Today I am delighted to share an awesome guest post by Alison Knight author of The Legacy on blog tour
HOW LONG IS A PIECE OF STRING? By Alison Knight, author of The Legacy.
A question I’m often asked is: how long does it take you to write a book? I often found this really difficult to answer because when I started writing I was also working full-time and had children to care for. I didn’t have much time to devote to my writing and so my early books took years to finish.
Years and years
My first two books started life as wannabe Mills & Boon stories, but I soon realised I didn’t have the magic touch for this publisher. The manuscripts were filed away and brought out occasionally for reworking in the hope that another publisher would like them. After several years, they were launched by the now defunct Accent Press.
My third book was a YA time-travel adventure that I started writing while studying part-time at university. I enjoyed working on it so much that I carried on after I graduated and, one major rewrite and four years later, it was also published by the same publisher.
My fourth novel, Mine, was started, stopped, restarted and rewritten many times over a period of about twenty years. It was based on real events in my family, so it was important for me to get it right. It was the hardest thing I’ve ever written and sometimes I had to take a break from it because it evoked so many emotions. I was almost at the point of giving up on my dream of publishing it when it was accepted by Darkstroke Books and published on what would have been my mother’s 90th birthday in November 2020.
More time on my hands.
Three years ago, with my children grown and flown from the nest, I was able to give up my full-time day job. Until then, I relied on finding spare hours at different times of the day in which to write. I even wrote most of one book, set in Mallorca (and yet to be published), during my holidays on the island. It took me three years, but the actual time it took to write was only about eight or nine weeks.
With my new-found freedom, I was able to spend more concentrated time on my writing, albeit around part-time work editing for other authors and teaching creative writing. This has seen me complete a second YA time-travel adventure, some contemporary fiction and my new novel, The Legacy.
The spark of an idea
After Mine was launched, I wanted to do something different. I needed some light relief after the emotional roller-coaster of publishing this story. The idea for The Legacy actually came to me when I was editing Mine – there is a scene in that book where an elderly spinster is signing a new will, effectively disinheriting her nephew in favour of her god-daughter. As I re-read the scene, I started to wonder about why she might have done that, and what effect it would have on the lives of her nephew and god-daughter.
The scene from Mine became the prologue of The Legacy, and I was off! It took me
six weeks of concentrated writing to get the first draft down, and just three months after Mine was published, I signed the contract with Darkstroke Books to publish The Legacy.
So … how long is a piece of string?
Can I do it again? Probably not! I’m now working on my next book and I’ve already been writing it for six weeks and I reckon I’ve got another three or four weeks’ work before the first draft is finished. In the meantime, I have to prepare a whole raft of blog posts and press releases for the launch of The Legacy, and have some editing work to do for another author. All of these keep me away from the next story.
Every book, every story is different. Some need more research than others. With some, it takes me a while to work out what the story actually is. At other times, the words flow out of me as though they have a mind of their own.
But however long it takes me, I’ll keep on writing. But if you ever ask how long it takes to write a book, I’ll ask you, “How long is a piece of string?”
Thank you so much for letting me share my thoughts with you. Ax
BLURB for The Legacy by Alison Knight
An unexpected inheritance. A web of deceit. A desperate escape.
James has his dreams of an easy life shattered when his aunt disinherits him, leaving her fortune to her god-daughter, Charlotte. He turns to his friend, Percy, to help him reclaim his inheritance – and to pay off his creditors. But when their plans backfire, James becomes the pawn of Percy and his criminal associates.
Charlotte is stunned when she is told of her windfall. After an attempt at cheating her out of her inheritance fails, James tries to intimidate her. But she is stronger than he thinks, having secrets of her own to guard, and sends him away with a bloody nose and no choice but to retreat for now.
Resigned, James and his spoilt, pampered girlfriend, Fliss, Percy’s sister, travel across France on a mission that promises to free James from the criminals for good. But James isn’t convinced he can trust Fliss, so he makes his own plans to start a new life.
Will James be able to get away, or will his past catch up with him? Will Charlotte’s secrets turn the legacy into a curse?
BUY LINK – The Legacy by Alison Knight is published by Darkstroke Books and is available from: https://mybook.to/legacy
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. She signed her first three-book publishing contract a year after she completed her master’s degree.
The Legacy is her fifth novel and the second book published by Darkstroke Books. It is a drama set in 1960s London and France, exploring how we don’t always get what we want, with themes of greed, intrigue and desperation. Her previous Darkstroke book, Mine, is a drama also set in 1960s London, based on real events in her family, exploring themes of class, ambition and sexual politics. Some of the characters from Mine also appear in The Legacy, although this is a standalone story.
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 – ALISON KNIGHT
@Alison_Knight59 on Twitter