Friday, 25 May 2012

The One-Link Lowdown on...Allison Knight!

My guest today is Allison Knight.  Allison decided at an early age she wanted to be writer, and started with poetry, followed shortly afterwards with prose, short stories and even a college newspaper!  It wasn't until she discovered historical fiction that everything fell into perfect place, and she now has seventeen historical works in publication.  She writes a range of historical periods, so whatever your favourite is, I'm willing to bet Allison has a novel for you.  I'm so pleased she's come over to chat today - welcome, Allison!
What would be your perfect day?
My perfect day (which I have never had in my life) would begin at 7 am. Someone, don't care who, would bring me something to eat and a cup of coffee. I would have someone who would answer all phone calls, fix lunch, clean the house, and ignore me while I sat in my office and wrote without interruption, for the whole day. Oh, boy, am I dreaming!

What’s on your bedside table/nightstand? 
I have a pencil, a pad of paper, a flashlight, and lip stick moisturizer. I chew on my lips while I write. And darned if the best ideas don't come in the middle of the night. I have to have a way to write them down and a flashlight is essential, 'cause I can't write in the dark.

What’s your favourite piece of music?
I'm a classical music buff. No way can I name only one piece of music. My favorites depend on my mood. I love the duet from Pearl Fishers by Bizet, then there's a couple of choruses from Verdi, Mozart has some terrific stuff.  See what I mean!

I love your selection, and agree it's hard to choose just one from that crowd!  Now tell me if you will - what's your favourite sandwich, and where in the world is the best place to eat it? 
Love French Dip. Logan's used to have one with onions and swiss cheese, but they don't make it anymore, so the best place to eat the sandwich with onion and cheese is in my kitchen. I can get the rolls at the store, cook my own onions, buy the roast beef and do it up the way I like it.  But it's a shame. Takes a lot of time.  Back to the perfect day bit. Somebody to do it all for me.  <sigh>

Which household chore would you happily give up for ever?
Definitely bathroom chores. Scrubbing out the toilets and the shower are nasty jobs. We have a lot of one mineral in our water and it clogs up faucets, and leaves black gunk on everything. Cleaning it off is .....  Yucky!

I'm with you there!  Allison, what talent or skill would you love to have that you don’t have now?
With my love of classical music, I'll just bet you can guess what it is. Singing of course. I have a limited range, sound like an empty jar, and although I have a sense of timing and can carry a tune, most people would rather I didn't....

It always amazes me how many of my guests wish for the same thing - I wonder if there are far more singers - and very modest ones - that we can guess!  Well, singing abilities aside, what drives you seriously nuts?
Having to wait for a doctor's appointment. And I always have to. There are people sneezing, coughing, looking like any minute they are going to be violently ill (which they probably are or they wouldn't be there). I'm sitting there wondering how many of their germs are going to make me sick, especially if I'm the one, sneezing, coughing or looking like I'm about to be violently ill.  They sure expect you to pay the bill on time....  Why can't they keep their appointment times?
I'm also not found of people driving cars who have absolutely no idea of what the rules of the road are.
Then, of course, the telephone calls from solicitors...  You shouldn't have got me started. I lot of thing drive me seriously nuts.  That's why I want to stay in my little office and just write away...

Think I started something there!  Okay, lets change the subject!  Which animal do you think you’re most like, and why?
I'm definitely a cat person.  We have three, a tuxedo, a part Siamese, and a beautiful old man. He's an orange cat, well more butterscotch. They each have their own personalities, but they do their own thing. They do like attention, and when I don't feel well - which was why I went to the doctor who doesn't keep his appointments on time - they will curl up with me and snuggle. They do get underfoot sometimes, but since they don't speak English, and I can't speak cat, I really can't blame them.

What's your guilty pleasure?
Chocolate - anything chocolate.

Good choice!  What single invention would change your life for the better?
I would like a house cleaning robot, one that would do the bathrooms. Well, heck, if I have one to do the bathrooms, why not the whole house?  I absolutely hate house work. A live-in maid would work well too. But that's not an invention.

Aside from writing achievements, family, etc - what are you most proud of?
I've told this story before, and it does have to do with writing, but it is the one thing, besides my family, of which I am most proud. It's a true story. 
I was teaching high school in a Michigan county school in the US. I had juniors and seniors, grade 11 and 12, when my first books were published. This was a very conservative school district and I didn't tell anyone I was publishing romance, especially with sex scenes in the books. The info leaked out and one day I was walking to class, when one of my junior boys stopped me. He wanted to talk, but not in the hall. He chose a corner of the library. I figured I was about to be told his parents were going to have me fired, or something along those lines.
He started with, "I read your book."
I asked if he liked it. Okay, so I didn't know what else to say. He looked sheepish, then admitted it was the first book he had ever read. He read class assignments, that kind of thing and cliff notes when he had to but had never read a book from cover to cover.
But the story doesn't end there. Two years later I was in a local book store and spotted my student. He had three or four hardback books from great fiction authors in his hands along with a couple of paper backs.
I said "Hi!" and he came back with, "See what you've done to me. I spend all my extra money on books." His grin was a mile wide. If nothing else, I've given one young man a love of literature. After my family, I'm proudest of that.
And so you should be – that’s a wonderful, wonderful story!  Allison, it’s been a pleasure having you as my guest today.  My blog readers can find out lots more about you at your One-Link today, your website, where they’ll also find lots more about your books.
Thanks for coming over – good luck in all that you do!


  1. Oh, that I could touch a person's life in that way. That was a great story! what county in Michigan, may I ask? Upper or lower would be close enough. ;-)

  2. Love your answers, Allison - and how wonderful to have given someone the pleasure of reading. And I think all female writers must love chocolate!

  3. Hi Rosemary, Hi Cyrus - isn't that just a fabulous story? Allison's answers are great!

    Good to see you both, thanks for coming over. :)

    Jane x

  4. Cyrus, lower, Wayne county outside of Detroit, but we moved south to the Gulf area several years ago.

    Thanks, Jane for having me. This was fun! And I am so proud of that young man. He did go on to college but I haven't heard anything else since we left Michigan.

  5. I'd love a house cleaning robot, too.
    Right up until it went hostile. All the science fictions authors seem intent on A.I. going evil.

  6. Hi Allison, and thanks for an interesting blog. I can relate to your aversion to housework. And our lives have had many parallels, with the teaching and the way we began and continued our writing careers. And I also live on the Gulf Coast about half the year. Retirement from my day job did give me that perk! I can't clain nearly as many books as you have, though, but I'm working on it. I wish you continued success. Linda

  7. Great interview with interesting questions. BTW, I love your books too. Rita Bay

  8. Hello AJ, Linda, Rita - thanks for coming over to visit Allison. Lovely to see you!

    Jane x

  9. Allison--loved the story about the student. I taught high school--retired early in 1991--and when I got my first book published, the PR for the school--private military boarding school--asked if I would like to donate a copy to the school library. Uh, no....I told her. Not this book.
    I'd love to go with your plan, too, but there's never a time to fully indulge. But, if I'm a freak about something, it's a clean bathroom. It gives me a kind a satisfaction to clean, shine, and polish it up. I know...I'm not right in the head.
    I adore Jane and she came up with this wonderful venue for a blog--such a creative girl, she is!
    Enjoyed learning something about you.

  10. That was a truly good interactive interview. Loved your comments: your perfect day and your winning over the young man to literature.

  11. Thanks everyone. There are not too many satisfactions in trying to pour knowledge into 'little heads full of mush'. You never know if you got through. But I tried. My young man was that one perfect example the said 'YOU DID!'

    And thanks again Jane. Love the questions.

  12. Very entertaining answers to some unusual questions.

    Gilli x