close to ten times in the few months leading up to publication. Anything beyond that I think would have been over-editing.
5. Is there something your characters get to do in "Resistance" that you really wish you could do?
I sure wish I could ride horses like they do. Though I’ve taken a couple of years of lessons and my brother has a horse here at home, I’m very timid when it comes to riding. I used to be fearless around horses in my early teens, but somewhere along the way, I lost my confidence. I’d like to get it back someday.
6. What is one tip that you've found has been the most helpful when you write?
Don’t edit or worry about quality while you’re writing your first draft. That has been the biggest help to me in the last few years of writing. It would have taken me years to finish one of my books if I’d been editing along the way or tried to get it right the first time. My goal when I sit down to write every day is just to get the story down—even if it’s just bare bones. I can always fix it and add some meat to it later. It’s much easier for me to go back and edit once the book is written than to sit and agonize over every word I write to make sure it sounds good. I’d never get anywhere that way and my readers would be waiting a whole lot longer between books.
7. Is there any writing "rules" you've found unhelpful or would inhibit your work if you followed them, and if so, what?
I can’t think of any specific rules that are always unhelpful for me, but there are times when I ignore certain ones. I broke the rule of beginning the story with your main character when I wrote Resistance. According to that rule, I should have started with Jace, but I chose to write the first two chapters from Rayad’s point of view instead. That’s just the way I wanted to introduce Jace into the story—through the eyes of a different character. I always consider carefully why I’m doing it, but I’m not afraid to break rules if it fits my vision for the story.
8. Besides writing, what's your favorite hobby?
I have a few. I used to sew a lot, though I haven’t had much time (or money) for it lately. But I love to design and sew fantasy costumes. I also sew historical clothing for historical reenactment. I’d really like to get into that more. Visiting flea markets is one of my favorite summertime “hobbies.” That’s how I add to my growing oil lamp collection. I pick up a few other antiques here and there too. I always joke that someday my house will look like a museum. I just love old things.
9. Who is your favorite author, and why?
My all-time favorite would have to be J.R.R. Tolkien. If not for him, I might never have been inspired to be a fantasy author. And if he’d never written The Lord of the Rings, there would be no Aragorn, who happens to be my number one favorite fictional character.
10. And finally, do you have any future book plans once you finish the Ilyon Chronicles?
My immediate plans after Ilyon Chronicles are to finish a two novella/novel series I started 4 or 5 years ago. I wrote several chapters of the first book, but it keeps getting shoved to the back burner. A lot of times, ideas like that eventually die out, but this one just keeps hanging on. It’s time I let the characters tell their story. I’m also toying with the idea of fairy tale retellings. I already have a Beauty and the Beast story planned that I’m working on in my spare time. Beyond that, I have no solid story plans. I’d love to write something apocalyptic or dystopian. I’ve also developed a real fascination for gladiators while doing research for Ilyon Chronicles. I can see that leading to something in the future. Whatever it ends up to be, I’m really looking forward to it. It’s been a long time since I’ve begun a new project.
Thank you so much for taking time to do this interview, Jaye! It's been very interesting and inspiring, and I look forward to reading the rest of the Ilyon Chronicles.
By the way, I actually really liked the way you approached introducing Jace by using Rayad's point of view, so I'm glad you did that.
You can purchase Jaye's book (and I definitely recommend you do) on Amazon or her website, www.jayelknight.com, and you also enter for a chance to win your own ebook copy of "Resistance"(which I also recommend). a Rafflecopter giveaway here
“Don’t you know? Animals like you have no soul.”
Could God ever love a half-blood all of society looks upon with such fear and disdain? Jace once believed so, but when a tragic loss shatters the only peace he’s ever known, his faith crumbles as the nagging doubts he’s tried to put behind him descend on his grieving heart. With them come the haunting memories of the bloodstained past he longs to forget, but can never escape.
Taken from home at a young age and raised to serve the emperor, Kyrin Altair lives every day under a dangerous pretense of loyalty. After her unique observation skills and perfect memory place her into direct service to the emperor, Kyrin finds herself in further jeopardy as it becomes increasingly difficult to hide her belief in Elôm, the one true God.
Following the emperor’s declaration to enforce the worship of false gods under the penalty of death, many lives are endangered. But there are those willing to risk everything to take a stand and offer aid to the persecuted. With their lives traveling paths they never could have imagined, Jace and Kyrin must fight to overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.
"Resistance" is a wonderful book that I really enjoyed reading. I fell in love with the characters so easily and really identified with them and their struggles. It's definitely an inspiring book that I'll eventually end up rereading once I deplete some of my extensive "to-read" stack.
Well, that's all for now, folks! I hope you've enjoyed this interview as much as I have. Don't forget to check out Jaye's book and enter the giveaway!