Interview with Avalon O’Clair, Author of Knights of Orion Citadel
14 Nov 2023
What’s the story behind the story? What inspired you to write Knights of Orion Citadel?
I’ve always been an avid reader. I was one of those kids who would be under the blanket with a flashlight reading long after my mom tucked me in and turned off the lights. In my heart of hearts, I always wanted to be a writer. I remember walking around the neighborhood as a kid and narrating my thoughts and action in my head as if I were enacting a story. I gave it a shot once or twice, but then “life” got in the way: a demanding day job, husband, two sons, one with autism (a challenge only another parent with an autistic child can truly understand), and a household to run.
I was inspired to write this series because of my love for urban fantasy TV shows, such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Charmed, and SUPERNATURAL. But I found it difficult to identify with many of the urban fantasy books I saw that seemed to me (mostly YA) to have a ridiculously powerful young female protagonist who could do anything and do it better than any full-grown man twice her size. There’s a reason Rey from Disney’s Star Wars and Captain Marvel are generally regarded as unlikable “Mary Sue’s”. They’re overpowered and had to achieve little to nothing for their power. So, I set out to write a truly adult Urban fantasy series with a more realistic tone and an ensemble cast. Yes, my female protagonist can kick ass, but she earned it with a black belt in karate. My male protagonists are well-trained knights, large and powerful men, and are never shown up or made to look inept by Emma’s skills and talents. They complement each other.
What’s your favorite genre to read? Is it the same as your favorite genre to write?
My favorite genres to read are romance and urban fantasy. I tried to get into reading Epic Fantasy, but I guess I’m just too centered in reality to buy into dragons, and I absolutely detest politics. My eyes get glazed over when you start talking about court intrigue and political machinations. Not my thing! And when one needs a glossary of terms and a map to follow the story…I simply don’t have the time or patience. I have little time to read, and when I do, the story needs to hit the ground running, or I’m gone.
What books are on your TBR pile right now?
In my TBR pile, sadly neglected at this point as I am still working a full-time job and writing from 2am until 9am every day on top of that, are the last few books of The Dresden Files. Harry, I’m coming back to you, eventually.
What scene in your book was your favorite to write?
The favorite scene in Illusion of Safety for me to write had to be when Emma first woke up in the citadel. We really get to see what Chase is made of as he draws her back to reality and does all he can to make her smile. It was fun to play with elements from one of my favorite movies, The Princess Bride, which continues throughout their story.
Do you have any quirky writing habits? (lucky mugs, cats on laps, etc.)
My writing habits? Coffee, lots of coffee; two cats sleeping on the chair in my office; a small TV screen next to my computer monitor with a YouTube living-art exterior scene playing, depending on the season. Right now through this virtual window, I’m sitting lakeside while autumn leaves fall and a glorious sunset gleams off the water. A writer’s window on the world, I guess.
Do you have a motto, quote, or philosophy you live by?
My motto and philosophies are simple enough: write every day, NO social media, and keep to the ancient stoic philosophies of Seneca, Marcus Aurelius, and Epictetus. I highly recommend checking out The Stoic Community videos on YouTube. Great tools for life management!
If you could choose one thing for readers to remember after reading your book, what would it be?
If I had to choose one thing I would like readers to remember after reading my book(s), it would be that love is the most important thing: love of family, friends, and that one special person who makes your life complete, but self-love as well: knowing who you are and living with personal integrity. After all, YOU have to live with YOU every day of your life.
Avalon O’Clair is the author of the new book Knights of Orion Citadel: Illusion of Safety (Book 1)
Connect with Avalon O’ClairAuthor Site
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