Friday, December 01, 2006

Meet Dakota Knight!

Dakota Knight is the debut author of the thriller SOLA as well as being the driving force behind the Blogging In Black collective blog. She was gracious enough to take time from her busy schedule to answer questions about her new book and her road to publication. SOLA is also the featured title for December on MystNoir. Welcome Dakota!

1. Q: What appeals to you about writing thrillers?

I think thrillers are the perfect entertainment vehicle in the publishing industry. I love the idea of taking readers on a ride. By writing thrillers, I hope to craft stories that readers can’t stop reading until they’ve reached the final page.

2. Q: Was it hard for you to get published?

I wouldn’t say it was hard, but it was long. It’s the process the majority of writers should expect. I sought an agent, had some rejections, and then found my current agent. Then, I had to edit my manuscript so it would be presentable to publishers. It took about six months for SOLA to find a home with Urban Books. Plus, tack on another year before it hit bookstores. The waiting is the hardest. But as a writer, I am used to it.

3. Q: Describe your debut novel, SOLA, and how you came to write it.

SOLA centers on a female assassin, Sola Nichols. She has risen through the ranks of her boss’s organization to become his top killer. When Sola makes a fatal mistake while taking care of one of her boss’s rivals, the huntress becomes the hunted, and she must utilize all of her skills to survive. While she attempts to save her own life, she reflects back on the past and the events that led to her becoming an assassin. For Sola has a secret, a secret that will lead to an epic encounter with a killer she never thought she would have to face.

My initial thoughts about SOLA stemmed from the movie, The Professional, with Jean Reno, Gary Oldman, and Natalie Portman. I wanted to explore what circumstances could make a female an assassin, and eventually Sola’s story emerged. From concept to completion, it took several years.

4. Q: How much research was involved in writing your book?

I spent the most time researching the places in the novel. Almost all of them exist or existed. When I was younger, I spent time in some of those places, and I had to revisit them in order to write about them. Some things I gathered from experience. And, of course, I tapped in to my imagination for the rest.

5. Q: Do you write in any other genre?

Yes, I write in other genres. I write in the science fiction, romance, and young adult genres.

6. Q: What is your writing schedule like?

I try to write whenever I can. I’m most productive at night because I can sit in front of my computer without a lot of interruptions. Most of the time, I write from an outline, which helps me a lot, especially when it comes to the dreaded “writer’s block.” At a minimum, I try to write 1,000 words per day, but I often write more.

7. Q: Can you tell us what you're working on now?

I’m putting the finishing touches on what will be my second released novel. It’s imperative that I get that in by December 1st. I’m also working on a mystery, which I will complete by the end of the year. I am also outlining another thriller that I’m very excited about. I hope my agent and publisher will be excited about it as I am.

8. Q: Do you have a website or blog?

I have both. My website,, was recently nominated for a Black Web Award for Best Personal Website by an Individual. The URL for my blog is I am also a regular columnist for Blogging in Black, the largest collective blog of Black writing professionals on the Net. You can read my commentary on the 1st of each month at

9. Q: What good books have you read recently that you'd like to recommend?

I recently finished Great Sky Woman by Steven Barnes. All I have to say is WOW! I highly recommend it.

10.Q: What advice do you have for aspiring writers?

Keep writing. It’s the best thing an aspiring writer can do. Don’t send out your work until you have a completed manuscript. I would also join a great organization like the International Black Writers Association. It’s a great place to network and hone your craft. There’s so much information out there, and it’s good to have a one-stop shop to get what you need to become a better writer.

Thanks, Dakota!

Thank you, MystNoir and Angela Henry for your support!!!


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