By Amber Delay of Craig Daily Press
September 20, 2022
Sunshine Knight, a Colorado author, is coming to Craig this weekend to promote her novel “The Devastation of Bartholomew Ka” and connect with local readers and writers.
The book signing will be from 1-3 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, at Downtown Books & Coffee at 525 Yampa Ave. Knight will also be doing a reading from the novel at 1:15 p.m.
Knight has had a number of short stories published over the years, but this is her first full-length novel. It’s the first in a series of four novels to tell the story of Bartholomew Ka, a ghost who is still haunting his beloved Victorian house 100 years after his death.
“I do believe in ghosts,” Knight said. “I am not sure I believe in ghosts the way I have written them because it’s a fun expansion of the idea.”
In the book, tenants of the Victorian home have come and gone over the years, struggling to deal with Bartholomew’s ability to get inside their heads. However, when twenty-eight-year old Samantha moves in determined to stay and restore the historic house, Bartholomew is faced with a new challenge.
The concept for the novel series first came to Knight in 2008 when she stayed in a cabin in Buena Vista that she says turned out to be haunted. When she checked out after two nights, Knight spoke with the front desk staff about the experience. They confirmed her suspicion that there was a ghost known to move about the cabins.
Knight continued to talk with the front desk staff, and eventually discovered it was always female guests who would notice the ghost, even if they weren’t traveling alone.
Later, Knight went on a trip to New England, where the concept of the characters and setting were given form. That’s also when the idea for a remodeled Victorian house, which has always been a dream for Knight, came into the story.
To preserve factual accuracy, Knight spent time researching materials that would be available at the time a Victorian home would have been constructed. Additionally, since the main character grew up in the south during the civil war, Knight did a lot of time-period research to make the background historically accurate.
“I have a calendar where I write my plot points and I go back and research what the weather was on those days, whether it was rainy or snowy,” Knight said. “To that level of detail is how I research.”
It took Knight eight years to finish this first novel in the series because she was also raising her children and working full time for an arts nonprofit in Paonia, Colorado. But she said the highs of writing the novel were getting lost in the story.
“A lot of authors will talk about this magic space that happens where the story pretty much takes over and I am a conduit for the words to come out,” Knight said.
As a self-published author, Knight puts a lot of work into the steps to bring the book to completion. However, she also retains full creative control over her finished work. Being self-published also means that Knight is responsible for the promotion of her books, and she relies heavily on friends and family to set up book signings in their areas.
Knight said that often smaller towns in Colorado don’t get as many book signings and author visits as the Front Range, and smaller communities can be the most gracious and welcoming. The Craig book signing was arranged with the help of Knight’s cousin, who lives locally.
“I want people to know I am excited to be in Craig, and I am really looking forward to meeting people and connecting,” Knight said.
Community members are invited to stop by the book signing any time between 1 and 3 p.m., and there will be books available for purchase directly from the author. “The Devastation of Bartholomew Ka” is also available on Amazon for purchase, and a percentage of the book sale will go to the author through either method.
Knight said she is happy to answer questions about the novel to anyone who has already read it, as well as any questions about the writing or publishing process for other aspiring authors.