Jack was gracious enough to chat with us from his home in the UK, thanks to the modern marvel of email. For the scoop on his writing routine, his experience with the publication process, his plans for future books, and more, READ ON.
You’ve just published your debut horror thriller, Darkness Whispers, after twenty years of seeking publication. How exciting! Tell us a little more about the book itself—where did your initial inspiration come from?
Well actually, I started writing the book twenty years ago, but nothing came of it, so the manuscript was left to gather dust—until I joined WEbook. At that time all I had was a paper copy of the novel, which looking back was not very good, so I decided to scrap it and do a complete rewrite. Now I am happy to say that Darkness Whispers has been published, and I hope people enjoy reading the story as much as I enjoyed writing it.
Darkness Whispers is about a group of friends who ignore the warnings of locals and embark on a wild weekend fuelled by alcohol and a desire to have a good time, but end up being stalked by an unseen assailant. They soon become caught up in a terrifying sequence of bloodshed, murder, and voodoo.
One of the main characters, Doc, is haunted by a nefarious past he cannot remember, and as his inner demon seizes the opportunity to take complete control, the few that are still standing frantically search for weapons to use against the encroaching danger because, as darkness falls, their only hope for survival is to win the final battle on the notorious shores of Beacons Cove.
I got the initial inspiration from working a summer season in a large hotel in South Devon with a friend. We made a lot of acquaintances, and had some good times. On one of our escapades we came across several abandoned prefabricated buildings, it looked pretty much like a ghost town. It was a strange place and one we could not explain, but it was there. Also, when I am on my own, I find nothing more relaxing than being on the coast, and one of the most memorable places for me was standing on top of a cliff, which overlooked a patch of land and the open sea. That is where I would lean on the parapet and reflect. This—along with Jack’s bloodlust—became the setting for Darkness Whispers.
And how did you find your publisher, Dopamalovi Books?
After I chose to do the rewrite of Darkness Whispers on WEbook, I put the chapters on as I wrote them, submitting them for feedback. I wasn’t far into the novel when I received an invite to send my work to an editor at Dopamalovi books.
Tell us about the publication process, once you signed with them, from editorial to cover design!
I was assigned to a lovely lady, Patricia Clemmons, who went through the story with me, chapter-by-chapter, and gave me some good advice on how to make my book saleable. When the rewrite was finished, it was submitted to the boss lady, Donna Jean Lyons, and accepted. Then of course we needed to run an extensive edit, which involved a lot of work, time, and rewriting, we had to proofread the print book, checking the manuscript and double-checking it before it was finally published and released March of this year. The staff at Dopamalovi Books treated me with respect and kindness throughout the whole process—making sure I was happy with the final product, including the very professional blurb—and a brilliant cover designed by a very talented artist and fellow author, Terrence Scott.
You have a very disciplined writing process, according to the profile in the Gainsborough Standard—a friend on Twitter admired the routine of “tea, a power nap, and an hour of writing,” calling it "bucolic"…what’s your biggest challenge as a writer? And how have you battled, or even overcome it?
Yes, I have an extremely disciplined routine. You have to have that in this game. I didn’t actually see that comment on twitter, but I would not have described my writing process as bucolic. However, “tea, a power nap, and an hour or two of writing” works for me. My biggest challenge was finding the time and the energy to write after a day’s work—but my love of writing and determination to succeed overcame that.
Of course, we want to hear about ourselves, too—how and when did you discover WEbook? What kind of writing projects have you pursued here?
The urge to write has always simmered within me. I wanted to achieve my ambition of becoming a full-time writer—but it had to be done professionally. It had to be something saleable. Otherwise, what’s the point of writing if nobody can read and enjoy my work? The urge to achieve this surfaced from time-to-time and prompted me to keep trying. It was on such an occasion that I was searching the Internet to find a site that offered help.That’s when I found WEbook, and began the rewrite of Darkness Whispers. I also submitted a few short stories, two of which were published on Facebook by Dopamalovi Books for Halloween Free Treats—the third one was unsuitable to be published on that site, due to its rating and not because of its quality, so it’s on the backburner until I decide what to do with it. I’m thinking a short story collection is in order at some point.
On to the future! Do you have a new book underway? Can you give us any bone-chilling details?
Yes, I have started another book and I have four more planned. Jack Knight intends to carry on killing, my inkwell is full of his victim’s blood…if only I had more time to spill it onto the page.
My next novel, The Voodoo Man, is about a sadistic serial killer, and he’s a pretty evil character, let me tell you. That’s as much information as I can give at the moment—but I’m getting the same buzz with this one as I did with Darkness Whispers. I’m not satisfied with a project until I get excited about it, because I believe if I get excited about it, so does the reader, and, WEbook, I am excited about my latest work.
Thanks, Jack, we are, too—so keep writing!
Do you have questions for Jack? Post them in the comments, or give us a holler on Twitter with hashtag #JackKnight, and we'll do our best to include them in a future blog feature.