Categories
Books Reviews

Hunter’s Review

Today, I’m reviewing the new audio version of Hunter’s Chase by the fabulous author, Val Penny. This is part of the blog tour organised by Reading Between the Lines – Online Book PR.

First, some information about the novel.

Hunter’s Chase

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until Edinburgh is safe.

Detective Inspector Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city, and he needs to find the source, but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. 

Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder, but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: Detective Constable Tim Myerscough, the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable Sir Peter Myerscough. 

Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this first novel in The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries series.

Hunter’s Chase audio version is available from Amazon UK, Amazon US, etc.

My Review

I hadn’t read this novel, so it was a new story for me. The main characters, however, were familiar, as I have read a later novel in the series, and I was keen to find out how they “began life”.

I’d had hardly any experience of audio books and worried about two aspects of listening:

  • What would I do while listening?
  • Would I understand the narration?

The second was a valid consideration. This series of books is set in Edinburgh, Scotland. Clearly the narrator needed to have a Scottish accent, which was provided by Sean Pia. I remembered once concentrating on a Scottish comedy act and never understanding the punchlines. I also remembered a Scottish guy at a writing retreat whose accent I struggled to follow.

I’m happy to say that this narration was excellent – very clear and easy to follow, even for me. My only complaint is that occasional sentences are repeated, but that hardly affected me.

As for the novel itself, the plot is exciting and kept me wanting to listen. And the characters are all well-rounded and true to life with plenty of backstory woven in. I knew I would enjoy it, having read Hunter’s Force.

Was I won over to audio books? Not really. I feel the point of audio books is being able to do something boring while listening. It doesn’t feel right to me to just sit and listen. But I don’t have enough boring things to do. I hardly ever travel long distances, and I have radio programmes to listen to while working in the kitchen. I could listen to an audio book very occasionally, if that’s an option, but I certainly wouldn’t take out a monthly subscription.

Val Penny

Val Penny’s other crime novels, Hunter’s Chase, Hunter’s Revenge, Hunter’s ForceHunter’s Blood and Hunter’s Secret form the bestselling series, The Edinburgh Crime Mysteries. They are set in Edinburgh, Scotland and published by darkstroke. Val’s first non-fiction book Let’s Get Published is also available now and she has most recently contributed her short story, Cats and Dogs to a charity anthology, Dark Scotland.

Val is an American author living in SW Scotland with her husband and their cat.

Author Links

Website / Facebook / Twitter / Goodreads / Amazon / Bookbub

Links to Val Penny’s Books

Hunter’s Chase / Hunter’s Revenge / Hunter’s Force / Hunter’s Blood / Hunter’s Secret / Let’s Get Published / Dark Scotland / The First Cut

Categories
Books Israel

The Journey of a Stone

This post is about a new novel. It’s one that covers four thousand years and follows a stone on its travels close to home and then further afield. I was lucky enough to read a draft, about which I made suggestions that have been incorporated by its author, Olga Swan (pen-name). I look forward to reading the final version, which has just been published as The Meleke Stone.

Here’s the author herself to tell you about it.

Thank you so much, Miriam, for allowing me on your blog. I’ve been working towards The Meleke Stone all my life. Included are all the times, and perpetrators, from 1900 BCE to the present when the Jewish people were ousted from their land. It’s a novel with a strong underlying message. Here’s the blurb:

“A meleke stone from the ancient plains of the Dead Sea is passed down by generations of females through four thousand years.  

In 2019 Sami, the son of Egyptian immigrants in Toulouse, is traumatised by the family’s hardships in France and plots revenge.  

Menes, Sami’s father from Cairo, had emigrated to France in search of peace. An unlikely friendship forms with Holocaust-survivor Moshe, each recognising their past struggles.

Suddenly, a terrorist bomb explodes in a Toulouse synagogue. Moshe asks his son, Simon, to produce a film showing the true history of his people from the time of Sodom and Gomorrah.  

What will happen to Moshe’s and Menes’ special relationship when an intrepid French detective’s efforts to find the terrorist reveal the horrifying truth? 

In a soul-searching conclusion in Jerusalem, having no female descendant to whom to give the meleke stone, there’s only one thing that Simon can do to maintain the survival of his people for all eternity. 

…..are you ready for the four thousand year journey of the meleke stone?”

Follow the story as it moves between Toulouse, Warsaw, Cairo and through to Jerusalem. Read the historical truths about Sodom and Gomorrah, the Maccabees and what happened during the Six-Day War in the Sinai.  But above all, recognise the lifelong friendship between a Jewish man and an Egyptian Muslim. Enjoy!

About the Author

Olga Swan has a B.A. Hons. (Open) in English language and literature.  For many years she worked at The University of Birmingham, following which she spent twelve years living in S.W. France before returning to Birmingham in 2017.  She has had 7 books (3 non-fiction) published by indie publisher Crooked Cat Books, which has now closed. Three of Olga’s works are narrative non-fiction, one of which (Pensioners in Paradis) is approaching one million pages read and is already a four-times international best-seller.  A second edition of this and of An Englishwoman in America have now been reprinted. Three novels form a series set in wartime Germany, France and Poland. Dunoon Assassin  moves between NY, Dunoon and Amritsar.

Olga has been writing her blog every Sunday for 13 years with hundreds of regular readers each week from around the world.

She can also be found on her Amazon author page, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and Linktree.

Categories
Books The writing process

The End of an Era

I joined NaNoWriMo in 2012. I wrote eight novels inspired by NaNoWriMo. Four times, I reached the goal of writing 50,000 words in a month. Today, I deleted my NaNoWriMo account.

Why?

When I joined NaNoWriMo, it was to connect with writers around the world. It didn’t matter to me what they wrote or how they wrote it. What mattered was that we were all in this together. It was the cameraderie that drew me in and kept me updating my profile and creating a new project every year (except for one).

Recently, NaNoWriMo has shown itself not to be the organisation I joined. They’ve taken sides in an incredibly complicated conflict, showing themselves to be swayed by popular belief and unable to comprehend even the existence of another side. Rather than bringing writers together under the common theme of writing, they’ve pushed them apart by taking a stance in a conflict they clearly don’t understand.

I didn’t leave on a whim or in a bout of fury. I wrote to them and received an unsatisfactory response. Then I waited for three weeks before making the final decision. I’m sorry to leave, but I think it was the right thing for me to do. I would never encourage anyone else to do the same.

I will continue to write. I will probably continue to write novels in November, spurred on by my local writer friends; I’m not leaving our Facebook group. And I discovered a wonderful video that explains how to create NaNo-type, word-count graphs.

Bye bye, NaNoWriMo. We had great times together. I’m so sad it’s over.

Categories
Books The Power of Belief

The Power Of Belief: Catherine Fearns

After a break for multiple reasons, the Power of Belief is back, and the multi-talented author and musician, Catherine Fearns, takes the theme in a new direction. Over to you, Catherine.

Miriam’s new blog series instantly leapt out at me, because ‘the power of belief’ is a major theme in my books. The characters are motivated by religious beliefs, and the readers are free to interpret my novels according to their own personal beliefs. The main concept running through the Reprobation series is the dialectic between truth and belief. The truth is only what we tell ourselves happened; there are infinite alternatives. We act based not upon the truth, but upon what we believe to be the truth. And since reality is only that which conjures itself into being, beliefs can become truths; they can act as self-fulfilling prophecies.

Christianity has been a constant presence in my life, but I have always been a spectator on the side-lines rather than a genuine participant. I attended a Church of England school where we prayed and sang hymns, every day, from the age of four through eighteen. I can still recall in their entirety countless hymns and prayers all these years later. My grandfather was the warden of an eleventh century Norman church in the Lake District, and I spent my weekends and school holidays running in and out of the gravestones and pews and messing about on the organ. I attended Christ Church college, established by Cardinal Wolsey, functioning as Oxford’s cathedral, and with religion at its heart. I gravitated towards the religious topics for my history degree – the European Reformation, the architecture of Wren, the writings of Bede. I married into the Greek Orthodox church, where religion is very much something you ‘do’ – Easter, Christmas, saints’ days – they are all as important for the family, the food and the ritual as for the belief. I adore exploring churches, listening to religious music, even reading religious texts. I’ve read the Bible many times. 

And yet I remain an atheist. No, that would imply believing in something. I’m an agnostic. I was never moved. Why? Billions of people practise a religion today, base their lives around it, draw comfort from it, kill for it, believe in it. I’m the one in the minority.

I have had ‘spiritual’ experiences in my life, sure. The births of my children, for example. The times I experimented with drugs as a student. And nowadays when I go to a heavy metal concert, yeah, I get it. But God? I can’t get past the notion that if God exists, he’s kind of a bad guy.

In the Reprobation series, Detective Inspector Darren Swift is a confirmed atheist, an eternal cynic, who is gradually drawn towards the supernatural, towards a possible world beyond our own, by the realisation that people act based on their beliefs.

Sister Helen Hope is a nun who breaks her vows, loses her Christian faith, but then gains another sort of faith.

As for the criminals and victims in the books, I’m not giving away any spoilers, because what they believe would give it away! But every crime in my books has a double interpretation, depending on the reader.

And as for what happens to Mikko Kristensen, the devil-worshipping death metal guitarist – well, you’ll have to wait for book four, which I have almost finished writing!

Recently I have been trying to work all this out. It’s no good saying ‘religion is bollocks’ when many of the world’s conflicts and injustices are based on religion. It’s important to understand how and why people believe, because it will help us to be more tolerant. And to understand why people believe in dangerous things like conspiracy theories. Climate change denial, anti-vax campaigns, populism – these are the movements that will bring about the apocalypse far quicker than the Second Coming.

Stephen Hawking famously said that ‘if we discover a theory of everything, then we would truly know the mind of God.’ Many scientists are religious, and even those who are not acknowledge that religion is unfalsifiable.

Recently I’ve been trying to work all this out. I have been reading a lot of Rene Girard. In fact, I had to stop underlining passages in ‘Things Hidden Since The Foundation Of The World’ because I was underlining the whole book. I’ve been reading about synchronicity, about esotericism, about Judaism, Islam, Eastern religions. I’m learning about the function of religion, how if God didn’t exist humanity would have created him anyway. And perhaps I’m approaching the beginnings of a faith of my own; no sudden revelation, no thunderbolts from heaven, but perhaps an acceptance of the presence of magic and mystery in the world.

Ok, I’ll give you a clue about Mikko Kristensen. He’s one of my most popular characters, a nihilistic Norwegian death metal musician who covers himself in blasphemous tattoos and screams songs about Satan. But why is he so obsessed with Satan? In ‘Lamb Of God’, he decides to try Pascal’s wager. The philosopher Pascal posited that rational beings bet with their lives whether God exists or not. It’s safer to believe. So Mikko tries Moore’s paradox: he tries to believe in something that he knows is not true. What happens? You’ll have to wait for ‘Lamb Of God’.

The Reprobation series is available from Amazon:

And also from the Reprobation online shop, where you can also buy exclusive merchandise. All merchandise profits to Sefton Women and Children’s Aid.

Author Links

Categories
Books Social anxiety The Power of Belief The writing process

Ask and You Will Be Answered

Yesterday evening was Ladies Who Launch – a joint online launch event with the fabulous authors, Jo Fenton and Alison Knight. And me. We were celebrating the launch of our new novels:

I was looking forward to reading an extract from my novel, but not so much to tackling questions. In fact I was sure I’d mess that part up. I was ready to say, “I haven’t done your question justice, but I’d be happy to answer it properly on social media.”

In the event, there were no such problems and I managed to answer fairly well. But there was a different problem. There were several questions that I didn’t get to answer, many of which I didn’t even have a chance to see.

So, I’m opening this post up for the questions that weren’t answered, and for questions that weren’t asked before. Ask, in the comments below, about Style and the Solitary. Ask about me as an author, or as a person. With time to consider my responses, I’m likely provide a more satisfactory answer, anyway. I’ll reply to the comments or write one or more separate posts in response if the question warrants it.

What you should know about Style and the Solitary

  • It’s a murder mystery
  • It’s set in Jerusalem
  • It includes a romance
  • One character has social anxiety
  • One character is a new immigrant from France
  • It involves the power of belief

Ask away!

And many thanks to all those who attended the event and those who tried but failed.

Categories
Books

SATS Launch Day Update

Since my last post about Style and the Solitary, there have been several developments. I’m going to copy from the post and add to it.

Thanks again to Melina Kantor and Shoshana Raun, whose prompts and other writing suggestions helped to craft the plot much more than I’d expected. Joan Livingston, who read and commented on my draft, and also wrote the cover line and the brilliant foreword. And Stephanie and Laurence Patterson of darkstroke books whose editing and cover design were magnificent.

Also to all those who have opened up (or will open up) their blogs for me:

Name and LinkTopicDate
Natalie WoodWhy crime?3rd March
Jennifer WorrellSettings24th March
Carynn BohleyInterview5th April
Heidi SlowinskiInterview20th April
Sue BarnardImportance of Setting21st April
Tim TaylorExtract25th April
Paula ReadmanInterview26th April
Angela Wren25th May

What can you do?

  • You can come to today’s Facebook Launch.
    Click now and press Going. There will be information about the book in text, photos and music, and plenty of interaction, including a competition.
  • You can come to the joint online launch event called Ladies Who Launch, where three darkstroke authors will introduce our new books with readings and answer questions.
    It’s on 6th May. Click now to secure your free ticket.
  • And you can buy Style and the Solitary – paperback or ebook – on Amazon.

Thank you, everyone!

Categories
The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief: Jennifer Gilmour

I was on Facebook recently when one special post caught my eye. I thought, this would be perfect for my Power of Belief series. Fortunately the post’s author allowed me to use her post. It was Jennifer Gilmour.

The post speaks for itself, so I’m copying it here before adding anything else.

This photo just came up in my memories. A production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream with my tutors and fellow students. It was way back when I was at Hull College studying Acting.

Here’s a story for you.

At the time I didn’t believe in myself, my mum had instilled in me that I needed a fall back plan because it’s unlikely that this career path would work out for me. It wasn’t just my mum though, but the school system and others around me.

I applied for a gap year in Youthwork and decided not to apply for anything in Acting. I was absolutely gutted when I received some pretty awesome grades from my diploma in Acting. However, I thought to myself that I would carry on with what I had decided and maybe come back to it. I went on to study youthwork at the University of Chester. I found myself doing acting within this, being a part of acting groups and I worked with young people with drama.

My life went in a different direction as most know. I fell into an abusive relationship for several years and I felt my life was on hold. I didn’t progress in myself or with any kind of career.

However, the last several years of building myself back up after fleeing that abusive relationship has given me an appreciation for life. The last two years have been a big game changer for me and I believe in myself. I’ve made sure I take advantage of my freedom and really worked on my self development.

I’ve taken away the negative support in my life, those who said I couldn’t make it or achieve it. In anything I have chosen, I have not stuck to a ‘normal’ job or typical ‘career path’ that the school system encourages. I’m not saying that those paths are wrong or bad but it simply wasn’t right for me. If my creativity had of been encouraged who knows where I would be? If someone had have told me they believed in me, motivated me and backed me- where would I be?

I may not be the actor I wanted to be in my childhood and teens but those experiences have helped me today. Those skills have been put into practice when I speak at events in the UK or happen to appear in the news or on a documentary. They appear in events I host or interviews I facilitate.

That experience wasn’t a waste of time because it only made me certain of who I was meant to be.

If I could go back in time and give myself a message it would be “Believe in yourself and surprise those who don’t believe you can do it”.

I’ve surprised myself in the last two years and I hope it’s turned the heads of those who said I couldn’t do it.

I certainly don’t have a typical day at work in my self-employment. I’m never bored and there’s a different sense of achievement when something works. My hope is that my children see that there are options and that I pass on the message that dreams can be goals.

So my message to you this evening is, whatever has happened in your life… it’s not a waste! It can equip you with what you need to make it happen. Believe in yourself because that’s the number one person you need to convince. If you can’t do that, I’m waving a flag with your name on it and I will personally cheer you on.

*****

Isn’t that amazing? Jennifer’s former tutors thought so, too. They wrote some moving comments, which you can see in this post.

There’s plenty more that I could say about Jennifer, but I’ll let you find out more via the links:

Jennifer’s site.

A clip: an example of how her past experience has helped her.

Next week’s post in this series is from Sandy Cee.

Remember, belief doesn’t have to be connected to writing, and these posts don’t even have to be about true stories. If you want to take part, do let me know via Contact above or social media.

Categories
Books Editing Interviews

All About SATS

SATS. That’s my new novel,

Style and the Solitary

In just five days, it will be launched into the world. My first venture into crime fiction. Fortunately, it has some wonderful people to help my baby emerge from the womb.

No, I didn’t mean Nathalie and Asaf. They carry the story through from start to finish. But I’m talking about the lovely, real people who have helped in many ways, and to whom I will always be grateful.

People like Melina Kantor and Shoshana Raun, whose prompts and other writing suggestions helped to craft the plot much more than I’d expected. Joan Livingston, who read and commented on my draft, and also wrote the cover line and the brilliant foreword. And Stephanie and Laurence Patterson of darkstroke books whose editing and cover design were magnificent.

Also to all those who have opened up (or will open up) their blogs for me:

Name and LinkTopicDate
Natalie WoodWhy crime?3rd March
Jennifer WorrellSettings24th March
Heidi SlowinskiInterview20th April
Sue BarnardImportance of Setting21st April
Tim Taylor
Paula Readman
Angela Wren

What can you do?

  • You can come to the Facebook Launch on Monday.
    Click now and press Going. There will be information about the book in text, photos and music, and plenty of interaction.
  • You can come to the joint online launch event called Ladies Who Launch, where three darkstroke authors will introduce our new books with readings and answer questions.
    It’s on 6th May. Click now to secure your free ticket.
  • And you can buy Style and the Solitary – paperback or ebook – on Amazon.

Thank you, everyone!

Categories
The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief: Jo Fenton

Look who’s back on the blog, today. It’s friend and author, Jo Fenton. I knew she went running, but how did it begin and why was belief involved? Here, she explains.

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Miriam.

When I was at school, I was unable to run. I would get ridiculously out of breath, and be coughing for the next 2 days. After 2 attempts at cross-country, my doctor provided me with a sick note that lasted me to the end of my school days, and psychologically for the next 25 years!

Then somewhere in my early 40s, I saw an article about exercise induced asthma. I realised this might be the cause of my inability to run, but did nothing about it at that point. I still believed I wasn’t a runner.

Two years later, in 2015, I came across another article. This one was about Couch to 5k, the incredible program that gets people who can’t run at all to be able to run a full 5000 metres.

On the strength of this, I went along to my GP, a fabulous lady, who provided me with an inhaler, a peak flow meter, a diary, and the encouragement to go for it. Next day, on the way to my writing group, I stopped off at a running shop, had my gait analysed, and bought my first pair of running shoes!

The next morning, 15 minutes after using my inhaler for the first time, I did run 1 of the first week of the program. Running for 1 minute, then walking for a minute and a half, on repeat for a total of twenty minutes. It was a struggle, but I was hugely impressed that I could run that far without the coughing and breathlessness that had previously accompanied any running attempts.

I gradually built up through the program to complete the 30 minutes of running solidly. In itself this was a huge achievement, but being somewhat on the slow side, I only managed to run 3km in this time. I had another 3 weeks left until I was due to run the Race For Life, and I was determined to run the whole way. I kept building up, and on the day, I ran the full 5km without stopping or walking. I was so proud of myself.

I’ve since then run several 10km races (a few without stopping, and many more using the jeffing technique (a mixture of running and walking). I’ve also done a half marathon, and hope to repeat the experience this coming September.

Running has totally changed my life. I’m still slow, but I’ve made loads of friends, joined a fabulous running group called the Prestwich Plodders, and I have recently completed my Leadership in Running Fitness with England Athletics.

My GP and the Couch to 5k program inspired me with the belief that I could become a runner, and I will be forever grateful for that.

Oh, well done, Jo! (But don’t tell my husband about this.)

Author bio:
Jo Fenton grew up in Hertfordshire, UK. She devoured books from an early age, particularly enjoying adventure books, school stories and fantasy. She wanted to be a scientist from aged six after being given a wonderful book titled “Science Can Be Fun”. At eleven, she discovered Agatha Christie and Georgette Heyer, and now has an eclectic and much loved book collection cluttering her home office.

Jo combines an exciting career in Clinical Research with an equally exciting but very different career as a writer of psychological thrillers.

When not working, she runs (very slowly), hikes, and chats to lots of people. She lives in Manchester with her husband, youngest son, a Corgi, two hamsters and a tankful of tropical fish. She is an active and enthusiastic member of two writing groups and a reading group.

Social Media Links

Please check out my blog.

Please also join me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest, where I talk about running, hiking and writing in fairly equal measures.

My books are available from Amazon:

The Abbey Series

The Brotherhood

The Refuge

The Becky White Thriller Series

Revelation

Paparazzi

***

Next week’s post in this series will be from Jennifer Gilmour. If you know Jennifer, you’ll know she’s been through a lot in her life. How did she extricate herself from abuse?

Remember, belief doesn’t have to be connected to writing, and these posts don’t even have to be about true stories. If you want to take part, do let me know via Contact above or social media.

Categories
Books The Power of Belief

The Power of Belief: Alison Knight

I’m delighted to welcome Alison Knight to the blog today. Alison is an author, a creative writing teacher, an editor and much more. Here’s her story.

WHAT MY PARENTS TAUGHT ME

They say that our early years influence our adult beliefs. I’m grateful that an important lesson I learned from my parents was that I could achieve anything in my life, so long as I was prepared to work for it. Some things would come easy, others would take a lot of hard work. But the belief that it was possible was the important thing.

That belief has helped me throughout my life and continues to do so. I instilled it in my children and grandchildren. It has helped me create a good life in which I am happy and fulfilled. It hasn’t always been easy, but believing it helped me to keep going in the darkest of times.

I BELIEVED I WOULD BE A WRITER

I always wanted to be a writer, but it wasn’t something careers advisors would encourage for a girl from a working class background in London in the 1970s. So I took a business and secretarial course and embarked on a career as a legal executive. I got married, had children, and got bogged down by the everyday pressures of family, mortgage payments and work. I still dreamed of writing though, and took evening classes, joined writing groups and kept trying to write the perfect novel.

LEARNING MY CRAFT

I’d decided at age twenty-five that I would be published by the time I was thirty. I now wonder whether some omnipotent spirit had been listening at the time and decided I needed to learn some hard lessons first. Either that, or said spirit had misheard me, because it actually took me thirty years to get my first book into print!

When I kept getting rejections, I realised I needed to learn more about the craft of writing. In my forties, I went to university for the first time. I was a part-time student. My children were still at home and I was still working full-time. It was a struggle, but I loved it and I learned an enormous amount about both myself and the craft of writing. At the age of fifty-four, I had a first class degree and an MA in Creative Writing and within a year I got my first three book deal.

THE BOOK I WAS BORN TO WRITE

Even though I had many disappointments along the way, I couldn’t give up. I knew that there was one story that I simply had to write – about what happened to my family in the late 1960s. It was a tragedy that affected so many, but I knew that I was the only one who could tell it. I see my years of struggle and study, and my first three books as my apprenticeship. They helped me to gain confidence as a writer, to find my voice so that I could write the book I was born to write.

Writing MINE, my family’s story, took years. I wrote it, sent it out, got rejected, rewrote it, and sent it out again. I had so many rejections. I couldn’t give up but I didn’t know what to do next.

ENCOURAGEMENT FROM AN UNEXPECTED SOURCE

By some quirk of fate, I ended up working alongside a woman called Bryony Evens who had once worked for an agent. Her claim to fame was that she picked up Harry Potter and The Philosopher’s Stone from a slush pile and persuaded her boss to represent JK Rowling. If you want to hear her talking about it on YouTube, see this link. Her belief in that story changed the world!

Bryony was one of the first people to read my manuscript of MINE. She gave me some valuable advice and told me it was a good book. Given her history, I was very happy to believe her! It still took several years to get the final version of MINE published, but her encouragement – added to the beliefs that my parents instilled in me – kept me going.

MY STORY IS TOLD

In 2020, Darkstroke Books published MINE on what would have been my mother’s 90th birthday. After a lifetime of striving for this moment, it finally happened. I had believed I could do it. I needed to do it. I wanted the world to see what I saw, to know the people I knew. I believe I have done them justice. I believe they would be proud of me.

BUT WHAT NEXT? 

That belief that I could do anything so long as I am prepared to work for it has kept me strong in many dark times and enabled me to achieve so much in my life. I now believe that I’m not destined to be sitting on my laurels in the next phase of my life because I have a lot more stories to tell. They may not be as personal or as powerful as the events depicted in MINE, but rather they are stories that explore the human condition in all its glory. I want to make people laugh and cry, to challenge the reader to put themselves in my characters’ shoes. My next book, THE LEGACY, was inspired by a scene in MINE and explores how two people respond to an unexpected inheritance. Is it a blessing or a curse? It will be published by Darkstroke Books on 4th May 2021 if you’d like to find out!

Thank you, Miriam, for letting me talk about my belief here. As you said in your recent post, belief can give you confidence, which is a powerful tool that helps us in so many ways.

ALISON KNIGHT, AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY

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.

Her first novel with Darkstroke Books, 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.

Her next book, The Legacy, is a drama set in 1960s London, exploring how we don’t always get what we want and how we shouldn’t count our chickens before they’re hatched.

Alison teaches creative and life-writing, runs workshops and retreats with Imagine Creative Writing Workshops 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.

BUY LINKS

Mine by Alison Knight

The Legacy by Alison Knight

SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Imagine Creative Writing Workshops

Darkstroke Books

***

Next week’s post in this series will be from Jo Fenton. Remember, belief doesn’t have to be connected to writing, and these posts don’t even have to be about true stories.

If you want to take part, do let me know via Contact above or social media.

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Remember my new novel, Style and the Solitary, a murder mystery loosely based on Beauty and the Beast. Both stories are about the power of belief.

Style and the Solitary launches on 26th April and the ebook can be pre-ordered now.