To begin, please introduce yourself to our audience. What is your name? Who are you? What books have you written? Etc.
Hey! I’m Eloise J. Knapp, writing-designing-youtubing Zombie Hunter and author of The Undead Situation trilogy and Anisakis Nova series.
What first inspired you to become a writer? And what compels you to continue your career as an author?
Since I was a kid, I always liked to tell stories. At the time, I really hated the physical act of writing, so instead I would sing long ballads to anyone who would listen. Kind of weird, but hey, I’m sure there’s stranger. Once I got older, I learned how to type and would write my stories on the computer. I’d still print them and read them out loud. Many years later I got into zombie books. While I loved them all, I wanted to see a character who was prepared for the apocalypse and not so into saving people. I was inspired to write the book I wanted to read. Motivated by my uncle who had self-published a book, I decided to self-publish my own work after having numerous people read and edit it. Much to my surprise, people liked it! Total strangers left reviews, emailed me with feedback, and… again…liked it! That, and an insatiable urge to create my own worlds and characters, compelled me to keep writing.
What do you think is the most difficult part of being a writer? What is the most rewarding part?
I’d say the most difficult part for me is self-doubt. Confidence can be fleeting. For me, it’s a learned skill and one that is tested every day. It isn’t inherent. There are days when I believe in my craft and my ability wholeheartedly. On others, I’m deep in the midst of an existential crisis. Such is the plight of an artist. I take comfort knowing I’m not alone in this; authors, painters, illustrators, and singers go through it, too. Really, every human being on the planet probably does.
The reward is a no-brainer. When people read my books, that’s the most rewarding part. Beyond it being validating, it means there’s another human being out there that I connected with. They were willing to enter my world and like it enough to stay a while. That’s a huge privilege for me.
What is your most recent work? What can audiences expect from this book or series?
My most recent work is the last book in my zombie trilogy, The Undead Ruins. This series focuses on the kind of people who would survive best in the apocalypse: crazies, sociopaths, psychopaths, and other expert manipulators. The last book explores what a late apocalypse would look like while delivering the final battles of one Cyrus V. Sinclair.
What do you think are the most common misconceptions about writers?
That we’re looking for someone else’s idea to write a book about. I’ve witnessed it happen to other authors and experienced it numerous times myself. I’m sure people have the best intentions when they start a sentence with, “I have a great idea for a book you should write…”
Why did you decide to join Permuted Press?
When I first self-published in 2009, it was with hopes of building a brand, proving the book was good, then submitting it to Permuted Press to publish. They put out some of the first zombie books I ever read (and loved) like Day by Day Armageddon and Dying to Live. Those books were awesome and I wanted to be part of the company that put them out. I thought, surely they can’t say no if I have this awesome guaranteed success, right? The self-publishing landscape was very different then. It was just starting out and wasn’t as saturated as it is now. The Undead Situation was on the top 100 post-apocalyptic fiction list for weeks. Because of that, PP took notice of me only months after I launched my book. They beat me to it and offered to publish me.
What are your dreams for the future as a writer?
My dream is to see someone (I should add, someone I don’t know) reading my book in a public place. I’d walk over to them and say, “Hey. I wrote that book.” Hopefully they’d say they like it. Either way, I’d awkwardly shuffle off after thanking them for their readership.
On a more serious note, my dream is to keep doing what I’m doing, only bigger and better. My dream was to write a book; now I’ve written five (seven if you count the ones in the editing process). My dream was to have fans, connect with them, and keep giving them stories they’ll love. Success!
Is there anything else that you would like for people to know about yourself and your work?
I’m kind of an oddball when it comes to my interests. I’m into balance. While I write really gruesome, dark novels, love to go shooting, and anything horrifying, I also do yoga, meditate, and hike. People who meet me in either context (at a convention versus at a yoga studio) are surprised to hear about my other life.
Where can people find more information about you?
People can connect with me through Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/eloisejknapp), Twitter, @eloisejknapp, and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/eloisejknapp)! Also my website has some other general stuff on it. (www.eloisejknapp.com)