Friday, 9 November 2012

An Interview with Jessica Knauss

My Books

Like Hell ItselfChildren of FuryEnmitus: The TransformationI am Nine

Welcome Jessica, I am so pleased that you have agreed to being interviewed today...

Title: Rhinoceros Dreams
Rhinoceros Dreams: Stories

Author: Jessica Knauss

Page Count: about 50 (it’s ebook only for now)

ISBN: 9781937291594

Genre: magical realism

Cost: only 99 cents or 77 pence!

Link Amazon USA:

Link Amazon UK:

Can you tell me something about yourself?

I’m a writer and a professional editor, working with my colleagues at Loose Leaves Publishing to release the best literary, historical, mystery/thriller and women’s fiction in English to the world. I (currently) live in the Atlanta area with my dear husband.

What inspired you to write?

I was born a writer. Specifically for Rhinoceros Dreams, I wanted to celebrate World Rhino Day by putting together a book with stories about rhinos so people could learn about them in a fun – and inexpensive – way. The magic of rhinos lies not in superstitions about their horns, but in their majesty and in all creatures' basic right to live.

Who are your favourite authors?

Aimee Bender, Lydia Millet, Lori Baker, Karen Russell and now FĂ©lix J. Palma

Can you tell me something about your latest book?

Rhinoceros Dreams is a collection of three short stories featuring rhinoceroses and the humans who love them.

"Rhinoceros Dreams" tells how Allie, a woman fascinated with rhinoceroses, finds true love in the human world with a bookworm. Can he ever truly understand her? Can she make her rhinoceros dreams come true?

"Not Extinct Yet," available exclusively in this collection, happens in an alternate world in which animals can talk. Intrepid rhinoceros linguist Suzanne takes on the responsibility to save her African rhino friends from extinction by mindless poaching. When you want to know something about a rhino, you should always ask a rhino!

"A Business Venture in Glue" is a weird flash fiction that uses a rhino escaped from a zoo to suggest themes of collectionism and possession.
Wow! How long did it take you to write it?

I wrote “A Business Venture,” in about an hour. I would say “Rhinoceros Dreams” took me six months or a year to settle on an ending that felt right. And I’ve been fiddling with sentences and research ever since. “Not Extinct Yet” took about a month, and after I got suggestions from some great crit partners, I spent another month or two all together tweaking… The thing about these stories is that their relevance to the real world invites constant evolution, but in order to get the stories out for World Rhino Day 2012 (September 22), I had to say enough was enough in August.

Can you tell us something about the writing process, do you have a set time for writing, did you do any research or anything else of interest that was involved?

What do you think readers will come away with when they have finished your book?

I hope readers will have had fun and learned about those magical beasts, rhinoceroses, and the problems they have in the real world, so bizarre they seem like fiction. In the best of all possible worlds, the book will convince readers that poaching is insane and has to stop immediately.


Here are the first few paragraphs from “Not Extinct Yet.”

Suzanne came into the kitchen dressed for work in a sensible suit. With bitten-down fingernails, she had affixed a pin showing the two-horned face of an African rhinoceros, surrounded by a heart, to her lapel. “Hey,” said her husband Derek, rustling his daily news at the table. “The British are at it again.”

Suzanne sighed. “Always with the sheep.”

“Yep. Apparently, there’s a law for debate in Parliament this time.”

“Not legalization?”

“Marriage between human and ovine may soon be a reality! Get this.” He started to read aloud. “An anonymous source recounted his personal experience. ‘Miranda was out in the moor grazing with the rest of the flock when I looked deep into her eyes. It was love. We fell to talking and we’ve never been apart since.’ The Miranda in question gave no comment.”

“Call me traditional, but there’s something not quite right about that,” said Suzanne as she buttered some toast.

“Sure, she can talk, but does this guy let her? No. It’s the same old story. Control, control, control.” Derek crumpled the paper and took his plate to the sink.

Suzanne kissed her husband. “All right, off to the university’s salt mines with you.”

“You know he made up that name. Who ever heard of a sheep who called herself Miranda?”

Any other links of interest:

My blog, specifically a post that discusses Rhinoceros Dreams:

Twitter: @JessicaKnauss

Thank you so much for spending the time with me today, I have found your interview fascinating.  Good luck with your book!!


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