Joining me today in The Loft is author Dee S. Knight. Dee writes contemporary, paranormal, and fantasy romance. She has led a varied life, working as a truck driver, computer consultant, high school and adult education teacher, and technical writer. Married to her high school sweetheart, Dee and her husband, Jack, live in Idaho
S: Welcome back, Dee!
Did you undergo any sort of educational or other preparation/training to become a writer?
D: No. I know people who have taken writing courses, and I'm very sure they learned a lot more than I know about writing, but I just jumped in. Actually, it never even occurred to me that I might take a class in writing. Who knew of such a thing?? I think (but I could be wrong) that storytelling is more knack than training. The mechanics of writing a story (plot structure, POV, and such) can be taught. I had to learn the mechanics as I went along and through friendships with other authors. I hope I have the storytelling knack.
S: Did you have a mentor when you started writing?
D: No. Again, I just sort of jumped in. I had a story in mind and sat down to write it. When I finished, I submitted it to a publisher and it was accepted. I quickly submitted four more books before I ever received the edits back on the first, so I didn't even have those guidelines to follow as I kept writing, much less a mentor. But I developed friends within a publisher's author group and learned a lot from them.
S: Is there anything you wish you'd done differently when you began writing books?
D: I wish I'd learned something about marketing! No one tells you that a huge part of any business—including writing—is to market your work. When my first publisher said that it was up to me to make waves about my books, I had absolutely no clue what to do and I definitely wish I had. Even now, all these years later, this is the hardest thing about writing.
S: (Nods.) I think marketing if the bane of all writers' existence. With so much competition, it's hard to figure out how to break through the noise.
What attracted you to the romance genre?
D: I guess because I read so many romances, I thought it was a safe genre to write. That is, I had some level of comfort in romance. I didn't read much sci-fi, so the thought of world-building and writing in that genre made me a little itchy. I did try writing a murder mystery once when I was a kid, and scared myself half to death, so I'm not sure I have the power to pull off mystery. And I like romance. I'm happy when I finish reading or writing one and all is right in the book's world. Nothing wrong with a little HEA (happily ever after)!
S: (Smiles.) These days, we all need happy endings, a reason to smile.
What attracted you to your current partner?
D: Jack and I had been acquaintances two years prior to our more serious meeting—school mates in Algebra I class. But I didn't think of him as anything other than the guy who sat with our group in the back of the room and really understood math. I was 13 and not interested in him as anything more. Then, a chance meeting at a school Christmas concert two years later led to our dating. My dad was very strict, though, so dating was really not what anyone thinks of now. However, Jack's kindness and his sense of humor opened my mind and heart. Just a few months after the Christmas concert, we told each other that someday we would get married, though we always dated other people and even attended different schools and lived in different states. I've known him for over 55 years and loved him as my soul mate for 53 of those years. I've always been grateful that God put him in my life.
S: That really is an amazing love story.
Why did you write "Passionate Destiny?" What was your inspiration?
D: There is a road in a small town near where we used to live in Virginia that always seemed like it should have a ghost story set on it. It's near the Rivanna River, and in the chill of the early mornings, mist twists and winds from the water up through the trees and across the fields. Very spooky! In that same town, a couple I know have a house with a secret. While outside one day, they discovered an anomaly between the outside dimensions and the inside rooms. They found a hidden room! There was no great secret connected to it, as far as they could discover, but I stored that find in my brain and pulled it out for this book. In "Passionate Destiny," the ghost house sits on a bluff over the river and the hidden room has a very big secret to impart.
S: Is there anything about this book that makes it special to you?
D: I first thought of the story line when Jack and I were driving up to see his parents in Virginia from where we were living in North Carolina. It was winter. I stared out the passenger side of the window and imagined Confederate and Union soldiers traipsing through the woods, not wanting to die, wishing they were home and safe—like soldiers in all wars, I suppose. I had an eerie feeling, almost as though those soldiers watched me from long ago, as we flew by in our car. I feel the hair rise on my neck as I write about it now. You can't live in Virginia and not feel or appreciate history in some way. I think areas where wars were fought feel the aftermaths more acutely, and Virginia saw her share of battles, between the Revolutionary and Civil wars. It was many, many years later when I finally wrote "Passionate Destiny," but that original sense of seeing back in time remained with me. I have only had that feeling for one other book, and that's "Burning Bridges" (written as Anne Krist).
Here's the blurb for "Passionate Destiny"--
Dr. Margaret Amis-Hollings, professor of women’s studies at a small New Jersey college, is a woman who confidently knows who she is and what she expects of life. Until she loses her teaching position and her well-ordered life gets turned upside down. Then, in a subtle stroke of whimsy, fate tosses her a gift in an historic home and property in Virginia.
Harboring visions of Gone With the Wind, she determines to use River Peace as a temporary reprieve from her troubles. Images of Tara quickly evaporate when she arrives to discover the reality of her inheritance, however.
River Peace has history, grace and style going for it. After only one night, Margaret discovers that it also has a ghost. She’s visited by a male spirit from the time of the War Between the States, who knows how to make a woman feel special. And very loved.
Aaron Belton meets Margaret when she first arrives in Virginia. He’s renowned for historic renovations on a multitude of properties, but he’s got a special place in his heart for River Peace. He and his family believe the property always should have belonged to them. In fact, Aaron will do almost anything to make that happen. When his passion for the house changes to a passion for the house’s owner, Aaron’s as surprised as anyone. Can he gain both, the woman and the house? To do so, he’ll have to face a spectral being.
And his own destiny.
S: Nothing better than a spooky love story!
Where can readers buy your book?
D: It's available on Kindle Unlimited at https://www.amazon.com/Passionate-Destiny-Dee-S-Knight-ebook/dp/B085Q5PTCC/
S: Dee, thanks so much for joining me today! If you'd like to learn more about Dee and her books, please visit--