Sunday, November 28, 2010

Interview - CK Volnek

Hi Charlotte: Thank you for joining us today. Before we begin, how about a brief bio so the readers can get to know you. Include links to your blogs and websites please.

Hi Marva, thanks for having me today. My name is C.K. Volnek, wife and mom of three, and author of three middle grade titles coming out in 2011 with MuseItUp Publishing. I live in Nebraska with my hubby and four pint-size Papillon fur-kids. Yes, I did say four. What can I say, they’re like potato chips, I couldn’t stop at one. LOL.

I’ve always loved to write and especially to write for kids. But life got in the way of my novels for a while. But I never gave up my dream and here I am, excited to be published and share my stories with the world.

Friends and readers can e-mail me at

or visit my web page:
My blog is

I’m also on facebook at

They can find more about my published titles at

Tell everyone a bit about your book.

My first title is Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island  due to be released Fall 2011 through MuseItUp Publishing

In 1587, 117 colonists disappeared from Roanoke Island without a trace, leaving behind not only unanswered questions, but a terrifying evil.

Now it’s up to twelve year-old Jack Dahlgren to unravel the age-old mystery and save his family from the hateful beast that haunts the island.

With the help of newfound friend, Manny, an Indian Shaman, and an elusive Giant Mastiff, Jack must piece together the clues of the Lost Colony to discover what this evil is and where it came from. Shrouded in ancient Native American folklore, Jack must uncover why the evil haunts his island, but can he destroy it ... before it destroys him?

In Winter 2011, A Horse Called Trouble will be released, also by MuseItUp Publishing. In this story, a troubled teen must overcome her abusive past to save the defiant horse that has taught her to love and trust again.

Tara Cummings hasn’t had an easy life. Abandoned by her mother at the young age of seven she’s been passed from foster home to foster home; not wanted anywhere by anyone. At thirteen she finds herself skeptic and suspicious, with no family, no friends, and forced to participate in horse therapy.

Horse therapy “will teach trust, perseverance, respect and the value of teamwork,” or so says the program’s instructor. Tara is unconvinced. Trust only got her heart broken, perseverance only gets her put down, and no one respects or wants to team up with the misfit foster kid.

At the therapy horse farm, Tara meets Trouble, an angry and defiant horse, bent on destroying everything and everyone around him. At first she’s afraid of Trouble, until she realizes he’s as misunderstood and untrusting as she is. She pushes aside her fear and a special relationship is formed as she alone manages to calm him, much to the surprise of everyone at the farm. Trouble trusts Tara, and Tara in turn finds hope and acceptance as well as the will to love and trust again herself.

In Spring 2012, The Secret of the Stones will be released by MuseItUp Publishing. It is the first book in a series called The Lost Diaries of Northumberland.

In this book, a Merlin-loving tween is thrust into magic mayhem when the gift he’s been entrusted to protect turns out to be the enchanted object detailed in a mysterious prophecy.

Trading places with a squirrel outside his window was the last thing twelve year-old Alex Ramsey expected to happen. Could the gift Aunt Norma gave him be magic? The Merlin’s magic he’d read about in the ancient diary? After the magic unexpectedly causes more commotion, Alex realizes he must discover how it works, and fast. How had the trickery transformed him…and better yet… how did it turn him back into himself?

As Alex struggles to understand the how and why of his enchanted gift, he becomes painfully aware there is more to it than he first thought. Within the magic there is a great power, a power to control, a power so strong that another is willing do almost anything to get it. Can Alex protect the gift while solving the secrets to how the magic works? And can he make sense of the riddles in the diary, the riddles surrounding the prophecy of Merlin’s return?
Where did the concept for these books come from?
My Muse is a funny character. She comes up with the wildest things at the most unexpected of times. Ghost Dog of Roanoke Island came to be after I read an article on the internet about a recent finding on Roanoke Island and how it had stirred the mystery again. I was intrigued and researched the Lost Colony, all the while, my Muse asking, what if this happened, what if that happened. She’s pesky with her questions like that. ;-)
A Horse Called Trouble came to be from my love of horses. I grew up with these lovely creatures and have always wanted to write a horse story. After visiting an equine therapy group, the story just fell into place. I’ve met many characters like Tara and hope this story inspires students to find their inner courage and create their own dreams. Life is all about hope and creating your own happiness.

The Secret of the Stones was my first finished novel, though I shelved it for a few years before tweaking and editing it. It actually started as a humorous short story but my muse wouldn’t let it rest. She took over and 45,000 words later the first book was done with at least two more to follow. It’s a fun adventure for anyone who likes magic and Merlin.
Are there any authors that have influenced your own writing?
I take something from almost everything I read. But I love the voices of Jane Yolen, Deb Caletti and Edward Bloor.
Do you have any favorite place where you feel your Muse is more apt to come and play while you write? Or perhaps you listen to music? If so, what do you listen to?
My Muse is a very active imp. I wish I could write as fast as she comes up with ideas. I think if I were able to write non-stop from here out, I would be writing for years. I love to write to music and usually turn on Yanni or Jim Brickman. I try not to write to anything with words or I find myself singing along, or worse yet, my characters breaking out into song in the middle of their story. :-O
As a writer, what is your greatest fear?
My greatest fear is my own self-doubt. This is also the reason I write for middle grade and young adult. Too many times, we doubt we are capable of accomplishing our dreams. As a writer, it took me a long time to get over that fear and send my stories out. I never thought they were good enough. But I’m lucky to have my family and friends, especially those at MuseItUp Publishing who are inspiring, encouraging and supportive. I hope to inspire my readers to realize ‘you may not think you are special, but you are in fact everything to someone.’
What normally occupies your desk while writing? Pencils? Coffee mugs? Breakfast crumbs?
I write where ever I can. But my favorite place and time is late in evening, sitting in my big comfy chair, surrounded by my Papillon fur-kids.
Do you have any new projects that you are working on? If so, what are they?
I am working on several pieces at this time. Getting my muse to keep on track with one at a time is my major task. But be watching for new titles and sequels to The Secret of the Stones.
What tip would you offer to a new writer who is just beginning their submission journey?

My major tip is ‘never give up!’ It’s too easy to throw your hands up and say ‘I’m just not good enough.’ But that’s not true! Keep after your dreams, learn your craft and never give up. You will find happiness in publication, and the longer it takes, the sweeter the victory!
Thanks for stopping by. Anything you want to add?
Thanks for letting me visit. I’ve enjoyed the interview.

C.K. Volnek


  1. I'd like to thank CK for giving us a nice interview. She's a lovely lady.

    Since I write a lot of kid books, it's nice to host another YA writer.

  2. Couldn't stop laughing at your chip comments and dogs. :)

    Great interview and it's nice to read CK's writing thoughts and process.

  3. Hi Charlie,
    Great interview - interesting blurbs on all of your books also. I liked the potatoe chip comments too (tee-hee)
    Kay Dee

  4. Thanks for stopping by and listening to me! Appreciate your kind comments and support! God bless you all. Write on!
    C.K. Volnek