Monday, August 30, 2010
[Anne] Joining us today is author Allison Knight. Allison, let’s begin with when did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
[Allison] I started writing when I was in grade school, but at first my love with teaching and or course, reading. I've always been an intense reader. I loved the "Cherry Ames - Nurse" books, so I'm really dating myself. One of my favorite places was the local library. But, teaching, marriage, raising a family kinda stopped the desire to write for awhile. As the kids grew older I read more and decided I could probably write a book at least as good as the ones I was reading. So, I did. (grinning)
[Anne] Tell us about your latest book.
[Allison] Battlesong is the second of the song books. Each title contains the word song, "Heartsong", "Battlesong", "Windsong", the next book and "Lovesong" the final book.
This book is about the youngest boy of the family. Of course, by now, he's grown up and as the title suggests, this is a book about a battle between the heroine and the hero. They don't like each other for various reasons. My Scottish heroine is an independent lass, and Arthur is stuck in his ways. They have to learn to get along and manage to fall in love along the way.
[Anne] What inspired you to write this story?
[Allison] It was a matter of not letting my characters from "Heartsong" go and an idea occurred which seemed to fight Arthur's nature. I can't give you a specific that inspired this story, like "Heartsong". That one definitely had that special moment when a full blown book jumps into your head.
[Anne] How did you go about researching your book?
[Allison] I tend to get lost in research. I use a lot of internet search sites, and I have a big library of my own. I also still love the library. If all else fails I go to the actual library and start hunting. And I have a good friend who also loves the medieval period. She's a wealth of information. In fact, thanks to her, I have one of my villains for the next song book.
[Anne] Do you have anything new in the works?
[Allison] I have a Novella coming in February from Champagne books. Of course, in February, you know it's going to be a Valentine story. And I write historical romance, so it's a period piece. I'm also trying desperately to complete a romance that takes place during the reign of Charles the second of England during the plague and fire of London. That one is almost finished, and then I'll submit it. And since I never work on just one book, I'm also in the process of putting the plot together for "Windsong".
[Anne] What is your writing process like? Are you a plotter or a pantster?
[Allison] I'm definitely a plotter. In fact, I keep a note book for each book. I have a closet full of notebooks, plots I have yet to research or write. (grin) Each book contains the character interviews I do and a rough draft of the plot ideas for that story. That's kinda how "Battlesong" get going. I had this idea and a description of the Heroine and thinking about Arthur, I just knew it was a match.
[Anne] If you could be anyone of your characters, which one would you chose to be and why?
[Allison] Unfortunately, I like to write about people, make up stories for them and put them in situations not to their liking, but become one of them. - no way. I like my life, and I really do like this time period. The more research I do the more I realize those people had it rough. I love computers, microwaves, dishwashers and vacuum cleaners. I don't want to give those thing up and if I became one of my characters that's what would have to happen.
[Anne] Say your publisher has offered to fly you anywhere in the world to do research on an upcoming book, where would you most likely want to go? (Okay so maybe this isn’t very likely to happen but since I’m asking the questions…)
[Allison] I'd love to go to Great Britain. My husband and I traveled a lot before we retired and I've either lived in or visited all but three states here in the US. We just to have dinner in Windsor, Ontorio, and traveled through the province many times, so I been there, done that. I've never been to Europe and British Isles have always fascinated me. I'd also like to visit Wales, since my mother's father's family came from Wales and Dad's ancestors came from England and Ireland, so that would be on the agenda. Oh, well, it's fun to dream.
[Anne] You’ve just been informed that your latest release was a NY Times bestseller and Hollywood wants to turn it into a movie. What actors would you choose to play your main characters?
[Allison] That's not a fair question to ask an old lady, because I don't know any of today's actors and actresses. I seldom watch a movie or a television show, because I prefer to read. If I do watch a movie, it's an old, old one, like "My Fair Lady", or "The Quiet Man". Most of the stars of those movies have passed on.
[Anne] What type of books do you like to read when you’re not writing?
[Allison] If I'm writing historical romance, then I read contemporary stuff. If I'm venturing into the contemporary world, I read historicals. If I'm not writing, then I'll read anything I can get my hands on.
[Anne] Name three things you can’t live without (excluding spouses and family because that’s a given).
[Allison] My computer, pencil and paper. Boy was that easy. And I have to tell you my friends think I'm a bit nuts. I have these people running around in my head all the time, and I have to be able to record their thoughts, or their situations at the darnedest times - Like in bed at 3 in the morning.
[Anne] What advice would you give to any aspiring writers out there?
[Allison] Read, read, read. Then write, rewrite and rewrite some more. I think the two things go hand in hand. But you have to put the words on a piece of paper, or a computer screen, the way they come to you. Reading helps you see how others do it, but the worst thing is trying to imitate another author. If you read a lot, different authors, different genre, you get a feeling for how the words go, but then you have to develop your own style. (I hate that word, but it fits. How you use language is your style and you can't use what other's have done, because it always sounds stiff. It takes time to learn to sound like yourself, so you have to write and write and write.
[Anne] Where can we find you on the web?
[Allison] I have a web page, www.AllisonKnight.com and I also have a blog, which I tend to neglect for a couple of weeks at a time. It's www.AllisonKnight.blogspot.com
[Anne] Where can we purchase your book(s)?
[Allison] I'm on the 'net' and my publishers have my books. Also, the books are available for the Kindle.
[Anne] Is there anything else you’d like to add?
[Allison] Thanks so much for inviting me to visit with you. And I'll add one more thing. I'm a great believer in the electronic age. I have been for some time. E-books are the future of publishing. Many people now get their news, buy their supplies, bank and pay their bills on the 'net'. Books are finding their way to the internet and people love the convenience. Imagine, finding a book you want to read, downloading it in seconds, then changing the font so you don't end up with eye strain. I love it.