KNIGHTMARE ARCANIST - AUTHOR Q&A with Shami Stovall @GameOverStation #BlogTour

Today's guest is YA Fantasy author, Shami Stovall! Her new book is KNIGHTMARE ARCANIST and she is on a virtual book tour this month with Pump Up Your Book! We're very glad to have her here today to talk about her book, writing and what surprised her about getting her book published.  


Welcome to The Writer's Life!  Now that your book has been published, we’d love to find out more about the process.  Can we begin by having you take us to the beginning?  When did you come up with the idea to write your book?

Thank you for having me! And I’d love to tell you all about my wacky trip to publication, and how I brought Knightmare Arcanist to life.
It all started with a TV show. I thoroughly enjoyed most of it, but several times during the drama, the plot got weird and inconsistent. The ending was the worst of all, and it hurt more because I had loved the show until that point. I vowed then and there, I would write a story that captured the essence of what I loved in the show, and combine it with a fantastic ending and great drama.

Now the show was a pure modern-day drama, and Knightmare Arcanist is a fantasy set on pirate ships, so obviously I had to make a lot of stuff up after that, but the TV show inspiration did wonders for me. I also threw in some mythical creatures (like phoenixes and dragons) and I have a story I love to death.

Who is your publisher and how did you find them or did you self-publish?

My publisher is Capital Station Books, a small-time house that started because my friends decided to invest in our local writer community. I’m the first to be published through them, but I won’t be the last!

Do you believe a book cover plays an important role in the selling process?

Absolutely. In today’s social media climate, people love taking pictures with books, and no one wants an uggo cover next to them while they take a selfie. Plus, sometimes people make impulse buys based on things that look appealing (ever see that sweet, sweet candy by the cash register?) so you also want to attract people with low willpower with a stunning cover.

And I love the cover to Knightmare Arcanist more than I love my unborn children. My cover artist did a wonderful job. All the hearts go to him.

How hard was it to write a book like this and do you have any tips that you could pass on which would make the journey easier for other writers?

I would say science fiction is the hardest genre to write in, but fantasy is a close second. Fantasy requires you to create a world and people who live in it. That can sometimes be really difficult to keep track of everything.

My biggest piece of advice would be: get beta readers who love fantasy. Don’t just ask random people to read your stuff. People who read fantasy on the regular will always have nitpicks to throw your way—embrace them! Don’t shy away from improving your manuscript.

What other books are you working on and when will they be published?

I’m working on the sequel to my sci-fi epic Star Marque Rising, which is titled Star Marque Vendetta. I also have a sequel in mind for Knightmare Arcanist that will involve ruthless pirates—one of which cut the eye out of one of the main characters prior to the events of the first book! Lots of drama. Lots of action. All the fun.

What’s one fact about your book that would surprise people?

Knightmare Arcanist is technically a YA fantasy novel, so I had kids aged 12-14 read the novel ahead of time to make sure it was enjoyable, even at that level. I’m happy to report they all loved it!

Finally, what message are you trying to get across with your book?

Don’t give up! Tenacity counts for a lot, and sometimes you might not be able to see the improvement, but nobody won anything by quitting. You have to give it your all.
Thank you again for this interview!  Do you have any final words?

I hope people check out Knightmare Arcanist! I put a lot of time and love into the novel, and I know it shows. Give it a read!

About the Author

Shami Stovall relies on her BA in History and Juris Doctorate to make her living as an author and history professor in the central valley of California. She writes in a wide range of fiction, from crime thrillers to fantasy to science-fiction. Stovall loves reading, playing video games, entertaining others with stories, and writing about herself in the third person.

In a world populated by mythical creatures, those who bond with them are known as arcanists—their magic stemming from the connection they forged. Phoenix arcanists gain flames and healing, unicorn arcanists speak with horses and manipulate poison, or even basilisk arcanists who control flesh and stone.

But those wishing to bond must first prove themselves.

Gravedigger Volke Savan, desperate to leave his tiny home island and impress the most beautiful girl he’s ever known, breaks every tradition of the bonding ceremony just to become an arcanist. But when the only creature who will bond with him has a sinister requirement, Volke is put to the ultimate test of worth.

A fast-paced flintlock fantasy for those who enjoy How to Train Your Dragon by Cressida Cowell, Unsouled (Cradle Series) by Will Wight, and Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan.


  1. Thank you for the interview!

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