About A.L. Knorr
Hi! Welcome to my store and my imagination. I'm A.L. Knorr, an award-winning Canadian author living on the Mediterranean coast with my amazing chef husband (lucky me, I struggle with toast). We don't have kids, but we do have a floofy cat named Pamuk (he looks like a mascot for a toilet paper brand, but don't let that fool you, he's a killer. All lizards beware).
Previous to my author life I was a dancer, and a marketing director for a Canadian bath & body company (who's products I'm still totally addicted to). I love mountain biking, hiking, yoga, snorkeling, deep one-on-one discussions (I'm an introvert), cuddling babies, baking sourdough, sleeping in, flannel sheets, coffee in all its form, and I read (of course) a whole gamut of things, from ancient scriptural texts to contemporary fiction.
I've loved stories since I understood what a story was (I learned to read when I was 3, I guess that's why I skipped a grade, although maths has always terrified me). I knew that one day I would tell my own stories because I was bursting with characters that were real enough to breathe. It took me until 2016 (I was 38) by the time I could take a year off to write my first book. I started with Born of Water, a mermaid story (I've always loved mermaids) that I had held in my imagination since I was teenager.
Born of Water started as a vignette: a mermaid explores a centuries old wreck. She comes around to the figurehead on the front of the ship and realizes its a mermaid carved of wood. Gently, she blows away the algae for a better look and is stunned to see her own face staring back at her. How did her face get on a figurehead that's well over 100 years old? How is possible that it looks exactly like her? Who carved it, and why?
I still remember the day I got the email back from my editor (the first person to ever read the story). My heart was pounding. My throat was dry. Would she like it? Was it any good?
The first line of the email was: "Did you know that you're a writer?" I burst into tears and have never looked back.
Why did I start with mermaids? I love the oceans and seas, I love ships, nautical history, marine biology, and shipwreck stories (as sad as they are). I dreamed of exploring the world's oceans unencumbered by diving gear, and what better way to do that than to have fins?
Born of Water won the Readers' Favorite Gold Medal award for YA Fantasy in 2018, and paved the way for a fantastical universe that includes many other supernaturals; fire magi, fae, demon hunters and so much more! One supernatural you won't find in my universe is vampires. I know... weird right? They're SO popular! I get the appeal of Twilight, I really do. I devoured the books when they came out, and I always admired Anne Rice's and Stephen King's vampire mythologies (I've read The Vampire Lestat three times, and Salem's Lot twice) but I was always a little confused about the vampire as a hero and a love interest... because to me, any creature that sucks blood to live (animal or human... I'm looking at you too, mosquitoes) is a parasite. Vampires are dark beings, so if vampires ever enter my universe they won't be good and they won't be sparkly. Just sayin'.
When asked which writers have influenced me the most, the list is long and varied; Kelley Armstrong (a fellow Canadian), Tamora Pierce, Piers Anthony, Amy A Bartol, Stephenie Meyer, JK Rowling, Ken Follett, Stephen King, Elizabeth Gilbert, Kristin Hannah, Maria V Snyder, Laini Taylor, and Naomi Novak.
My goal as a storyteller is to provide a beautiful and magical world for you to escape to. My stories contains themes of friendship, loyalty, family, adventure, love, and of course... elemental magic, which I hope is believable. My stories are f-bomb free with no extreme or graphic violence. Any love-making the characters might get up to is non-explicit and fade-to-black. I've had countless readers write to thank me for writing something they can recommend to younger teens, but that they (as adults and retirees) get joy out of reading themselves. I feature young adult and new adult aged protagonists, but the majority of my readers are actually adults. Couldn't have predicted that, but I'm happy about it. I love my readers. If you want to meet some of them, join my VIP Reader Lounge on Facebook. We're a friendly bunch!
I would describe my writing as 'cinematic', that means I try to show you the story as its happening, as though you were there in real-time. Readers tell me its like watching a movie in their heads. If all that sounds like something you might fancy, I invite you to take a look around. Stay a while, pick a book or grab an audiobook if you're the type who likes to listen. Thank you for being here!
Frequently Asked Questions
What are you working on right now?
I'm doing the final edits on Aquamarine, Pretty Little Mermaids, book 1.
Will you write more for Akiko & Petra?
Yes, I plan to. The stories for these characters are both in the early plotting stage, but they are never far from my mind. I'm sorry I can't commit to an exact timeline just yet.
Why can't I buy "specific title in a specific format" here?
I built my career as an author by putting my books exclusively into the Kindle Unlimited program. That program has become less and less beneficial over the years, so I plan to take my full catalog our of KU (it will remain for sale on Amazon) and sell it here, in my store.
So far I have 4 series available here and 4 more to go, which will take several months. Some audiobooks (Earth Magic Rises & Arcturus Academy) are bound by exclusive contracts to Audible, and will not be available here for quite a while (years).
Will you read my manuscript?
I only wish I could read every manuscript I'm asked to read. On top of having a TBR a mile high, I have a full schedule producing content and running this store. I don't have enough hours in my day where I'm not staring at a screen. I'm so sorry, but please don't sent me your manuscript. I do congratulate you on finishing it, though!
What is your policy on AI?
There's three parts to address on this topic: digital narration, digital art and digital writing.
Digital narration: while I believe that no one can narrate a story better than a human (I adore my narrators; Marni Penning, Manon Kahle, Gabra Zackman, and Mikael Naramore) there are challenges to using human narration. Good quality narration starts at around $300 per finished hour. For a full length novel of 10 hours, you can do the math. Also, human narration takes a long time. Sometimes VERY long. Just ask the listeners who have been waiting for A Memory of Nightshade for over a year now. So, while human narration is always my first choice, it is dependant both on time and on funding. Since I'm spending more than $30k in 2023 into French translations, I don't have the budgets I would normally have for audio. Digital narration is a good solution to offer readers until I'm able to hire my favorite humans.
I have readers who are visually impaired who use Alexa to read books aloud to them because they can't afford to buy all the human narrated audiobooks they would like to consume. I feel that providing a digitally narrated file is a step above Alexa, and a service they appreciate.
Regarding digital art: all of my covers and banners are made by human artists, and they always will be. Many professional artists are now utilizing digital art to help them create their masterpieces. If they do, then that is their choice.
I have and do use digital art to produce character images which helps both my human artists and my readers understand my vision. For example I developed many images to illustrate the cast from The Scented Court. To have hired a human to produce these images would have taken months and cost thousands. I wouldn't have been able to afford that, but with Artbreeder, I was able to produce them in a few hours. So while human artists will always be my go to, I will use digital art when it makes sense from a budget and time perspective.
I have paid human artists somewhere in the region of $100k over the course of my career as an author, maybe even more, I haven't calculated the exact number. I don't plan to withdraw that support, ever. If you weren't aware, AI artwork cannot by copyrighted, this is an important factor that keeps the power in the hands of human artists.
Digital writing: I'll never use AI to write my stories. I might use it to help me work through a complex plot problem, or to perfect a blurb, but it will never write chapters for me. Full stop.
Final thoughts: I am not fully comfortable with any kind of AI because no one knows where it's going to go, but I don't buy into the hysteria that its going to put artists out of business any more than escalators made staircases obsolete. I think it far more likely that artists will use AI as a tool to help them (they are already doing this), just as writers are already using AI to help them fix plot holes, and the visually impaired are using AI to be read to.
As I type this, Amazon is being flooded with AI written books. Are they hurting the sales of human authors? No, not the good ones who focus on producing the best quality story that they can. AI books get bad reviews and subsequently sink to the bottom of their categories where they languish like a pile of rotting leaves. AI will improve at storytelling over time, yes, but I'm not a catastrophizer and I don't believe in living in fear or hysteria about what might happen. I have to live in the moment, keep creating, and fearlessly live day by day.
AI can't be stopped by campaigning against it, although I sympathize with those who are trying. We will just have to wait and see how the landscape forms itself over time.
For the record, I do wish engineers would focus on making robots that can take over mundane jobs so that humans can be free'd up to create. I believe to be human is to be creative, and inventions should support that, not usurp it.