IndieView with Jerry Knaak, author of The Dark Truth

The main character is essentially a female version of me – sarcastic, foul-mouthed, quick-witted (sometimes).

Jerry Knaak, 30 January 2018

The Back Flap

“I was a predator. And I was going to own it.”

A Night Out

San Francisco PR pro Elizabeth Rubis reluctantly agrees to a night out on the town. Little does she know that her life will be altered forever as childhood night terrors come to life.

A Face in the Window

Elizabeth’s deepest, darkest fears crawl out of the inky blackness as her lifelong tormentor is revealed during a rare Northern California thunderstorm. A hallucination in the raindrops proves to be an evil, yet familiar entity.

A Baptism in Blood

Fueled by hatred for her tormentor, Elizabeth cuts a bloody swath across the San Francisco Bay Area in a desperate quest for revenge. No one is safe from her rage, not even her friends and family.

About the book

What is the book about?

It is a dark, gritty vampire tale set in modern-day San Francisco. A 44-year-old public relations professional named Elizabeth is kidnapped by a vampire and turned into one herself. The story follows her throughout the Bay Area as Elizabeth seeks bloody revenge against her maker while learning how to survive as a vampire.  

When did you start writing the book?

I began writing in earnest in January of 2016.

How long did it take you to write it?

It took 13 months to write The Dark Truth.

Where did you get the idea from?

I love Gothic horror, especially vampires. I have been writing, mostly sports, professionally for 25 years. I always thought if I wrote a novel it would be a vampire story, and the main character would be female. I created a character and a premise and went from there.

Were there any parts of the book where you struggled?

A couple, I didn’t want the main character to fall into a routine. So, I took some time off to figure out where I wanted to go with my character’s nightly activities. Also, I had a bit of trouble with the dialogue.

What came easily?

The words. The descriptions. The “movement.” My main character doesn’t sit still for very long.

Are your characters entirely fictitious or have you borrowed from real world people you know?

The main character is essentially a female version of me – sarcastic, foul-mouthed, quick-witted (sometimes). The others I spiced with some characteristics I borrowed from movies and TV and created amalgamations, “Frankensteins” if you will.

We all know how important it is for writers to read. Are there any particular authors that have influenced how you write and, if so, how have they influenced you?

Early on it was Bram Stoker and Mary Shelley, but HP Lovecraft, Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Anne Rice and Clive Barker have been huge influences. Jack Kerouac probably has had the biggest influence on my writing style.

Do you have a target reader?

For this book? Adults 18+ who like vampire stories, noir thrillers, and what I like to call “neo-Gothic.”

About Writing

Do you have a writing process? If so can you please describe it?

Scotch. Seriously, not really. I sit down at a computer and the words flow. I research as I go with the Internet (Google maps/Earth are favorites), or I have a pile of vampire reference materials next to me, and I let my character go where she wants to go. I go to San Francisco once in awhile to do some location scouting/research as well.

Do you outline? If so, do you do so extensively or just chapter headings and a couple of sentences?

No, I do not. If I did, my main character would just go where she wants to go anyway. It makes it more interesting. This approach has led to the creation of characters and situations I could not have foreseen.

Do you edit as you go or wait until you’ve finished?

I edit as I go. I have a real problem with the red squiggly underlining, I have to clear it. As for plot, continuity and those types of things, I’ll do two or three major run-throughs up to where I am in the process, and one at the end.

Did you hire a professional editor?

Define “hire.” Technically, yes. But my published provider their own as well.

Do you listen to music while you write? If yes, what gets the fingers tapping?

Sometimes. In this novel my main character has a thing for southern rock, so I listened to some George Thorogood. There were some songs that were integral to a few scenes so I listened to those as I wrote. “She’s Not There” by The Zombies would be one. I like to have classic horror films on TV in the background.

About Publishing

Did you submit your work to Agents?

No, I did not.

What made you decide to go Indie, whether self-publishing or with an indie publisher? Was it a particular event or a gradual process?

Trifecta Publishing House started following me on Twitter before I ever followed them. It became a mutual thing and they were accepting submissions just as I was finishing the manuscript. They were the first and only publisher I queried. I wanted to be published traditionally. The validation is heady stuff, cathartic.

Did you get your book cover professionally done or did you do it yourself?

Trifecta’s cover designer did the art.

Do you have a marketing plan for the book or are you just winging it?

A little bit of both. I’ve been using a public relations calendar that I kind of made up counting down to release, Trifecta and I are working together some things as well. Social media is huge, and I am lucky enough to have some contacts that enable me to do some radio and podcast interviews. I’ve been sending out postcards to bookstores across the country, stopping in to as many as I can and leaving postcards behind, and I’ve been sending press releases to bookstores and newspapers. More “plan” with some measure of “winging-it.”

Any advice that you would like to give to other newbies considering becoming Indie authors?

Just do it. You’ll never know if you don’t try. Don’t hem and haw, find a publisher that seems like a good fit and send your query.

About You

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rochester, N.Y.

Where do you live now?

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area

What would you like readers to know about you?

I have a lot more stories to tell and I can’t wait to share them.

End of Interview:

For more from Jerry, visit his website or blog, follow him on Twitter, or like his Facebook page.

Get your copy of The Dark Truth from Amazon US or Amazon UK.

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