Since joining the adult industry in 2003, Tyler Knight has racked up an impressive résumé of over 500 videos, working for just about every major producer in the state, not to mention three AVN Awards and even Heartthrob of the Year from the Feminist Porn Awards in 2009—and he's still at it, having appeared in what he describes as a "White House orgy thing," perhaps better known as the Brazzers Web scene "ZZ Erection 2016 4," as well as Jacky St. James' Interracial Family Needs for Mile High, Seduction for Penthouse, and Republican Candidate Wife Swap for Hustler.

But sometimes, even porn performers get the urge to set down their experiences in writing—and that's why, in between all his work between the sheets, Knight had been toiling away on his memoir, Burn My Shadow: A Selective Memory of an X-Rated Life, for the better part of a decade.

"I actually started writing it back in the '00s, and frankly, my writing skill and my craft wasn't anywhere near as developed as my acting talent," Knight admitted, "so the fortunate thing was, by the time I finally found the literary agent who actually sold it, my craft and my writing skill caught up and it was pretty darn polished at that point. But it took ten years of writing and revising and revising, you know."

In a way, the book is almost a virtual reality version of Knight's life both in and out of porn since the early 2000s.

"It's about my almost 15 years in the business, and the experiences I've had in the business," Knight explained, "and instead of it just being a typical memoir which is 'On this date I did this, and this is what I had for lunch and I met this person and this is what happened,' it takes a more literary approach. It reads more like a novel as opposed to facts of who, what, when, where, how and why. It's much more entertaining than a simple regurgitation of facts. It's all first person, and the difference between this and a lot of memoirs is, memoirs are by definition an accounting of the past so they're usually written in first person past tense. But I made an artistic choice to write in first person present tense, so that it feels like the story is unfolding for the reader at the same time it's unfolding for the narrator, which is obviously me."

Of course, writing as if the reader is looking over your shoulder has its drawbacks, such as a linear storyline that may feel a bit claustrophobic, but Knight fills out the narrative with flashbacks to his life before porn and the early months of his career.

"For the most part, the narrative starts 14 years ago and just drives forward to the finish line, which ends up roughly in 2014," Knight noted. "I would have written more, but see, the funny thing is, with books, it takes a long freakin' time to get published and by the time I turned in my manuscript two years ago, it took that long for the darn thing to finally get published, which was on November 15. I had a book release party on November 4 at a local bookstore, Skylight Books, which had a great turnout, and we had a few advance copies that we sold out of quickly. It's tracking very well, and the preorders were extremely high."

Knight didn't begin Burn My Shadow with his first on-camera appearance, which was for Veronica Hart's Barbara Broadcast Too for VCA, but rather with the scene he did for the man he calls an "evil genius," Jim Powers.

"The story actually begins on a bukkake set—ah, the notorious bukkakes!" he recounted with a sigh. "It was Mr. Jim Powers' bukkake set, and it was quite a bit different from being on a set with a VCA contract girl. Oh, God, it was a Fellini-esque circus, and Mr. Powers has a very dark and twisted sense of humor and I love him.

"I also talk about the HIV crisis of 2004," he added, "how I was one of the very first people quarantined as first generation, and what that's like, living through that, and how it affected the people I care about, my off-camera sexual partners, and the challenge of having to call people whom I worked with who weren't even notified that I was first generation and telling them that they had to get themselves checked and how some of them shot the messenger; how some companies completely ignored the quarantine list and how some companies completely ignored the moratorium and how some performers ended up price-gouging their rates because that was the market it was, during the moratorium when nobody should have been shooting anyway! And then there were the moments of self-reflection about what I'm doing with my life and how that forced me to be more cognizant of safety protocol, not just for myself but for my fellow performers when I'm actually working with them. And also the Tiger Woods scandal and how I ended up satirizing him several times."

There's plenty of that and more in the 328 pages that comprise Burn My Shadow, which veteran player Stoya described as "poignant, gritty and blunt," and with retired star Ashley Blue commenting, "Tyler has never fit the typical mold of 'porno guy.' He's great looking but he isn't a meathead. His sensitivity, curiosity and introspectiveness are what make him so appealing."

But perhaps the best compliment came from fellow author Jerry Stahl, the screenwriter for such classic Rinse Dream XXX hits as Café Flesh, Nightdreams and Party Doll A Go-Go: "Tyler Knight’s scalding and eye-opening memoir, Burn My Shadow, may well do for the sex industry what Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle did for meat-packing—with the difference that the author, a porn actor who writes like a cross between Ralph Ellison and Celine, actually packed his own meat. At once a full-frontal meditation on 21st Century American celebrity and an up-close, blow-by-blow of life as the ultimate first person shooter, Burn My Shadow’s real shock is not its Triple X-centric content, but the deep heart, wild-ass humor and fearless humanity of the writing itself. The perfect anecdote to literary memoir fatigue, Burn My Shadow is a truly unique, genre-defying, un-put-downable triumph."

Burn My Shadow is available from Amazon.com and many other online retailers—but Knight would prefer if you didn't buy it there.

"I am a staunch supporter of bookstores," Knight said, "so there's a website called IndieBound where you can type in the name of my book, and there's a little box next to the listing where you can type in your zip code and it will show you every single bookstore in the U.S. that is selling my book within 20 miles of you."

That's Tyler Knight: Classy to a fault!