Sunday, December 30, 2012

My First Tattoo at 43 - Kathryn Knight

I admit it, I definitely have a wild side.  I've always wanted a tattoo, and once every few years I would spend time researching the process and looking for artist recommendations.  But it's such a permanent and personal thing, and the one thing holding me back was: what did I want inked onto my body?

I've read enough to know you don't show up at a tattoo parlor and pick "flash" off the wall.  I wanted something meaningful and significant, like what I gave my hero in Silver Lake.  Jason Lansing had the Japanese symbols for an inspirational statement inked onto the outside of his shoulder right before he took the plunge and opened his own Karate studio.

I decided for sure I would somehow want to incorporate the men in my family: my husband and two sons, the most important people in my life.  But the design I had in mind still felt incomplete, and I was lacking the motivation to actually begin the process with the artist I planned to use.

Then I got the "call" last winter, a year ago on a cold morning of December 2011.  Silver Lake, the novel I'd worked on for 4 years, had earned a publishing contract.  It was one of the most memorable moments of my life.

Silver Lake was released in August of 2012, and from the moment I saw it available on Amazon a few days early, I didn't sleep for almost a week.  The excitement of the arrival of a day I had been anxiously awaiting, combined with the stress of knowing many of my family and friends were finally reading my words, fueled an insomnia that lingered until those first few reviews came in.

Somehow, I wanted to include this huge accomplishment in a subtle way into my tattoo design.  Suddenly I knew exactly what it would look like, and I wanted to get it before 2012 - the year I was published - was history.  I quickly made a rudimentary mock-up of what I had in mind and made an appointment with the artist.

Surprisingly, it didn't hurt very much.  I did almost faint before we got started, but that's the kind of thing I do around needles.  The end result is a design incorporating the first initials of my guys with the moon from Silver Lake's cover.  I truly love it, and it serves as a reminder that you have to work for what you want in life, be patient, stay strong, and nurture the gifts you've been given. 

Friday, December 28, 2012

Christmas in Paradise - Atlantis, Bahamas

We're back from a 5-day trip to the Atlantis resort on Paradise Island, Bahamas.  This year, instead of gifts, we decided to take a dream vacation with our best friends.  We had a total of 2 adult couples and 4 kids, and we all had a blast.  The kids had so much fun, they were absolutely fine with only a few small presents under the tree.  It was great to have family time, friend time, meet new friends, and commune with nature via all the beautiful aquariums at the resort. 

The three hotels surrounding the main water park area are (in order from least expensive to most) The Beach Towers, The Coral Towers, and The Royal Towers (pictured).   

Along the grounds and inside and outside the Towers are various aquariums.  The most amazing one is outside the Royal Towers (of course) and is called The Ruins.  One whole wall of the lowest level of the tower is glass for viewing.  I believe this is a nurse shark hanging out on the sandy bottom.  Believe it or not, you can sign up to snorkel in the enormous tank, with the sharks (harmless), colorful schools of fish, and manta rays (too large to even imagine, see below - that one was about 14 feet long!).  They are all swimming in an undersea world featuring remnants of a lost civilization.  We were not able to do The Ruins snorkel adventure because we did not sign up ahead of time...all slots were filled.  So first piece of advice if you go: sign up for all the activities you are interested in ASAP!  The same applies to reservations at the restaurants.


There are beaches too of course, the one below is the ocean right outside the water park.  The kids had fun in the waves but it was too cold for us!  We took walks instead (we went all the way out to the little tip at the end of the curve!), searching for shells and sea glass.  There's also a man-made beach within the Atlantis complex with a roped-off area for swimming.  In addition, the Dolphin Cay complex has activities you can schedule such as dolphin and sea lion encounters.

Just walking through the water park is an adventure.  There are 11 slides, 11 swimming areas, 2 lazy rivers, and plenty of waterfalls and wildlife along the way.  One of our favorites was the rope bridge over the hammerhead shark pool (no swimming there!)

Plenty of things to keep kids busy during the day, and nighttime brings movies, teen and tween clubs, and shopping.  Extravagant yachts are tied up along the walk to the marina, parades go by regularly, steel drum bands play, and the casino beckons if you're feeling lucky.  We had a little cocktail hour of our own each evening on the balcony and watched the sunset.  Below is a pic my son took of me and my hubby, heading back from the pool the last evening.

Probably the best additional tips I can give for trying to save money at this very expensive resort relate to food and beverages (a case of water at the local grocery store--off the resort property--is still $32!).  Pack as much food as you can in your suitcase.  Crackers, raisins, nuts, cereal, etc.  We had a 1-bedroom suite and that did not have a kitchen, but we reserved a fridge for $15 a day.  Then we went to that infamous grocery store (walking distance from resort) and bought soda, juice, coffee creamer, and wine.  An even better idea would be to have a taxi stop on the way from the airport and buy these things before crossing the bridge to Paradise Island.  We'll know for next time.  Despite the sticker shock, it was an amazing vacation that created memories for a lifetime.

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Vacation in Atlantis - City of Lost Money? Ideas on saving welcome!

This year for Christmas, instead of gifts, we are taking our kids to the Atlantis resort in the Bahamas.  They have always wanted to visit this wonderland of water slides, lazy rivers, teen nightclubs, aquariums, and beaches.  Even though we haven't been shopping at the malls (a BIG plus), this vacation is going to be incredibly expensive.  Apparently even visiting the gym to work off all the amazing 5-star meals will cost $15 a day.  And that's nothing compared to the cost of a "dolphin encounter"...still debating that one.  So this week I'm asking for money-saving tips from anyone who has been.

This waterslide goes through a shark tank!

Here's what we've done so far:  rented a fridge, for $15 a day.  We figured it would result in savings in the end if we stock up with half and half, sodas, yogurt, wine, etc.  Now, where to shop for these things?  I'm bringing a jump rope and a resistance band so I can do my own workout.  A very few activities appear to be free, such as movies, bingo, and the rock climbing wall.  Other suggestions to not be in debt for the rest of 2013?

Friday, December 14, 2012

Friday Quickie: 25 Quick Facts about Kathryn Knight

Today fellow The Wild Rose Press author Sarah Grimm is hosting me for her Friday Quickie...I answered 25 short questions, but some of them really made me think!  Stop by and see my answers on her blog:  Happy Friday!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Next Big Thing - Silver Lake by Kathryn Knight

Thanks to fellow TWRP author Willa Blair for tagging me in The Next Big Thing Blog Hop!  I'm talking about my first novel this week, which released in September.

What is the title of your book?

Silver Lake, which is the name of a fictional lake in Fairfield County, CT, and the setting where the book takes place.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

The idea began through my obsession with ghost stories and movies. I read and watch them all, and one big loophole consistently bothered me. More often than not, the ghost writes some cryptic message somewhere—in a fogged-up mirror, on a wall, in spilled food on the kitchen counter. Of course, this serves as one more clue in the mystery, but what I always wanted to know was—if the ghost can write a message, why not just spell out exactly what it needs? The ghost never says “Look for my body in the basement” or “The butler did it”. And so my idea was born. The ghost in Silver Lake, Brandy, needs help—a certain set of circumstances—to get her message across.

What genre does your book fall under?

We have 2 lines of Paranormal Romance at the Wild Rose Press. Silver Lake is Paranormal Romance - Faery Rose.

Which actors would you choose to play your characters in a movie rendition?

This tv actress Molly Burnett reminds me of Rain
Oh, boy, I don't know many actors...especially the under 25-year-olds! Here's how I picture the characters though:

This hot model reminds me of Jason, a 4th degree black belt 

What is the one-sentence synopsis of your book?

After experiencing haunting nightmares, a group of former friends reunite to try to solve the 5-year-old mystery of their friend’s disappearance; amidst the escalating paranormal activity at the lake house, the two main characters, Rain and Jason, get a second chance at romance.

Where can we get your book?

It's available in both print versions and electronic versions, all buy links are under the Silver Lake tab which is linked here.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of your manuscript?

Two and a half years. I had the story in my head for years before I found the courage to start writing it down. My husband finally convinced me, and I began writing Silver Lake in a notebook during an 8-hour car ride!

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

Comparisons are difficult...but this book has enough mystery and suspense to appeal to both women and men, judging from the reviews and comments I've received. It is also taking off with the YA crowd, although it's not specifically a YA book, it was added to a Goodreads list as a best YA book of 2012.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

My inspiration was really my genuine love for ghost stories mixed with romance.  For me, a mysterious and spooky paranormal element combined with a tension-filled romantic relationship is the perfect recipe for an exciting read.  Basically, I created my favorite type of novel!

What else about your book might pique the reader's interest?

A recent review at Between the Pages had this to say about the hero in Silver Lake: "Jason Lansing makes a wonderful hero, both sharp-edged and gentle, he’s a man neither Rain or I could resist." From my readers, the one thing I hear over and over is "I couldn't put it down" - music to my ears!

 Please visit the next stops on the Next Big Thing Blog Hop:

Lisa Hannah Wells

Tasarla Romaney

 Beth Trissel

Friday, December 7, 2012

Romancing the Novelist Interview - Kathryn Knight

Today I'm excited to be featured on fellow The Wild Rose Press author Christine Elaine Black's blog!  She came up with some great, fresh questions for me in her Romancing the Novelist interview.  Plus, today's her birthday, so stop by and say hello and learn more about Silver Lake and Maximus!

Monday, December 3, 2012

Bad Boys with Good Hearts - Kathryn Knight

Who doesn't love a sexy bad boy with a hidden heart of gold?  It's a common theme in romance novels, TV dramas, and screenplays.  There's just something intoxicating about a hot, dangerous hero whose actions reveal an inner gentle kindness.  Bad boys are often misunderstood, forced into a role chosen for them by circumstances out of their control.  But there is still a very real risk involved in getting close to them--and that's part of the thrill.

Here are my Top Five Favorite Fictional Bad Boys.  While their characters embody the perfect tough guys with redeemable qualities, it doesn't hurt that the actors portraying them are smoking hot!

5.  Anson Mount as Cullen Bohannon, a former Confederate soldier working on the country's first transcontinental railroad in the show Hell on Wheels.  Intent on avenging the rape and murder of his wife, his true motive is to discover the identities of the former Union soldiers responsible so he can kill them.

4.  Norman Reedus as Daryl Dixon, the proficient zombie-killer on The Walking Dead.  Daryl had a traumatic childhood filled with abuse and neglect, and consequently grew into an emotionally-detached loner.  But the post-apocalyptic scenario brings Daryl into the fold of survivors, who value him as a leader and protector, and his character's true compassion begins to emerge.

3.  Josh Holloway as James "Sawyer" Ford, the "anti-hero" of Lost.  Sawyer witnesses the murder-suicide of his parents after they experience financial ruin at the hands of a conman.  Sawyer becomes a conman himself in order to fund his quest for revenge.  On the island, he alienates himself from the other crash survivors with his manipulative, selfish, and sarcastic behavior.  But eventually he falls in love with Kate and begins to show his sensitive side.

2.  Damon Salvatore, the dark older brother on The Vampire Diaries, is brilliantly portrayed by Ian Somerhalder.  A love triangle in the 1800s between Damon, his brother Stefan, and a beautiful vampire begins to tear the two brothers apart...when Stefan turns into a vampire and essentially forces Damon to turn as well, Damon vows to torment Stefan.  However, he always has Stefan's back when outside danger threatens.  When the brothers find themselves in love with the same woman again, Damon fights to be honorable and steer her toward the 'good' brother.  More on Ian here.

1.  Charlie Hunnam is Jax Teller, the President of the outlaw motorcycle club Sons of Anarchy.  Jax's childhood was intertwined with the club: his father founded the club, and his mother married another prominent member when an "accident" left her a widow.  But with the club comes a culture of violence, crime, and blood feuds.  Jax has finally started a family with his first and only love - his high school sweetheart - and he desperately wants to protect his wife and sons from the dangers of his lifestyle.  But he can't remove himself from the club entirely.  If he abandons his father's dream of a group of brothers who live outside the rules of society, not only will the club deteriorate further, but Jax will lose his opportunity to bring his father's murderer to justice. (P.S. - more on Charlie Hunnam and his lookalike, Travis Fimmel of Vikings, here).

Had to include this pic too!
My hero in SILVER LAKE has a bad boy streak as well--despite being kind and caring, he is also protective and strong.  Jason is a 4th degree black belt in Karate...but will that help him keep his first love safe from a desperate ghost?  While I don't have a picture of an actor for Jason, I do have this hot martial arts guy who will serve nicely: 

So that's my list!  Who are your favorite bad boys with good hearts?

PS More pics on my Pinterest Board!