Monday, July 7, 2014

Jaye Knight is here to join the resistance, talk about fantasy, and much more

With us today is Jaye Knight who has also has written as Molly Evangeline.
Jaye L. Knight
HA: Jaye, welcome to Homeschool Authors.
Jaye: Thank you so much for having me! I’m always happy to be part of events that involve other homeschool authors.

HA: What inspired Resistance?
Jaye: Most of my writing projects over the years have been inspired by movies or TV shows, but for Resistance, it was a book—DragonQuest by Donita K. Paul. I was reading along and came to a scene where my favorite character was found out to be half-blooded, something that was frowned upon in that story world. For some reason, even though I’d already written about half-blooded characters in the past, this particular scene really sparked my imagination. Within hours, I had all kinds of ideas for my main character Jace, who is a half-blooded former slave/gladiator. The rest of the story developed around him.

HA: What is the most encouraging review of the series you have received so far?
Jaye: That’s a really, really tough question. I’ve received so many awesome reviews, and every one of them is so encouraging. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate them. If I had to pick just one, I’d probably choose the one by my friend and fellow author, Faith Blum. Here’s a small bit of it:
“Resistance is a Christian Fantasy book with no magic (good or bad). I personally do not usually enjoy Fantasy, even when it is Christian. Yes, I have read, and enjoyed, The Chronicles of Narnia and The Lord of the Rings, but even with each of those series, I had some issues with some of the elements of the stories from a theological perspective. But, that is a discussion for another time.
I contend that Jaye L. Knight has written a Christian Fantasy book that can be enjoyed by Christians and non-Christians alike and is, in my opinion, even better than the aforementioned series’.”
Considering she doesn’t usually enjoy fantasy, to receive such a glowing review from her was especially encouraging.

HA: You also craft jewelry, much of it inspired by your books. What has been your favorite piece so far and why?
Jaye: I’d have to say my pen nib writer necklace with the word charm. I just love wearing the one I made for myself. It’s so perfect for writers. Plus I have several different colors and a couple different word charms available, so it’s fun to customize.

HA: What do you plan to read this summer?
Jaye: I’m currently reading through Books of the Infinite by R.J. Larson again. I’d also like to read more of Tracy Higley’s books. She’s a fantastic historical author, and I have a few of her books on my Kindle just waiting to be read (among many, many others). One book I know for sure I have to get my hands on at some point is Storm Siren by Mary Weber, which comes out in August. The cover alone is amazing! But then I’m partial to the fact that it’s blue.

HA: What are some of your favorite books of all time?
Jaye: Books of the Infinite is right up there, pretty much sharing the number one spot with The Lord of the Rings. I just love that series. Fantasy books are my favorite. Though I’m behind on his latest releases, I’ll read anything by Wayne Thomas Batson. I love The Door Within. I also really love historical fiction. Karen Witemeyer is my favorite historical author. Even if I don’t particularly love some of her characters, her writing is so delightful, I’ll enjoy the book anyway. To Win Her Heart, Short Straw Bride, A Cowboy Unmatched, and Stealing the Preacher are my favorites of hers.

HA: Can you give us a sneak peek into your work-in-progress?
Jaye: I’m currently writing book 4 of Ilyon Chronicles, which is in really rough shape, so how about a sneak peek from book 2, The King’s Scrolls, which I am currently editing for publication? This is the introduction scene of one of my favorite new characters in the book.

A few silver and copper coins clinked into Timothy’s calloused hand—little more than half what he usually earned for a day’s work. He frowned and raised questioning eyes to his employer who almost towered over him. Harold shifted, balking before he said gruffly, “You’re too small to do everything that needs doing around here.”
The words stung Timothy’s dignity. Sure, he was a bit shorter than the average man, but he was just as strong and hardworking. He’d slaved for Harold for years. With an effort to swallow down any trace of bitterness, he replied quietly and evenly, “Sir, I do everything you ask of me.”
Harold mumbled under his breath before coming out with something intelligible. “Well, it isn’t enough.”
Timothy held the large man’s hard, immoveable gaze. This had nothing to do with his abilities or work ethic. This was something else—something he had no power to change.
Harold’s eyes narrowed. “You’re just gonna have to accept the pay or . . . look for work elsewhere.”
Timothy closed his fingers around the coins. It would be so easy to walk out and not return. Temptation called to do just that, but he knew better. He turned for the door.
“I’ll be in tomorrow,” he said over his shoulder.
A heavy sigh rose within him as he sensed the smug look that followed him. Grabbing his bag, he walked out of the mining supply warehouse and faced the bleak view of the dingy buildings and crowded streets of Dunlow—one of Graylin Valley’s hundreds of mining towns. And like most, it was dirty and gray—all rock and not a speck of greenery in sight. Timothy had never even set eyes on a full-grown tree. Any that might have taken root had been felled long ago for mine shoring.
Just across the street from the warehouse, the gathering of homes and shops looked as though they’d slid down from the mountain slopes, settling in cramped, haphazard rows along the narrow valley floor. A perpetual cloud of smoke shadowed the town from the constant burning of the ore smelters and coated everything from the buildings to the inhabitants’ lungs in thick grime. Timothy always longed for the cool, pristine air higher in the mountains.

HA: What should readers expect when they read Resistance? 
Jaye: If I were to sum it up in one sentence, I’d say it an interesting combination of medieval fantasy, ancient Rome, dystopian, and Robin Hood. This is a result of inspiration coming from a crazy array of places. In my initial planning stage of the whole series, I never knew where my next spark of inspiration would come from, but God tied all those random bits together to give me this story. One of the central themes of Resistance is religious persecution, much like the early church experienced. Considering the nature of the subject, some of the story gets pretty intense, but one of my biggest goals is to show how God works even in the darkest circumstances, and that even when nothing seems to be going right, He works all things together for good. I also hope readers will come away encouraged to stand strong in what they believe and know to be right even when there’s opposition to it.

HA: Do you have any final thoughts?

Jaye: I’d just like to encourage my fellow authors, both homeschooled and not, and say never to forget to let God work in your writing. God gave me all the inspiration for Ilyon Chronicles—there is no doubt about that. I never would have seen myself working on a project this big and complex a few years ago. There have been times along the way where I’ve been discouraged and wondered how I was going to finish, would things even fit together and make sense, would all the books be long enough, etc. It’s times like this I have to shake myself and ask, “If God gave me this story to write, would He really abandon me to try to finish it on my own?” Absolutely not. God would never abandon you after giving you a job to do for His glory. That applies to all of life, including our writing. 

Get Resistance for only $1.99 this week. Read it, review it, and enter to win it!


  1. What a great interview! I love your reply to "any last thoughts", Jaye! Such inspiring, encouraging words!! I've been duly reminded, so thank you!! :) :)
    God is definitely working through you. I'm sure the whole Illyon Chronicles will be amazing; Resistance sure was!

  2. I loved the interview, Jaye! And I really like the excerpt. :D

    1. Glad you enjoyed it! I'm so excited to share more of my characters' stories.