Somewhere to review books I'm reading without giving away any spoilers!
I’m very pleased to welcome Alison Knight, author of Mine, here today. She has kindly answered my questions and allowed me to share her responses with you. Read on to find out more about her and this book!
Where did you get the inspiration for the book?
Mine is based on real events in my family in the 1960s. It’s something I lived through and I’m the only one left who can tell this particular story. It took a long time to decide how to tell it, but in the end I realised it was my parents’ story rather than mine, so I’ve told it from their points of view.
What is your writing process?
In general, I would start with a situation and a couple of characters and start asking questions such as who, what, when, where, why and how? Writing Mine was different, because I knew the outline of the story and needed to fill in the gaps. So I spoke to other people about their memories, read newspaper reports and court documents, and then spent some time looking at British culture in the 1960s because this would have had an effect on the people involved in this story in terms of how they responded to or been influenced by the attitudes of the day.
Despite all that, there were still huge gaps in the story because the people who knew what happened are no longer with us. So I then used my knowledge of the people involved and the culture of the time to imagine what might have happened. That’s why this is a novel rather than a non-fiction book – this is my imagining of what might have happened, using the bare bones of the events as my story’s framework.
Do you write using pen and paper or on a computer?
I always have a notebook handy for writing notes, but I write on my computer as I’m a fast typist and have very messy handwriting. It just saves a lot of stress to get it straight onto a screen rather than having to decipher my scribbles.
Who is your favourite character out of your stories and why?
I can’t choose a favourite in Mine because I loved these people equally. In other stories I write, I usually want to be the heroine and always fall in love with the hero.
If you were a character in your story, which would you like to be?
I actually am a character in Mine! The younger daughter, Caroline, is based on me. I’ve tried to portray myself as honestly as I can. It will be interesting to hear whether my relatives think I’ve drawn an accurate picture or not.
How and why did you choose the names for your main characters?
That was an interesting exercise, because I changed all of the names from their real ones. The main male character was easy – I called him Jack because he was a bit of a Jack the Lad type of person. I gave the main female character the name Lily because her real name was also a flower. One of my cousins suggested Caroline for me and asked if she could be called Patsy after the singer Patsy Cline. For the others, I looked at lists of popular names for the years in which they were born.
Thank you so much for answering – I hadn’t realised this book is part memoir, it sounds a fascinating read!
Here is more about the book and its author….
“What’s mine, I keep.”
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.
Award-winning author of My Name is Leon, Kit de Waal, said this about Mine:
“A heart breaking account of love and loss told by a great storyteller. Alison takes you into the heart of the tragedy with compassion, wit and even humour. A beautiful story.”
BUY LINK – Mine by Alison Knight is published by Darkstroke Books on 25th November and is available for pre-order now: mybook.to/mineknight
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 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.
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