Interview with Rhonda McKnight
I’m happy to introduce a new feature on the site- author interviews. While I may be all gung ho about ebooks, there are lots of opinions out there, and I decided that I want to hear as many of them as possible.
First up, Rhonda MckNight. Rhonda writes inspirational fiction, and she has dabbled in the ebook world. Check out my interview below, and then click the links to check out her work- they are posted at the end of the interview. And don’t hesitate to leave a comment.
1. How long have you been writing?
I have been writing since I was six. It started with a family of mice under the boardwalk in New Jersey where I grew up and continued until college when I became way too busy for fiction. I became serious about publication in the mid 90’s, studied writing on and off for about eight years and finished my first novel in early 2007. I sold it the same year.
2. What genre do you write in?
My novels, titled: Secrets & Lies and An Inconvenient Friend, are inspirational women’s fiction. I have a novella length ebook, A Piece of Revenge, that’s an inspirational romance. I’m also pecking away at a contemporary mystery, so I write what I want.
3. What’s your take on ebooks? Why?
Ebooks. I love them. I think there’s absolutely no downside for the writer. I see people who want to be published putting their stories on the market for the world to read. I also see established authors re-releasing their older out-of-print titles again and offering their readers more new content, typically through short fiction like I did with A Piece of Revenge. It’s great.
I will say I hate what the pricing wars and rights management issues are doing to the publishing industry. Digital media is clearly the future, but ebooks entry into the market has caused so much upheaval. Publishing is very traditional in so many ways. Houses should have been better prepared for this shift, but they weren’t and still aren’t. I can’t help but think authors and independent bookstores are paying for it, but I’m excited about the future of ebooks.
4. What device do you read ebooks on?
I have a Kindle, but I also read on my Android phone. I actually love reading on my phone. I could have saved the money on the Kindle. J
5. Ebook pricing- what say you?
Do lower prices devalue the work? Yes, I think they do, particularly when you get as low as ninety-nine cents. Books are intellectual property, whether it’s a paper book or an ebook. No one except another writer understands the blood, sweat, and brain power that a writer pours into a story. For that reason the artist should be compensated fairly. But, even though I believe that, I can think of a half a dozen reasons for an author/publisher to discount prices; number one being to attract new readers. For example: I snubbed McDonald’s Frappe until it went on sale for a dollar. Now I pay $2.56 for one at least once a week. Hoarders aside, I think a teaser can work if you have a good product.
6. Can authors publish quality work without a traditional publisher?
Absolutely, they just have to make the necessary investments in a cover and editing. When I say editing, I mean developmental editing for content and then of course proofreading. I don’t think traditional publishers do much more than that, so…
7. Do you see yourself publishing more ebooks in the future?
Yes, I just have to find time to write them, because I still work full-time. I write half a year, promote hard for four months and veg on the couch for the last two. That doesn’t leave a lot of time for more writing. I’m struggling with balancing it all. I really haven’t learned to promote and write at the same time. Those processes come from two different sides of the brain, but more ebooks are in the plan.
8. What do you read when you aren’t writing?
Books and blogs about writing. I love inspirational fiction, so I read some of my peer’s work. I also enjoy suspense and thrillers and mysteries. I like romance, because I’m a romantic at heart. Some of what I like can be pretty formulistic, but I’m not embarrassed by that. I’m not a renaissance woman. I have a pretty technical job. I have to concentrate on minuscule details all day at work. I want a book that makes me laugh or cry or swoon or scares the stew out me. I like to have fun with my reading.
9. Shameless Self-Promotion: What do you have going on that you’d like readers to know about?
My third novel, What Kind of Fool, will hit the shelves on January 31, 2012. In the story, secrets and lies from the past intricately tie two couples together, but threaten to tear their relationships apart. It’s a pretty hip book – in addition to all the relationship drama, I give readers a peek inside the hip hop music industry. What Kind of Fool is available for pre-order at online retailers. It’ll be the first of my novels to be available in ebook format. I’m really excited about that. More readers!
10. Which of your creations (character or book) is your favorite? Why?
Hmmm, that’s a good question. I mostly like my men because well, most of them are yummy. They come right out of this gal’s imagination. But if I had to narrow it down to one, I’d say I really have enjoyed writing about Samaria Jacobs. She’s been in all three of my novels. Samaria is a trouble making, man-stealing, diva that has a lot to learn, but by book three she’s learning it. That’s the beauty of writing inspirational fiction – I get to redeem the lost. Samaria’s not there yet. She’s highly motivated to not give up her messy ways, but she’s making progress. My readers absolutely love to hate this chick, so I know I’m doing my job as a writer.