Monday, November 30, 2020

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Mine by Alison Knight - Book Tour


Mine

“What’s mine, I keep.”


London, 1968.

Lily’s dreams of a better life for her family are shattered when her teenage daughter refuses to give up her illegitimate child. It doesn’t help that Lily’s husband, Jack, takes their daughter’s side.

Taking refuge in her work at a law firm in the City, Lily’s growing feelings for her married boss soon provides a dangerous distraction.

Will Lily be able to resist temptation? Or will the decisions made by these ordinary people lead them down an extraordinary path that could destroy them all?

Mine – a powerful story of class, ambition and sexual politics.

Purchase Links

UK -  https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08JQF4JQT

US - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08JQF4JQT

INVITATION TO AN ONLINE BOOK LAUNCH: On Saturday 28th November 2020, Alison will be joining four other authors for a joint event via Zoom called Darkstroke Defined: The five writers will talk about their new books, read extracts and answer questions. For your free ticket, go to: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/darkstroke-defined-tickets-125793372363

 Author Q&A
1.     If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

I’d tell myself to keep a journal. Just writing a few lines on a regular basis can help you remember. I’ve found that writing about my early life has been hard because I don’t have any diaries or letters from that time.

 2.     Favorite childhood memory involving books?
I’ve been a bookworm as long as I can remember. One memory I’m particularly proud of is being awarded a prize for reading when I was still in the infants (Year 2 in today’s money). I was given a book called The Elves & The Shoemaker. It was beautifully illustrated and a lovely story.

3.     What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?
I would love to live in Harry Potter’s world of flying broomsticks and washing-up spells. It sounds like my kind of place.

4.     Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Yes. I always wanted to write stories, was always scribbling ideas but didn’t really know how to get started writing a book. It wasn’t until I was a young mum and my husband bought me an Amstrad Word Processor – state of the art technology at the time – that I began to write seriously. It took a lot of years to learn my craft and by the time I got published I was writing on a laptop.

5.     Have you ever met anyone famous?
I’ve been very lucky to have met some brilliant authors who are famous. Phillip Pullman and Bernadine Evaristo were both visiting fellows on my MA course at Oxford Brookes University and Kit de Waal and Annie Murray were fellow students (and now friends). I’ve also met some great romance writers, such as Katie Fforde through my membership of The Romantic Novelists’ Association and once had dinner with Joanne Harris and Charlie Higson at a Society of Authors dinner in Scotland. 

If you’re asking about more general celebrity types, I had breakfast and a chat with the lovely Debbie McGee in the departure lounge of a London Airport. I was heading to Thailand and she was going to join a cruise in Spain.

Even more obscurely, I used to work for Christian charities and over my career I met lots of Bishops and a couple of Archbishops – who I suppose are famous in their own field rather than generally well-known.

6.     How long, on average, does it take you to write a book?
That’s really hard to work out. My first three books were written when I could find the time over a period of five or six years. My latest book, MINE, is something I’ve been thinking about and writing various versions of for about twenty years. It’s based on real events in my family, so it was important to me to find the best way to tell the story and it took several attempts to get it right.

Now that my children have left home and I’ve given up my day job, I can get a first draft of a book written in three to six months.

7.     How do you select the names of your characters?
I think about their personality, type of background and so on in the first instance. For the characters in MINE, it was a bit harder because the characters were based on real people but I didn’t want to use their real names. The main characters, Jack and Lily were fairly easy to name. Jack because he was a bit of a Jack the Lad kind of person. The real name of the person Lily is based on was named after a different flower. One of the hardest things was selecting a name for the character based on me! In the end one of my cousins suggested Caroline and I liked that. She also put in a request to be called Patsy because she’s a fan of the singer Patsy Cline. For the others, I looked at lists of popular baby names around the time they would have been born and decided what fits.

8.     If you were the last person on Earth, what would you do?
Just thinking about that makes me very sad! Being the last person on Earth would be horrible – lonely and possibly quite frightening. I could only hope that artificial intelligence had been developed to such an extent that I’d have something – a robot, perhaps, to talk to. That said, I really don’t want to the last person at all.

9.     What fictional character would you want to be friends with in real life?
Ooh, that’s a hard one. I tend to want to be friends with so many fictional characters – every time I read another book, I find someone I’d like to be my new best friend. But if pushed for one name today, I’d link it with my answer about fantastical fictional worlds and say I’d love to have been friends with Hermione Grainger. She’s smart, kickass and helped save the world.

10.  Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?
Lots, but I don’t want to sound bossy. So, put simply, I’d say: Read lots; write as often as you can; learn from others but find your own unique voice; and, above all, never give up!

11. If you could live in any time period, what would it be and why?
I’m a bit greedy and would like to be a time traveller so that I can go to lots of other time periods. I’ve been working on a series of time-travel books featuring Rosie, a fifteen year old girl who is thrown back through time to meet her ancestors. So far, she’s been in the London Blitz of 1940 and Whitechapel in the 1888 when Jack the Ripper was about. I have so much fun writing these stories but I wish I could be Rosie and see and experience it all for myself.

12. Tell us 10 fun facts about yourself!
1.    I swam my first mile when I was nine years old (and it’s mentioned in MINE).

2.    One of the first people to read an early version of MINE was Bryony Evens, the woman who found Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone in a slush pile and persuaded her agent boss to sign JK Rowling. Sadly, Bryony no longer works in publishing but she gave me some good advice and a lot of encouragement, which kept me going.

3.    They’re not all mentioned in MINE, but I have A LOT of cousins – for most of my life I thought I had twenty-six first cousins, but after a recent Ancestry DNA test, I discovered I had three more – the secret offspring of a very naughty uncle in the 1960s.

4.    I’ve been interviewed on BBC Radio 4’s You and Yours programme about the importance of making a Will if you’re a parent.

5.    I’ve trekked along the Great Wall of China. There are a lot of steps!

6.    I drink several cups of peppermint tea every day.

7.    I once spent a night in the servants’ quarters in Windsor Castle after a attending a party in the dungeon at the bottom of the Round Tower.

8.    I’m allergic to coffee. This was a bit embarrassing when I was sent by the charity I worked for to visit coffee growing communities in Honduras. I had to decline everyone’s offer of a taste of their home-grown coffee and I felt really bad about that.

9.    I once helped build a house in Thailand as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

10. I can see Glastonbury Tor from my kitchen window.


Author Bio –

Alison has been a legal executive, a registered childminder, a professional fund-raiser and a teacher. She has travelled the world – from spending a year as an exchange student in the US in the 1970s and trekking the Great Wall of China to celebrate her fortieth year and lots of other interesting places in between.

In her mid-forties Alison went to university part-time and gained a first-class degree in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and an MA in the same subject from Oxford Brookes University, both while still working full-time. Her first book was published a year after she completed her master’s degree.

Mine is a domestic drama set in 1960s London based on real events in her family. She is the only person who can tell this particular story. Exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics, Mine shows how ordinary people can make choices that lead them into extraordinary situations.

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops(www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk) as well as working as a freelance editor. She is a member of the Society of Authors and the Romantic Novelists’ Association.

She lives in Somerset, within sight of Glastonbury Tor.

 

Social Media Links –

Websites: www.alisonroseknight.com  www.imaginecreativewriting.co.uk www.darkstroke.com/dark-stroke/alison-knight/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/alison.knight.942

Twitter: @Alison_Knight59

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