Author Interviews, Past Giveaways

{Featured} NY Times Best-Selling Author, Richard A. Knaak: Interview & Giveaway!

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Welcome everyone to another fabulous Friday! My Associate Reviewer Heather and I teamed up to bring you all something extra special. You all know how much we love reading and video games, and we are always trying to connect our readers with the latest information in both worlds.  What better way to bridge together reading and gaming than to have an author on the blog who specializes in doing just that.  It is our pleasure to welcome the extraordinarily talented, NY Times Best-Selling fantasy author, Richard A. Knaak to Mother/Gamer/Writer. We are very fortunate to have Mr. Knaak on the blog to talk about his life as a writer, his inspiration, and to offer his advice to all budding novelists. But lucky for you guys, not only do we have a fabulous interview – yes there is more – Mr. Knaak is also giving away a signed copy of his latest fantasy, Dragon Mound, which, received a stellar 5 Controller review!  



So without further ramblings from me, check out the interview and enter the amazing giveaway…




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1. Welcome Richard, to Mother/Gamer/Writer.  Could you please tell us a little about yourself, for our readers, who may not be familiar with your exceptional stories?

I’m the author of 44 novels and a couple of dozen shorter pieces in the fantasy field who’s had the honor of making the NY Times and USA Today Bestseller Lists.  I grew up reading such authors as Tolkien, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Poe, Zelazny, and others.  I’ve created my own settings, such as the Dragonrealm and the world of the King in Shadow, but also delved deeply into established ones such as World of Warcraft, Diablo, Conan, Dragonlance, and others.  I enjoy epic fantasy — dragons, magic, knights — and also like an element of mystery in my work.  I believe in heroic characters who struggle against great odds even if it means their deaths.



2. Who were favorite authors, or books, growing up?

I’ve mentioned some above.  I also favored Robert E. Howard, Andre Norton, L. Sprague de Camp, and Moorcock among others in the fantasy field.  In terms of mystery, Arthur Conan Doyle was also a great favorite of mine.  I read the Conan series, just about everything by Burroughs — especially John Carter of Mars — and both the Amber Chronicles and Creatures of Light and Darkness by Zelazny.



3. Dragon Mound is an epic-fantasy trilogy that blends in many aspects that fans have come to love in this genre. What inspired you the most to write Dragon Mound (Knight in the Shadow Trilogy)?

My own love for fantasy, most of all.  I wanted to create an old-fashioned heroic tale with some twists to it that make it fresh again.  This is a story of the hope for redemption in the face of dark deeds from the past.  I wanted readers to see the struggles within that could tip the balance one way or the other.  We see some of this in the old Arthurian saga and I wanted to bring that back to modern audiences.



4. Evan Wytherling is such a complex character with a lot of mystery that unfolds as the story progresses. Being your lead character, did you find it more difficult to write Evan as opposed to Mardi?

Both presented their own hurdles.  Yes, Evan’s troubled past and current troubles created complexities, but Mardi is also a significant character and while on the surface she seems more straightforward, not only does she have her own complexity, but I also had to keep her interesting from the beginning.  I tried to make both characters three-dimensional, as they should be.



5. You’ve created new worlds for your readers to travel and explore as they ascend into your stories, and you thoughtfully give us maps too, so we may follow our adventurers on their journey. Did you create them yourself?

The designs were mine, but my artistic skills are pretty poor, so we have better people to bring about the final product.  Every location and feature was noted and corrected by me, though.  I want people to be able to better enjoy the story and the maps truly help.



6. I’ve always noted that, in your works, you never leave a stone unturned. Everyone always fits perfectly together and melds harmoniously into the storyline. As a huge fan of your work, I must ask, how much time do you put into character development? Are you a plotter or a pantser?

A bit of both.  I think you need the combination to best make a story work.  Yes, plotting is essential, but there come points in the story where you really have to let the characters and situations take control.  More often then not, you’ll get a richer, more real story that way.  The plot should never be written in stone.  It has to have some life of its own and that’s what I call the panster part.  I find this brings in new facets of the characters, making them more vivid.



7. One of the marvelous things about the fantasy genre is that it allows authors to create unique worlds, power, abilities, creatures, and so much more. Can you tell us a little bit about your world building process? Is it difficult to decide what to add to a world and what to leave out?

There’s always the chance of adding too much or too little.  I often start with one image or one notion, and build around that.  What characters, what creatures, would make some sense?  What ones would be in conflict with that world and one another?  What mundane notion or creature could be transformed into something different — such as the armored Quel in my Dragonrealm series or Evan’s horse in Dragon Mound?

Not all creations work and, yes, some vanish before ever becoming part of the story.  Some come back later.  I give some glimpse of the morags in Dragon Mound; you will see their kind again in the trilogy.  I thought that we might see more in the first novel, but that proved one too many elements beyond how they were ultimately used.

My advice to any writer; even the simplest image can be the core of a fascinating story.  Just find the right twist.



8. When reading Dragon Mound, one of my first thoughts was that this would make an excellent video game! Do you happen to play fantasy based video, computer or other type of games?

I play World of Warcraft, have played Diablo and am looking forward to Diablo III.  I was a D&D player for years, too.  I’d definitely like to see either Dragon Mound or the Dragonrealm made into a video game!



9. As a bestselling fantasy author, do you have any advice or words of wisdom for budding fantasy authors?

I’ve mentioned a bit already, but one of my biggest bits of advice is to keep writing.  Keep writing.  I can’t say it enough.  If you don’t write, you can’t get published.  Simple advice, but hard to follow, believe me.



10. Finally, when can we expect to see more in this exciting trilogy? And what’s in store next for your characters?


We’re looking toward the end of the year.  More will be posted as it comes available.  In the sequel, Wake of the Wyrm, Evan and Mardi will be journeying to the island realm of Wallmyre, where they will find that the sea monster said to stalk the waters there is but the least of the troubles there.  We will find out more about the mysterous Steppenwald and his designs for Evan, plus another pivotal and dangerous character from the knight’s past.

And then there’s the Fenri to deal with…

I hope people enjoy Wyrm and the continued saga of Evan’s quest not only for the fate of the sorcerer-king Novaris, but for the salvation of his own soul.



Thank you!



Thank you so much for stopping by Richard, congratulations on your success and we wish you much, much more!

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~Giveaway Time~

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  • To enter leave a comment, extra entries are given by filling out the form below
  • contest open to US Only
  • the winner will be announced on this blog post at the conclusion of the contest
  • the winner will be notified by email and will have 48 hours to reply or a new winner will be chosen.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

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About the Author:
Richard A. Knaak is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of The Legend of Huma,  WoW: Stormrage, and over forty other novels and numerous short stories, including works in such series as Warcraft, Diablo, Dragonlance, Age of Conan, and his own Dragonrealm. He has scripted a number of Warcraft manga with Tokyopop, such as the top-selling Sunwell trilogy, and has also written background material for games. His works have been published worldwide in many languages.

In addition to Dragon Mound, his most recent releases include Wolfheart --- the latest in the bestselling World of Warcraft series, the digital graphic novel series Rune Keepers  --- and the third collection in his Legends of the Dragonrealm series.   He is presently at work on several other projects, among them Wake of the Wyrm --- the sequel to Dragon Mound --- and Shade --- a brand-new Dragonrealm novel featuring the tragic sorcerer.

Currently splitting his time between Chicago and Arkansas, he can be reached through his website: While he is unable to respond to every e-mail, he does read them. Join his mailing list for e-announcements of upcoming releases and appearances.  He is also on Facebook and Twitter.










Mother/Gamer/Writer would like to thank Sea Lion Books & Richard A. Knaak for making this interview and giveaway possible! 🙂



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