Tell us about yourself and how many books you have written.
My name is Kellie Knight. I performed in theater arts programs as a child and all throughout college. I would write and star in my own plays in what was then called “Junior High”, so I have always had a passion for writing. I was a public speaker in elementary and always the kid in the group/family photo who had the pose that stood out the most. I was really great at memorizing lines and starred in a play that included a cast of myself and 1 other character. It was a great experience, required a ton of lines to memorize, but it showed me the importance of dedication and perseverance. My Mom has always been inspirational and supportive of everything I attempt to accomplish. She’s amazing.
I love my family and we have some teenagers. The good kind – smart, pretty and they stay out of trouble most of the time. Their awesome Dad, (Len) and I like them on most days. The youngest child is LJ, the main character in my books. He is funny and charming. We like him too. I have a unique family and everyone has some type of talent or skill from playing guitar, making beats, playing keyboard, drawing, technical/electrical stuff, acting and of course, writing. My youngest child is autistic, but we don’t allow autism to control us. It gets tough sometimes, but we are tougher. I started my own publishing company and I wrote a children’s book series about a little autistic knight. I have published 2 books to date, but the others are anxious to be released.
Some other cool people I like are my best friends. I have known them since elementary school. They participated in one of my plays, but we performed together in some elementary dance and choir performances as well. Being friends for so long shows our loyalty. We have remained friends from like elementary, stuck together through Junior High and High School, went to different colleges, but always kept in touch. My Golden Girls are the best. I love them…they are family too.
What is the name of your latest book and what inspired it?
LJ the Little Knight vs. Billy the Bully is my latest book. It was inspired by my son, who was the main character in the first book: LJ the Little Knight: The Battle of Autism. I love working with children and since LJ had some extra challenges and does interesting things throughout the day, I thought, “Hmmmm,” this would make a good story and help me spread autism awareness.
Do you have any unusual writing habits?
Well, although I type everything, I remember watching movies of writers who would hate what they wrote and just rip the page off the typewriter and ball it up. So sometimes, I just ball up paper as if I disliked something I wrote and have to start over. It is weird, because we can highlight and delete or hit the backspace button now. Funny how times have changed. I am still old school.
I have to wait until the kids are asleep to work quietly. I rush to get things done before Jimmy Fallon comes on and I can’t write again until Jimmy Fallon goes off. As soon as I hear The Roots playing, I just stop what I am doing.
I also must have hot coffee. No matter what time it is and I am up writing, I will keep reheating the coffee. I believe it gives me power.
What authors, or books have influenced you?
Maya Angelou, “Wouldn’t Take Nothing for My Journey Now”
Paulo Coelho, “The Alchemist”
Don Miguel Ruiz, “The Four Agreements”
What are you working on now?
I have books 3 and 4 of the series already written. I just have to fine-tune them and of course get the artwork completed. I want to work on commercials. I love funny commercials. My family and I are constantly making silly outtakes. Who knows, maybe one day they will become something.
I am also editing some work for a few other writers, so timing is everything and everything takes time.
Oh yeah, I will be reading my books at a couple of schools for Read Across America on March 2nd. Something new for me, but I am really looking forward to it.
What is your best method or website when it comes to promoting your books?
Social Media – mostly Facebook and Twitter, but I feel that you can promote anywhere. I like to go to different events and hand out flyers as well as stickers featuring my characters to the kids. I also have some YouTube videos I have uploaded that help me promote the books. There is a commercial I made that my kiddos recorded for me and I say the title of my book in Spanish. It is kinda goofy, but I leave it up because it makes me laugh and makes me work harder.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Write about what you are passionate about. Edit, edit, edit. Ask questions often if you are not sure about something. It’s okay to laugh at yourself. Sometimes the ideas you think are ridiculous end up working out. It is okay to see what other authors are doing, but if you use like a marketing idea of theirs, give it your own little twist. Being different and unique is a good thing.
What is the best advice you have ever heard?
Whenever I felt down about anything or I thought that a simple issue, like a zit was like the end of the world, my Dad, Raymond would say, “Well, that beats having a war.” So it really wasn’t the end of the world and things could always be a lot worse.
Also, one of my college professors, Dr. Lily Small would say the lyrics to a song and it sticks with me to this day: “Hallelujah Anyhow. Never ever let your troubles get you down. Oh, when life’s troubles come your way, lift your head up high and say, Hallelujah Anyhow.” In other words, keep it pushing.
What are you reading now?
Breathe, by Iris the Dream Whisperer
Autism Every Day: Over 150 Strategies Lived and Learned by a Professional Autism Consultant with 3 Sons on the Spectrum, by Alyson Beytien
Roku TV Instructional Manual
What’s next for you as a writer?
Naturally, I want to finish publishing the rest of the books in my series. I have always had a passion for making smoothies and now have noticed that I love cooking, so writing a cookbook would be cool. I’d like to find out more about writing commercials. The Super Bowl is in a few days, so I will be watching…especially the commercials. Maybe that will spark my inspiration.
If you were going to be stranded on a desert island and allowed to take 3 or 4 books with you what books would you bring?
1. The Bible
2. The Alchemist
3. Obama : The Historic Presidency of Barack Obama – 2,920 Days
4. The Greatest Music Stories Never Told: 100 Tales from Music History to Astonish, Bewilder, and Stupefy (The Greatest Stories Never Told)