It’s rare when an author of this caliber agrees to acknowledge your presence, let alone be interviewed and, during the course of that interview, actually speak. So you can imagine my excitement having gotten award-winning and best-selling author Ima Knowitall to discuss her career and upcoming book release, Time-traveling Vampire of Love. She has been heralded by the New York Times as “…our generation’s J.K. Rowling, mixed with E.L. James, if they weren’t already from our generation, and if she added initials to her name.”
High praise indeed.
In addition, Knowitall has been recognized by prestigious writers’ groups across the globe, such as London’s famous Nouns of the Baskerville, Seattle’s Puget Sound Pronouns and the Dangling Participles of Dublin. The author of more than 40 online novels this past year, Knowitall has received the coveted Prolific Speller Award, the Hemmingway Award for “longest run-on sentence of 2013 and 2014” (same sentence), and, most recently, she was honored by the Society of Illiterate Columnists (SIC) for her contributions to “…the advancement of people who write without the shackles of proper grammar.”
Though our meeting was originally set for a fancy, overpriced eatery in Beverly Hills where, according to Knowitall, she is so well known that her meals are generally waiting for her by the time she is seated at her private table, there has been a sudden change in plans and, instead, we will be meeting at a lesser-known Del Taco in Culver City, just outside of Los Angeles. She calls ahead, letting me know that her limo driver is “out with gout” (even in casual conversation she is a wordsmith!), which means she’ll be driving another car from her fleet.
When she arrives in her 1986 Ford Fiesta, she is careful to avoid drawing attention to herself, telling me that her celebrity could quickly turn our low-profile meeting into a mob scene of autograph hounds and paparazzi. She suggests I order for the both of us while she finds a seat at the back of the restaurant, explaining that her assistant will contact me later about reimbursement.
Ned Hickson (NH): In your novel Winter of Icy Hearts That Melt, you write of the love between an ice cream truck driver and the man who mends her broken tailpipe. Are your novels based on your own life experiences?
Ima Knowitall (IK): (Finishing her second taco) Yes. I love ice cream. And my Fiesta was backfiring a lot. I went to have it fixed, and the guy who worked on it was a total hunk. I wrote the whole story outline on a Mr. Lubes-a-Lot note pad while I waited.
NH: Before writing Four-Alarm Fire of Love, which is set in a busy fire station, did you spend time at an actual fire station gathering research?
IK: (Finishing her third taco) Every fire station has “sleepers,” which are firefighters who live at the fire station in three-day shifts. I spent many, many hours getting to know them. They actually gave me the nickname “Ima Sleepover.”
NH: That’s fantastic! Did you get to sleep with them at the station?
IK: No, not at the station… (finishes her soda)
NH: Um, many authors stress the importance of having a writing routine. Do you have a writing routine you swear by?
IK: Yes. I swear a lot while I write, which is to say all the time. I’d be outlining a story on this empty food sack and cursing right now if I had something to write with. Hey, is that a Crayon over there..?
NH: Wait, one last question.
IK: Ok, then I have a question for you — so shoot.
NH: If you could give an aspiring writer one piece of advice that could change their lives, what would it be?
IK: That’s an easy one: Buy my books.
NH: Fair enough. Did you have a question?
IK: Yeah, are you going to eat that last taco…?
Next Week: To illustrate or not to illustrate; that is the question
Latest posts by Ned Hickson (see all)
- Your story and an eye exam - March 4, 2016
- Survivor Skills - February 9, 2016
- A few things writers and superheroes have incommon - January 27, 2016