Interview and Spotlight with Walter Knight

Happy Friday all Smile A fellow Penumbra author was kind enough for an interview, so here it is. Have a great weekend everyone!


What’s your name and what are you here to promote?

Hello everyone in the Great Frozen North. My name is Walter Knight. I wrote the 20 book science fiction series “America’s Galactic Foreign Legion.” I also wrote “Vampire in the Outfield” and “Zombie Missouri.”


Tell me a little about you books.

“America’s Galactic Foreign Legion” is about a compulsive gambler who joins future America’s Foreign Legion to pay off debts. It’s a parody using humour, military science fiction, tame conservative politics, history, media, pop culture, and gambling themes. The politics draws the most heat from readers. For example, there is a scene where an ATM machine is bombed. A police officer suspects vandalism by peace activists, calling them a violent lot. The series enjoys modest popularity, selling over 37,000 copies.

“Vampire in the Outfield” is about a rookie baseball player who discovers he can hit and play better after being bitten by a vampire. Of course, he still has a problem with day games, and the ‘Evil Empire’ New York Yankees. ‘Johnny Black’ makes a deal with the Devil so his vampire image can be photographed and broadcast on TV. It’s a fun read.


“Zombie Missouri” is a humorous look at the zombie apocalypse through the eyes of a horny teenager. It’s just not fair that the end of the world came just as he was about to graduate high school and finally get a girlfriend.

Follow up comment:

37,000 is very impressive! Open-mouthed smile I haven’t even sold 3000 yet. Having the time and ability to write quickly is a great thing. Like must authors I’d love to quit my day job and work solely as an author, someday I hope Smile.

Favourite TV show?

“Breaking Bad,” about a high school chemistry teacher and a student who go into the meth making business. I love well written long series that have consequences for its characters. I also love it when the bad guy gets killed, horribly. I believe in truth, justice, and automatic weapons.

Follow up comment:

I absolutely love “Breaking Bad”. I am fascinated with the study of evil and Walt is about as evil as it gets. The show always surprises me abd the actors are all amazing. Still you root for Walt and I’m going to be sad as hell when it ends in a few weeks. It’s a strange thing now as I’m super-excited to see the next episode but it’s bittersweet as each one brings it closer to the end.


Have you always been interested in writing?

Not really. In 2008 I started writing “America’s Galactic Foreign Legion” while on a road trip to Reno. I stopped by a roadside Vietnam War memorial park in Oakridge, Oregon. Dedicated to a local boy, Sergeant Maximo Yabes. A Medal of Honor citation on a granite block read like a John Wayne movie. Sergeant Yabes charged enemy machine positions firing grenades and his own machine gun. He shielded and saves many wounded, and was repeatedly shot, and knocked down by grenades. Just when you thought it was over, the citation continues with more heroics. Finally Sergeant Yabes ran out of blood and dies. It was inspiring.

I’m always reading science fiction or history, so it all came together on that trip. By the time I got to Reno, I was more interested in writing than gambling, almost. I quickly wrote “America’s Galactic Foreign Legion – Book 1 – Feeling Lucky.” However, I could not interest large publishers, so I wrote a sequel, “AGFL Reenlistment.” Still, publishers were not interested. Angry, but still passionate, I stopped submitting queries to publishers, and continued writing, finishing nine more AGFL books.


In late 2009 I submitted all eleven books to Penumbra Publishing, a new small publisher. Editor Patricia Morrison was weary. No one had ever submitted that many books at one time before. Penumbra Publishing published the series, and the rest has been a dream come true for this new author. I write fast. As Pat edited and published my series, I wrote eleven more books. Sales have been great, and Penumbra is enthusiastically publishing everything I write. After signing with Penumbra, I had to reject other publishing offers. When it rains, it pours.


What do you think is the best part about being a writer?

Writing groupies. I get E-mail. Writers need constant praise, and I’m no different. Most mail is from military veterans and people who like my humor and lack of political correctness.

Follow up comment:

I have gotten some unusual e-mail’s and some hateful reviews, so I know what you mean. I agree writers are often a narcissistic bunch and I certainly love to get reviews and positive feedback,

What’s the worst part of writing?

Some people hate me. Partisan politics takes no prisoners. I write about a future where America takes humanity across the galaxy to fight alien empires. Humanity rides on American space ships because no one else could do it. Some people can’t handle that. I also make fun of liberals and Democrats. I try to be fair and balanced. I write parody. I make fun of everyone. My goal is to entertain. But for some, any dissent is not allowed.


Do you think the future is in E-books? Or will print make a comeback?

Amazon Kindle E-books are 90 percent of my business. If it was not for Amazon, I would not be published. It’s a brave new world for new authors. The New York publishing elite are no longer the self appointed gatekeepers of what gets read and published. Like the explosion of cable TV, niche books written by new authors are finding very profitable E-book markets. Sure, I sell paperbacks, but the E-book is my main business model. There will always be paperbacks, but the genius of Amazon is taking E-books to the world. I even sell my books to Europe through Amazon, and to Canada, aye.

Follow up comment:

This has been debated on mailing lists and websites, so I won’t get much into it. I agree Amazon has changed everything and the ability to reach people all over the world is a good thing. I think having a monopoly is never good and I hope other companies will continue to offer other formats. I hope print will always be around but I think it’s popularity will continue to decrease as children grow up reading on mobile devices.

What are you reading right now?

I just finished “The History and Conquest of Ancient Rome”by Nigel Rodgers. I was doing research for “America’s Galactic Foreign Legion – Book 20 – Time Machine” currently on the editor’s desk. I also recently read “Killer Angels” about the Battle of Gettysburg from the perspective of individual soldiers.

My favorite author is Harry Turtledove, an alternative history writer. His ten book “World War” series about aliens attacking Earth during World War II is great.

How do you feel about promotion? Any tips for other writers?

The best book promotion is to write a sequel. As you author each new book, your books gain notice and credibility. Social media can be a fun way to meet people and show off your work, but I’m not so sure that translates to sales. My advise to new authors is to visit websites you would visit and enjoy even if you were not an author.

Favourite person (living or dead)?

President Teddy Roosevelt, because he kicked ass everywhere he went. The man was a cowboy, police commissioner, politician, soldier, author, naturalist, explorer, and world leader.

What do you think is the biggest problem in the world today?

People who see evil, but think someone else will clean up the mess. Terrorism and evil regimes will not go away by themselves. America, the UK, and Canada have saved the world several times, but the rest of the world is not much up to it.

Anything you would like to add?

Thank you for the interest and interview. Readers can view updates, sample chapters, cover art, biographical information, and video on my website at Penumbra Publishing has committed to soon publishing my books in audio book format. It’s exciting times.

Thanks for taking the time to talk with me, best of luck with your book and hey I’m a writer too. E-mail me anytime if you want to chat thanks again! J



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