Interview (& Giveaway): Karen Duvall, author of Darkest Knight

I’m thrilled to have Karen Duvall on the blog today! Karen is the author of Knight’s Curse, and the followup, Darkest Knight, which just came out! Karen was kind enough to answer a few of my questions and we’ve also got a copy of Darkest Knight up for grabs, so be sure to check out the giveaway details at the bottom of the post!

Please welcome Karen to the blog!

Karen, it says in your bio that you’ve had a love of storytelling from age 3. What inspired you to finally decide to take the plunge and write your first novel?
I’ve always enjoyed writing stories and have been writing short ones since I was in grade school. The idea of writing a full novel intimidated me, but it also intrigued me. However, for years I was too chicken to give it a try. Haha! Finally, in 1991 or 1992, I wrote my first novel-length manuscript. It was semi-autobiographical and a mystery. Sort of. It turned out okay and got me my first agent, but it wasn’t good enough to be published. I still had a lot to learn back then.

How did you celebrate when you found out you’d be published?
I didn’t do much, actually. Now that I’ve moved away from Colorado where all my writer friends are, the only way to celebrate with them was through email, which I did with gusto! But that’s really it. My husband and I didn’t have the money to go out to dinner, but I think we ordered a pizza a couple of weeks later.

When you began writing Knight’s Curse, did you know you wanted it to be a series, or did you just plan to see where Chalice took you?
I knew I wanted it to be a series from the start. In fact, my first attempt at the first book had to be rewritten after I was halfway through because it stalled out. I had too many plot threads going on. I knew at that point there were plenty of stories yet to be told about Chalice and the Hatchet Knights.

Your newest book in the series, Darkest Knight, just came out! Can you tell us a bit about it?
Of course! At the end of the last book, Chalice finally ends the curse that bonded her to the gargoyle Shui, but it cost Aydin, the man she loves, his humanity. In Darkest Knight, Chalice is determined to make Aydin human again and she’s eager to join her sister knights in the Order of the Hatchet. But she soon learns that someone has killed almost all the knights and only a handful remain. It’s up to Chalice to track down the killer, and Aydin, who’s a gargoyle now, joins in the quest.

I love the rich and unique world you’ve created with Knight’s Curse and Darkest Knight. What are some of your biggest literary influences?
There are quite a few that have inspired me. I’m a huge fan of Clive Barker, who’s not only an incredible storyteller, but his writing is so lyrical it makes you want to cry. He’s written horror, but he’s also written what he calls “fantastica.” Neil Gaiman is another one. His NEVERWHERE was so totally original I couldn’t get enough. That’s what I really like in the fiction I read, originality. I want the author to take me places I’ve never been to before. Oh, and one more: Liz Williams, whose Inspector Chen series was published by Nightshade Books. The Chen books are some of the most imaginative stories I’ve ever read. The author is sheer genius.

What is your favorite part of writing fantasy?
I like to push boundaries, go places where no man, woman or child has gone before. (queue Startrek theme song) I enjoy putting ordinary people in bizarre and surrealistic situations, or vice versa, and then watch how they react. I’d like to say the characters write themselves, but that’s nowhere near the truth. They just produce the sparks that give them life, then I take it from there. Supernatural characters aren’t easily understood, and that’s a challenge. But I love it!

What are you reading now?
Right now I’m rereading some old favorites. I read across all genres to experience the flavor of a variety of styles and themes. I like mysteries and romance in addition to fantasy, and right now I’m indulging myself with an older Susan Elizabeth Phillips novel. Her skill at writing engaging characters is amazing. I don’t read as much as I used to, though. I’m too busy writing.

If you could have drinks with anyone from the literary world (living or dead), who would you choose?
Oh, that’s hard. I think I’d love to have a sit-down with Stephen King. I admire the heck out of him, and he understands writers. I feel like he could divulge a few secrets he hasn’t revealed yet and I want to be the first to know what they are.

When you’re not busy writing, how do you like to spend your free time?
I’m a graphic designer so I work a lot. And it’s work I enjoy doing. It’s a blessing to have the freedom to be creative in two divergent jobs. Now that self-publishing is on the rise, I’m seeing more demand for custom covers, and I really like designing book covers for authors.

Is there any news of upcoming projects or events that you’d like to share with us?
As a matter of fact I’m deep into a novella I’m writing for Harlequin’s End Of the World Anthology. It’s a slight departure for me because it’s more dystopian than urban fantasy, but still has fantasy elements. My story is about the aftermath of the biggest solar storm to hit the planet in 2012. My heroine is a storm chaser who can predict storms. The anthology will include the novellas of two other Harlequin authors and is scheduled for publication in 2013.
Also, I’ll be on the faculty for the Pikes Peak Writers Conference in Colorado Springs next month, where I’ll be teaching two workshops and speaking on a panel.

Keep up with Karen: Website | Twitter
Read my review of Knight’s Curse
Read my review of Darkest Knight

1. You MUST fill out the form below (lots of chances for extra entries!)
2. Giveaway is for 1 copy of Darkest Knight by Karen Duvall to 1 winner
3. Giveaway is open to US/Canadian addresses ONLY
4. Must include a valid email address with your entry
5. You must enter on or before 3/30/12
6. Giveaway book generously provide by Harlequin.
7. Please see my Giveaway Policy.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Darkest Knight:
“Betray your sisters or your lover. You choose.”
After the warrior she loves saved her from a murderous gargoyle, Chalice watched helplessly as Aydin turned into a gargoyle himself. Now, free from the curse that enslaved her, Chalice pledges to join her sister knights in The Order of the Hatchet—and do whatever it takes to regain Aydin’s humanity…and his love. What she encounters within their hallowed sanctuary is pure intrigue.

Someone—or something—is murdering her sisters in their sleep, provoking fear and suspicion among the order. Meanwhile, Aydin, unable to stay away, starts haunting Chalice’s dreams, urging her onward. Ultimately, Chalice will be faced with an agonizing choice—one that will tear away at her newfound identity and force her to choose between duty and desire….


  1. If you do get to hang out with Stephen King at some point, drop me a line OK? My wife is a gigantic fan of his and she’d love to tag along. Thanks!

  2. FYI: the pre-made tweet references a giveaway of INVISIBLE SUN by David Macinnis Gill. Sorry, I didn’t notice it till I had already tweeted.

  3. Victoria Zumbrum

    Thanks for the giveaway. I would love to read this book.

  4. I enjoyed reading the interview and learning more about the gal behind the book. That’s funny that you were worried about writing a full length novel and that you celebrated its publication with pizza and emails. I’m impressed with authors who make it to publication.

    I look forward to reading your latest book and it sounds good based on the blurb and the review I read.

    Thanks for the interview and giveaway opportunity.

  5. I’ve had Knight’s Curse on my wish list but haven’t had a chance to pick it up yet. I guess I better get on that, since now there’s Darkest Knight coming.

  6. This book sounds like my kind of read! Thank you for the chance to win a copy, and I’ll be adding this to my TBR list just incase =)

  7. The book sounds interesting. Another book for my TBR pile. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Congrats on the release! Sounds like a great series.

  9. This series sounds really good!
    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

  10. Thanks so much, everyone, for stopping by! Hugs!!! 🙂

  11. I can’t wait to read this installment of your awesome series, Karen! I’m also looking forward to reading your dystopian story in the anthology you mentioned! I like when authors cross genres, especially when I already like what they write – it opens up whole new avenues of stories!

    • Thanks, Julie! I’m really enjoying writing this novella I’m working on right now. It explores a whole different aspect of fantasy that has a terrifying “this could really happen” feel to it.

  12. I haven’t read either of the books but they both sound great. They will definitely be on my TBR list.

    sweetreaderma at comcast dot net

  13. I haven’t read either of these. They sound great. Thanks for the giveaway.

  14. I enjoyed the interview and hearing more about your literary inspirations. The series sounds good.

  15. Thanks so much, Kristen, Viki and bn! I hope you enjoy the books. 🙂

  16. Thanks for the interview and giveaway. This series looks great!
    msmjb65 AT gmail DOT com

  17. I would love to read the books. Thanks for the interview. I would love to talk to Stephen King and I’m not even a writer.

  18. Off to add your Harlequin’s End Of the World Anthology to my wishlist!

Comments are closed