If you’ve been following this Spotlight Interview series of Indie Author awesomeness, then you’ve already joined us in getting to know Porsha Deun, erotica author of the Love Lost series and Ryan O’Laughlin, experimental horror author and illustrator.
However, if you’re just diving in here then I highly encourage you to catch up on all of these wonderful Independent artist talents! And be sure to keep tuning in because there are more authors of various genres on the way!
This week we’re talking with Indie Author Austin Knox. Austin is a really interesting talent – he’s not only a poet and lyricist, but a seasoned musician, photographer, and a pursuer of historical and genealogical knowledge. He’s living proof that creatives can and do follow multiple passions and experience personal fulfillment and successes along the way.
Like most of my Indie Author acquaintances, I first met Austin through Instagram. He graciously accepted my request for a highlight interview by following my open invitation to published indie authors to take part in this Spotlight series.
As some of you may know, I’m a writer also, though currently unpublished, and I enjoy connecting with other writers on social media. (Connect with me here on Instagram – Holisticfox.)
I am so inspired by the independent authoring and publishing journey that I see so many passionate creatives taking – and they encourage me along my own journey! If you’re an aspiring author, perhaps their words and shared experiences here will encourage you to keep traveling this empowered path as well!
Austin Knox is an American Author, Historian, Certified Genealogist, Musician and Father who currently resides in Tampa Florida. He currently has a number of soon to be released titles along with his My Life in Poetry series (see below).
“My Life In Poetry Volume 1 is a compilation of poetry and lyrics written over the course of 25 years by the author Austin Knox.
The “My Life In Poetry” series takes the reader deep into the thoughts and range of emotions of the author Austin Knox. From his early childhood discovery of his anxiety disorder, his 1st love and 1st heartbreak, marriage and divorce, the birth of his daughter and so much more.Join him on a journey so real and emotional that you will feel completely connected to the events of his life.”
The Beach House (Available this fall)
The Red Defender Origins Book 1 (Available this fall)
Favorite Quote: “The past is the past, IF you leave it in the past” – Me
What life experience first led you to know that you are a writer?
When I was 7 years old I developed major anxiety issues. I didn’t know the words “Anxiety”, “Panic Attack”. But I was experiencing them. I started writing down exactly what I felt in a private notebook that I kept hidden. After a few years my best friend helped me to realize that what I naturally wrote was in a poetic form. Some time passed and I started making music that’s when I said something that my friends quote constantly: “The best songs are just poetry to music”. That moment was really when I realized that I had always been and always will be a writer.
How do you come up with your ideas?
That depends. Most of the time I draw from my own experiences, both good and bad. If I am writing a poem or a song then I just start writing and let my emotions flow. If I am writing a story, no matter the genre, then I write about people. I create a person and build an extensive backstory for who they are, what they like and dislike, their secrets. No matter if I will ever feature those details specifically in the story or not. From there I drop the characters into a situation or setting and just let the normal realistic responses happen as those characters.
You mentioned before that you make music. Can you tell us about that?
Yes I worked as musician making both my own music and producing/writing for other artists. I play around 30 instruments. I have had a few bands and released solo music over the years. I did all that successfully for around 10 years before pursuing my study of history, genealogy, and publishing my own writings full time.
I love music and several people close to me are or have been musicians, but I don’t think I could even name 30 instruments – LOL! That’s true talent.
What is a typical example of your daily writing practice?
I have easily 500 notebooks throughout my house, at any given moment I write down an idea, a word, a sentence. Sometimes I will be walking into a room and get hit with an idea, grab a notebook and write a complete poem or song in a few minutes.
What would you say is the most common trap new authors fall into?
Not being themselves. Don’t try to be another Author. Everybody is inspired by somebody but don’t try to be them, be you.
How do you publish your works?
I self publish. I have been working with Amazon as of late and its been a good partnership.
What’s your preferred method for recording your work prior to publishing – is there a particular software that is your go-to? How do you handle things like book covers?
When it comes to writing, I always write pen to paper. Once I decide to actually publish then I transcribe everything digitally in Microsoft Word so I can use that base file to edit later depending on the requirements of the publisher or printer.
When I’m recording audio books, which I will be releasing audio versions of all my upcoming books, then I use Audacity to record. It’s the best program for audio recording and I recommend it highly for anyone who is working in the music industry or podcasts or audio book readings.
For book covers, it depends. Photoshop is a great program for putting things together. I am a photographer as well so I use my own pictures for my covers. I like to have things be more simplistic when it comes to the covers, an example would be for my new Poetry/Lyric compilation book I’ve released the cover is a photo that I took of a bench that I go to in a park to think and write.
I love Photoshop! I recently started a PS tips series here on HFC. I know a lot of people suggest Indie Authors should always hire outside professionals to do their cover work, but – like you – I actually enjoy Photography and design so I prefer to do my own cover work as well.
I think your choice of photo work for your Poetry and Lyric compilation book really speaks further to your own creative thought process and therefore better illustrates where the writing will take the audience (better than someone other than you could).
How do you research for your writing?
If I am writing a Historical book then I dive into the time period that I am writing about, and if I don’t have experience with that time then I try to learn everything possible. If it’s a fictional book then I read about people, random people, I read my own poems or journals, or journals of people from history. I try to just decide who this person is that I am writing about and like I mentioned earlier I build them into a real person.
Why did you choose to write in your particular field or genre?
Well, being an Historian and Genealogist, I love writing about those fields. But I have also written science fiction, dramas, children’s books, etc.
What is your latest work about?
I am working on a dramatic novel that I came up with the idea for 10 years ago in the form of a poem. That poem that I wrote features as the core of the story that I am writing. The novel is called: The Beach House, and it is scheduled to be released in the fall of 2019.
What’s the most important thing you could tell readers about your book/work before they read it?
Be open, my work is focused on helping people to connect to their own emotions to hopefully help people deal with difficult things.
What is one of the most crucial experiences from your life that has inspired your work?
I already spoke briefly about my Anxiety issues. A few years ago I was in a terrible car accident and that had kind of broken me physically and emotionally for quite some time. That experience has inspired and influenced every part of my life including my work.
What’s the biggest hurdle or challenge you’ve had to overcome as a writer?
Believing in myself, that my words meant enough to be said.
If you could go back to when you were just getting started as an author, what advice would you give yourself?
Go for it. Don’t hold back.
Is there a topic or genre you’d like to write on that you haven’t yet?
There is. I would like to write about the aftermath of abuse. I have known too many people who have been abused and have seen how that ruins people for decades.
How many WIP (works in progress) do you currently have?
Oh man. I legit chuckled at this one. A billion! LoL – but seriously, WIP that I am actually focused on I would say 40. All planned to be released within the next 12 months.
Yep – that’s a lot. LOL. And, I think we’ve found something else we have in common! I totally get it.
How do you handle negative feedback or constructive criticism?
I love it. Bring it on.
What part of your creative process requires the most energy and effort from you?
I am a very tactile writer. I always use pen and paper to write. The transferring of my work to a digital format is the most taxing emotionally for me.
Tell us about your support system? How have those who support you in your work helped you along the way?
My Grandpa has always encouraged me, no matter what I wanted to pursue or what I was dealing with he always encouraged me to take the chance and be me.
What’s the most emotionally uncomfortable scene or topic you’ve ever written?
I wrote a poem about the day after my Ex Wife left. As I sat in our torn up bedroom with the things she left, the empty picture frames, I described that whole experience and exactly what the room looked like, that was very uncomfortable.
Is writing your full time “job” or do you have other work?
Technically no. I am a Historian and Genealogist, however those fields do include a lot of writing and will include more as time goes by.
What is your biggest motivation and purpose in writing?
To get my feelings and emotions out and to help other people by my experiences.
Would you be willing to share an excerpt of your upcoming work with us here?
I would love to share an excerpt with you. As an exclusive for you I will share one that has not been released yet and will be featured in my upcoming book "My Life In Poetry: Volume 2" The poem is called: “Paradise” It’s sunny back home in Florida, how’s the weather where you are? They say it’s gorgeous and the people are great but I feel for that “paradise” only hate. You ran from me and everyone you knew. Locked your heart on an island and surrounded yourself with volcanoes. Tell yourself that you’re facing mistakes and finding yourself. Tattoos hide the scars only you and I still see. Replace God with nature so you don’t have to face your future Call your body a temple but it’s filled with empty people Coverups don’t change the past, these new relationships won’t last Eventually the volcanoes will erupt and drown your “new life” in the sea I wear your ring around my neck as a constant reminder. And if my time comes now or in a thousand years I will face my greatest fears, never forget all the years, the blood and the tears, love you now as much as that day when we were little and the world was so vast I won’t run from you or our past. Life can come and go so fast. Decades ago I made a vow to always be there for you. I loved you before I even knew what the word meant. Well here I am....
That’s truly beautiful, Austin. Thank you for sharing this exclusive look into your soon to be published 2nd volume of Poetry. I cannot wait to read more of your work.
As an exclusive cover reveal for you – here is what to expect from my upcoming novel, The Beach House, scheduled for release this fall…
Wow, it’s an amazing cover design, Austin! And it looks to be a fascinating story. Thanks so much for giving us a look inside what’s next – and before anyone else. What an honor! Way to go above and beyond on sharing your upcoming works with us.
For Our Readers and Your Fans, Name a book that has:
Inspired you as a person or a professional.
The 1st Sherlock Holmes novel that I read (by Arthur Conan Doyle)
Made you laugh.
Made you cry.
Changed your life.
Please tell us where to connect with you-
Author Profile on Amazon: Austin Knox – Amazon Author
This has been an exciting interview! Thanks so much to you Austin for giving us such a in-depth look into your writing processes, interests, skills, and upcoming work. Your creative journey is an inspiring one and I just know our audience will appreciate your level of commitment and wide variety of creative passions.
I encourage everyone reading to support this uniquely talented creative voice! Please give him a follow on Instagram and support his current and upcoming works on Amazon and through Goodreads as well. Remember, your feedback is important to Indie Authors – so consider purchasing, reading, and reviewing whenever possible. These sort of actions show the artist that their work is appreciated – and it helps to get indie authors noticed through increased traffic and commentary.
Be sure to leave a comment here as well! Thanks for joining us for Austin’s illuminating spotlight interview!