I’m excited to introduce to you Rae Knightly, an indie author from British Columbia whose new but growing science fiction series is quickly harnessing the attention of young readers around the world.
Q. Welcome Rae! Please tell us a little bit about yourself and your work.
A. Thanks Shana.My name is Rae Knightly and I’m the author of The Alien Skill Series.
As an only child, I would turn to books for companionship. Sometimes I would prefer the worlds depicted in books rather than the real world. But once I was old enough, I set out on my own adventures and traveled to Europe, South Africa, Mexico, Scotland, Arizona and ended up in Canada with my husband and two children. These travels inspired stories in me and I realized that they, in turn, could provide companionship to new generations of readers. That’s when I decided it was time for me to sit and write.
I opted to begin with a short adventure story, which has now turned into The Alien Skill Series. It currently comprises three books, with another three planned for 2019.
Book one is called Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall. Book two, Ben Archer and the Alien Skill, was an Amazon bestseller in New Releases in September, 2018. The publishing date for book three, Ben Archer and the Moon Paradox, is February 1, 2019. Over 6,000 readers have discovered the series since the first book came out in March, 2018.
Q. What sort of books are these?
A. My stories mostly dip into Earth-based science-fiction, though some books I have in mind will fall under the fantasy genre.
The Alien Skill Series was originally written for teenagers, but, seeing as the books contain purely family-friendly adventure, people ranging from ages twelve to sixty-five have enjoyed them.
Q. WHY do you write what you write?
A. I remember the joy of immersing myself in riveting stories as a teenager. I forgot about the world and could not be budged until I had turned the last page of a book.
I hope to offer the reader the same kind of experience. I don’t claim to be the next Shakespeare or Hemingway. My main aim is for the reader to have fun, forget their troubles for a moment, and come out feeling like they went on an adventure.
Q. That’s a wonderful reason to write for kids or for anyone. So what part of the world do you call home now?
A. Vancouver, located on the West coast of Canada, has been my home for the past eight years. Before that, I lived in Mexico City. Before that, I lived in Brussels, Belgium. Before that, I lived in Cape Town, South Africa.
The inspiration for The Alien Skill Series, however, was born here in the fir-covered mountains and wild, broken shores of the Pacific Ocean. People who know the area will easily recognize some of Greater Vancouver’s neighborhoods and landmarks, such as Deep Cove, Lighthouse Park and Granville Island.
Q. That’s fascinating. All of those places you’ve lived have probably given you a wider sense of the world than many of us have and contributed to your stories in that way. On another subject, can you tell us something that you’re proud of in regard to being an author?
A. For many years, my aim was to prove to myself that I was capable of writing something from beginning to end. It took me over forty years to get to this point! I’m extremely proud to have reached this goal in my life, especially because now I am able to repeat the process over and over again. The secret is to be focused and dedicated to one project at a time.
The other thing I’m proud of is that readers I have never met before have read my stories and enjoyed them. This has prompted me to write more and has given me hope that I DO have something valuable to offer.
Q. It is true how valuable the responses of readers can be in terms of motivating us to keep doing what we’re doing or to switch gears. Can you tell us what your greatest challenge has been?
A.My biggest challenge, by far, has been marketing my books.
I originally thought that writing a book was the hardest part of the process. You type THE END, make your book available on Amazon, and wait…
But no. That is actually the easy part. The hardest part comes AFTER writing the book and can take as much time as actually reaching that final full stop.
When you decide to self-publish, you must take it upon yourself to learn the marketing aspects of publishing, which was something I didn’t realize when I decided to go down this path. A traditionally published author will have an army of professionals to do this for him/her.
As a creative person, it takes some adjustment to realize that you need to treat your books as a business and that you have to learn to navigate dozens of websites before you can even dream of finding your first target reader.
Yet marketing is crucial because it is the link that allows readers to find their next favorite book and the author to find his/her target readers.
Q. Well said and I couldn’t agree with you more! What are your future plans in terms of your writing?
A.I hope to put many more stories on (virtual) paper: a desert city with a secret, a lost treasure in space, a brother who vanishes…
But for now, The Alien Skill Series has my full attention. I am planning three new books in the series for 2019.
These are the tentative titles:
- Ben Archer and the Hidden Realm (Book 4)
- Ben Archer and the Star Rider (Book 5)
- Ben Archer and the Earth’s Son (Book 6)
Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall
A HUMAN BOY WITH AN ALIEN POWER.
“The thing is, it wasn’t meteors that fell into the woods that night. It was alien spacecraft.”
Government agents have taken every precaution to cover up the truth about an event dubbed The Cosmic Fall: when UFOs crash near a peaceful town, the media are led to believe it was fallen meteors. But the agents weren’t counting on young Ben Archer being a witness. Nor were they counting on there being a lone survivor of the crash: an alien man called Mesmo.
Thus begins a police hunt to capture the boy and the alien, as, among the agents, hides Mesmo’s treacherous enemy who quietly spurs on the investigation.
And although the destinies of boy and alien become inextricably linked, one question hovers above their unlikely friendship: why did the aliens come to Earth in the first place?
“Wouldn’t I just love to have the skill! The plot unraveling has been excellent, realistic, keeping me intrigued all the time, the characters are well defined with a wonderful in-depth. All in all, a great rush, that kept me on my toes throughout the book. Looking forward to the next installment!” ~Five-Star Goodreads Review
Amazon ebook link: Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall
Amazon paperback book link: Ben Archer and the Cosmic Fall
Q. That is fantastic and I can’t wait to see how the next books turn out! Where can people keep up with you online?
A. I’d love to meet your readers. Here are some places where we can connect.
Web site: https://www.raeknightly.com/
READERS, LOOK FOR THESE PROMOTIONS to kick off the launch of Rae’s upcoming release, the third in The Alien Skill series, Ben Archer and the Moon Paradox. It’s coming out Feb. 1, 2019. You’ll be able catch up on the series very quickly with these deals!
For those that are wondering, The Alien Skill series books should be read in order. The book numbers are easy to find on the front covers.
Thanks for spending time with us today, Rae. We wish you all the best with your current and upcoming books!
Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. Thanks. And thanks, as always, for reading! ~Rosco’s Reading Room