Interview with Alex Knight (RISE TO GLORY)
Alex Knight is filling good books with bad jokes one sentence at a time.
As an author of LitRPG and Fantasy his work includes the Nova Online Trilogy, The Far Wild, and Rise to Glory.
As an aspiring twin he’s not making much progress, but remains determined.
In the past Alex has worked as everything from a dish washer at Busch Gardens to the Communications Coordinator at the Florida Attractions Association. After deciding he didn’t like stability or predictable paychecks he made the jump to being a freelance writer. Soon that turned into ghostwriting romance novellas, then ghostwriting full-blown science fiction novels, and finally, writing his own books.
Alex grew up a sunbaked, outdoorsy Floridian and has lived in several places around the world. These days he’s on the gulf coast of Texas, in a bayou outside Houston.
When Alex isn’t writing, he’s likely clawing his way through champion rank in Rocket league, hiking, or plotting his triumphant return to Florida.
Welcome back to the Hive, Alex! Before we actually dive into the interview, is it right we have you to thank for the name of our site??
It’s good to be back! Ah, I remember back in the day when this was my old stomping gr– who am I kidding? I was here at the beginning, but Laura worked all the magic. I’m pretty sure I was just here for the memes. As to the name… I don’t specifically recall coming up with it. But I also don’t specifically recall not coming up with it, so sure, I’ll take credit!
I’d heard you’re the Pun King and you were to blame!
Also, readers don’t let Alex’s humility fool you – check out his brilliant series all about writing, The Write of Way (see? Puns), here.
Ok, let’s talk Rise to Glory! Congratulations on the release of your new LitRPG! What can readers expect from you this time round?
Thank you! Rise to Glory is a snarky, adventure-heavy fantasy LitRPG following an underdog team competing in the world’s biggest gaming tournament. They’d probably do better if they liked each other. And if Vio would stop throwing swords at people… But you know, that’s just how it goes sometimes.
It sounds like there’s an underdog found-family kind of trope going down? Did you set out with that in mind?
Absolutely. In fact, I wanted the main characters to be actively antagonistic toward one another in the beginning. It was something of a challenge I set for myself to have them grow to like (…or maybe tolerate) each other by the end. Did I manage it? I suppose that’s up to y’all!
So Bash is trying to go pro… did you draw a lot on your own experiences of going pro? Tell us about Rocket League Alex!
I’m not really allowed to talk about it, what with the seven-figure contract and all…
Which is to say LOL, I’m decent at Rocket League, but yeah, I did base a lot of the book on the lives of pro players from various eSports. I’m particularly interested in how they’re sort of like modern day athletes mixed with celebrities. It’s an interesting paradigm, so I created a story where pro players are a big deal. They have fan clubs, huge social media followings, and even sponsorship deals with their favorite fast food brands. It was a way fun space to write in and the closest I’ll ever get to being famous for video games, haha.
It sounds like a whole other world, I had no idea!
You’ve written fantasy, and your Nova Online LitRPG series leans more towards sci-fi – how was it this time round bringing the two genres of fantasy and LitRPG together?
It was an absolute joy. I’m a fantasy kind of guy at heart, and bringing that to LitRPG for the first time (for me) was awesome. Sci-Fi is a great genre and I’m a huge fan of it, but I think I lack a strong enough imagination of what the future could be to do it justice. That, or I just really like writing sword and spell fights. Probably both.
You are an absolute writing machine; your adventure fantasy The Far Wild was only recently released, also with Audible Originals. Tell us, do you just vomit books or is there actually a process in there?
Oh one-hundred percent it’s just vomit. Come on, look at me? Do I look like a guy with a process? Ha. But for real, I do have a process and it’s to write one book every four to six months. That’s a perfect pace for me to really enjoy the work – and I find when you enjoy the work, you naturally work faster.
The Far Wild holds a special place in my heart – it’s the reason we became friends!
[You can read Filip’s review here and I’ll be writing up mine soon!]
It’s come a long way in four years. How’s it feel having your love-letter-to-Florida out there in the world?
EXCEPTIONAL! Finally, I have a book wherein I can describe the seventy-six different methods of sweating! And then there’s thirty page epilogue which covers the five main types of humidity and how to successfully survive an invite to tea with an alligator. Ahem. Sorry, what I meant was: I love Florida and The Far Wild is an accurate recreation of it – right down to the giant komodo dragons and voice-mimicking nightmare monsters. It’s great to feel at home!
You’re a pretty versatile author, but do you have a sweet spot genre-wise? What are you happiest writing?
Fantasy is truly my home. The Far Wild set the benchmark for the type of stories I’d like to write, and Rise to Glory expands on it. While it is LitRPG, I think you’ll see it’s heavily, heavily fantasy-inspired. I want to continue to write books with big personalities, meaningful plots, and enough ego-driven (but lovable) characters to make even Joe Abercrombie blush.
You’re also one of the busiest writers I know; tell us, how many other projects do you have lined up, and are you allowed to spill any of their beans?
Three! By which, I mean six. Maybe seven. It all makes sense, trust me.
At the present time, I’m co-writing the first draft of Paragon of Blood – a post-apocalyptic LitRPG – with industry titan Luke Chmilenko. We’ve signed a five-book contract on that series and I’m pumped to start getting them out to y’all this year! Not sure how much I can speak to content-wise on these yet, but soon, I promise!
So that’s one project… or five books, depending on how you want to count it.
Then, just in time for Halloween, I expect to have finished my gothic-inspired isekai / portal world fantasy, Nightfall. I’m already 30,000 words into it and it just owns real estate in my head at this point. The gothic (with light horror) setting is really speaking to me. The story’s like Narnia, if instead of going into a wardrobe, you died. And when you did, you woke up in a backwater, medieval county cut off from the world by impenetrable fog, ruled by a vampire tyrant, and for some reason, the dead just won’t stay dead.
So that’s project two. Or book six.
And lastly, I’m in talks / the exploration phase to see when we might be able to expect a sequel to The Far Wild. It’s one-hundred percent happening, I just need to lock down when.
So there! Three projects, or seven books.
If you were trapped out in the Far Wild, who would you rather have at your side and why: Bash the Berserker, Senesio Suleiman Nicolaou, or Kaiden?
Senesio, no question. While Bash is one hell of a fighter and would probably get us out alive, Senesio’s just too entertaining to pass up. I mean, we might die, but at least we’d die having a good time! Now, if the question were between Senesio and Vio (from Rise to Glory), well… that’d be a tougher call. I would like to see her sword throwing IRL.
I can hear Senesio laughing, should I be able to hear that??
Finally, one of our favourite questions here at the Hive, and one I’m sure you’re going to enjoy answering: if you could ride any creature into battle, mythological prehistoric or otherwise, what would it be and why?
Oh man. Umm… I’m gonna go with the antlion immortals from Rise to Glory. They’re, well… you’ll see when you check out the book. But for now, let’s just say they’d be “effective.”
Thank you so much for joining us today Alex, and good luck with the release of Rise to Glory!
Thank you for having me! It is always, and truly, a pleasure. Your questions are always exceptional and it’s just a joy to come back and spend some time here at this awesome place that I definitely, one-hundred percent, did name. I think.
It’s canon now.