Interview and giveaway with Katie M. John

Today on the blog I have the awesome Katie M. John, author of The Knight Trilogy. The first book, The Forest of Adventure has already been released. She is hard at work on the 2nd book in the series, Beloved Immortal. It should be released in August 2011 She also has written several other fantastic short stories. I'm so glad that she was able to take time out of her busy schedule to stop by and answer a few questions: 

1. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
 I live on the suburbs of London and teach English at a secondary school (high school), I was raised in a rural market town called Brigg in Lincolnshire. I am an only child and I blame that entirely for my slightly over active imagination – when you haven’t got siblings, you invent some! I had a complex upbringing – but then again most of us do – and I am blessed that at this time in my life, things are good. I have a beautiful husband and daughter and we are building our home and working hard. I get to spend a lot of my time smiling and laughing.

2. When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
 I don’t think I realized, it was as natural as breathing. I actually did something about it as I careered towards thirty, pledging not to celebrate my birthday without a manuscript written. I was always going to be a writer and now, she tentatively adds, I am.

3. Do you have any interesting writing quirks?
 Just a few little ones; I’m quite ritualistic about my writing process (don’t mistake that for organized), I like to lay my desk out, almost as if preparing for surgery, notebook, diary, glasses, pen, coffee. My desk also has to have fresh flowers on it, even if they are just straggly pretty things out of the garden and of course, the ipod has to be fully charged. I have a terribly embarrassing habit of talking out loud to myself, sometimes bordering on singing. This makes my husband laugh, because he knows that I have no idea I’m doing it at the time.

4. What do you do when you’re not writing?
 I’m a full time teacher of English at a London Comprehensive school and mummy to a three year old so that all fills most of my other time. I have just taken up running, because I realized that writing is terrible for the waistline – well my Jaffa cake to word count ration is. I love walking in Bushy Park with my daughter, playing hide and seek and going out to eat. Cooking is another passion; I find it an incredibly creative process.

5. What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating your books?
 Before writing the trilogy, I don’t think I fully realized how connected an author is to the character and place. It’s so much more than telling a story – I almost becomes living it. I feel, rather strangely that I have actually lived the life in the pages of my books. This is a great privilege because we are regularly told that we only have one life – a writer gets more than that. I take that as payment for the hard slog.

6. What books have influenced you the most?
 In relation to my writing of The Knight Trilogy, the works of Mallory ‘Morte de Arthur’ and the poetry of Tennyson have been massively influential. The Stephanie Meyer Twilight series emboldened me to be more romantic and poetical in my work and the Hunger Games series taught me the need to balance it with restraint and raw action.

7.  Tell us a little bit about The Knight Trilogy?
 The Knight Trilogy is a very modern reworking of some of the Arthurian legends and British Folklores. Although very firmly set in the 21st century it suggests that there is still a magical existence and world that is still very much alive. 
The story is primarily about Mina, a college girl who falls in love with Blake Beldevier, who is a complex and mysterious character. The trilogy explores their growing relationship against the backdrop of ‘The Realm’ and the fulfillment of an ancient prophesy.
In Book One ‘The Forest of Adventures’ we see Mina introduced to The Realm and forced to make a terrible choice. Her arrival in The Realm triggers the wicked and dark jealousy of Morgan Le Fay, who is desperately in love with Blake and who seems hell bent on destroying every aspect of Mina’s life. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a very happy ending.
Book Two, ‘Beloved Immortal’ sees the aftershock of the ending, and then sees the action move to Egypt, where things get a lot darker and sinister. The second half of the book is a classic race against the clock adventure in which all four friends are tested.
Book Three, ‘Age of New Dawn’ (WIP title) moves to France and Switzerland and works several dark fairytale tropes which will have you, I guaranteed, gripped to your book.
The Knight Trilogy is a rich cast of well established characters; Fairies, Knights, Witches, Wizards, Crones, Beasts, Vampires. The only thing it is missing is werewolves LOL!

8. When is the second book going to be released?
The release date for ‘Beloved Immortal’ is late summer, end of August 2011.

9. Are any of the characters based on anyone you know?
Ah – now that would be telling. The legal bumpf declares that all my characters are purely fictional … and so they are! *coughs*

10.  Do you have any advice for other writers?

Just for fun:
11. Chocolate or Vanilla? Vanilla - Madagascan.
12. Favorite movie? Donnie Darko, Dirty Dancing, Blades of Glory, Repo Genetic Opera. (Okay – I appreciate that combination is a little scary!)
13. Favorite book? George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty Four. William Golding’s Lord of The Flies. Meyer’s Twilight – ( I make NO apologies! )
14. Favorite quote? “Carpe Diem!”, “I love you.”
15. Favorite song? Hmmm – impossible to answer, I have so many. Loving ‘Equilibrium’ by Blue Foundation at this particular moment. 

If you want to find out more about Katie M. John, please visit her website | twitter 
The Forest of Adventure is available @ Amazon in Kindle ($0.99) and Paperback ($11.99). 
It's also available on Smashwords ($1.99, use this coupon code RAE50 and get it for 50% off)

Katie M. John has offered to giveaway a signed arc copy of The Forest of Adventure one lucky person. Here are the rules:

1. You must be over 13 years of age to enter
2. This giveaway is open to US, CA, AUS, UK, EU only
3. You don't have to be a follower to enter. 
4. Please refer to my giveaway policy
5. Giveaway ends on March 18, 2011
6. You MUST fill out the form

*pictures taken from Good Reads and
*I'm a Smashwords and Amazon affiliate