Therin Knite is somewhat a mystery. She has no picture on her Amazon author page or on her personal website or on her author Facebook page. Her name is actually a pen name. Despite all this mystery, Knite is doing quite well as a writer. Her WordPress blog is approaching 2,000 followers and her first book, Echoes — just released 4 days ago — has already sold 16 copies. Now, that may not sound like a lot, but for a first-time indie author working on a shoestring budget — and attempting to balance the all-important time-consuming task of book marketing with a full-time school schedule — that’s actually pretty damn impressive. When she’s not writing, Knite spends her time double-majoring in English and finance at the College of William and Mary, located in Virginia. After graduating this spring, Knite will begin work as an analyst at a company near Washington, D.C.—although presumably she’ll be using her real name there.
1. So, your first book was just released a few days ago, but before that you seem to have a pretty extensive history of writing – blogging, poetry, short stories, etc. What prompted you to take it to the next step and publish a book?
Ah, it was actually the other way around. I’ve been working on my novel writing skills for a while, and I got into blogging, poetry, and short fiction as I started exploring the online writing community in order to find support for my novel efforts.
2. I noticed that you do book reviews on your blog and describe yourself as an avid reader on your Amazon author page; who are your favorite authors?
Yikes. Always this question. Such a hard one. But if I have to pick, I’ll say: Stephen King, Garth Nix, Aldous Huxley, and Jim Butcher.
3. In a related question, who do you see as your major influences?
The same four. That’s why they’re my favorites. What made me love their books are things that I both enjoyed and learned from them.
4. How would you describe your writing style?
Ooh. That’s a toughie. I’m a huge fan of sarcasm, obviously. But beyond that, I like to be very “in the moment.” I don’t like to give recollections of things that have already happened. I like the “present experience,” what people think and feel and do and say when an event is happening to them. Once something has happened, once something is over, you never quite have the exact same response to it again as you did “in the moment.” So I try to capture it: that unique response that can’t be replicated. It’s why I write in first person present, why I structure my story with so many short scenes. Everything is geared toward that goal.
5. Your book cover is very well done – it appears that you hired a cover artist. What other expenses did you incur in the process of indie publishing?
First off, thanks! Glad you like my cover. As for other expenses, I spent a little money on a release day party, a few book giveaways, a domain name to make myself look a little more “professional.” I didn’t spend a ridiculous amount of money, but I do have about $300 to make up before I get any profits out of this.
6. In the past year and a half you’ve managed both to write and market a book, all while being in school full-time – how’d you do all that? And what all have you been doing in terms of marketing?
Breaks. Summer break. Winter break. All the breaks. Those are the most important times for me when it comes to writing. I get a decent amount of work done during the semester, but at most, I have an hour or so of free time to write in a given day when I’m school. When I hit a break, I ramp up my writing and start doing three or four hours of work a day. Helps quite a bit.
As for marketing, well, the usual. I mentioned I had a release day party. The rest of my marketing is free stuff: Twitter, Tumblr, Pinterest, Goodreads, advertising through posts on my blog. I find that making friends is a good way to get sales. The writing, reading, and blogging communities on the internet are huge. That’s something every writer should take advantage of. Get out there and meet people!
7. Tell me about your upcoming projects – based on your blog it looks like you have some pretty definite ideas for the future.
Hah. You could say that. I’m working on branching out into my second favorite genre at the moment: mystery/thriller. It’s a project I haven’t said much about, and I probably won’t until I get a good draft finished. Other than that, I’m planning the sequel to Echoes, as well as at least one sci-fi stand alone novel. Those three are what I’ll be working on for the next year or so.
8. You have a very unique – and pretty cool-sounding – name. Is it your real name or a pen name?
Well, thanks again! It’s not my real name, unsurprisingly. My real name is really boring. I came up with “Therin Knite” the same way I come up with my character names: randomly off the top of my head. Although my names are often based on names I’ve heard before—Therin is a variation of “Theron,” a Greek name that means “hunter.” \