Michael pitched me his debut novel The Rogue Shop as “a coming-of-age romantic comedy that … is a little off the beaten path for LDS genre fiction.” I liked the sound of that so I invited Michael to tell us more. The official release date for his novel is Dec. 10, but you can preorder it on Amazon or Cedar Fort’s website now. For more on Michael, see his author’s website.
On your website you say that The Rogue Shop was 20 years in the making. Could you take us through that process?
As a newly married University of Utah student 1988-1990,I discovered Hawthorne and Shakespeare while earning a few dollars at a South Temple formalwear store. Pressing coats on ancient steam presses, assembling tuxedos and cleaning out the shop’s ancient basement, full of old mannequins and cobwebbed formal fashions dating from the 1950s. The place had such an atmosphere of mysterious history about it that I couldn’t resist it as a setting for a novel. Unfortunately, I was just too young and inexperienced to write the story the place deserved at that time, and my uninspired drafts stalled out before five chapters. Also, I needed to get some distance from the co-workers and associations I had there. Although all the characters in The Rogue Shop are purely fictional, I would hate to think that someone would read the book and think that a characterization was based on him or her. Finally in 2009, I felt the time was right and I completed a viable draft during National Novel Writing Month in November. It became my first ever novel submission in January 2010, and received six rejections within four months. Cedar Fort replied with more detailed feedback, which I interpreted as a request for revision and resubmission. I had it back in the mail to them within three weeks. On May 14 I received their acceptance for publication. Continue reading “Q&A with Michael Knudsen, author of The Rogue Shop”