Anouska Knight won ITV Lorraine’s Racy Reads competition in February 2013 with her debut novel Since You’ve Been Gone. Her latest novel Letting You Go asks, what if a tragedy occurred and you only had yourself to blame, how do you move on from the past? Today, Anouska chats to Debs about her writing and winning the Racy Reads competition on ITV's Lorraine.
Writing day? I wish!
I am more of a night owl, in fairness. Which is a very good thing because daytime working just isn’t that practical with a one-year-old getting up to no good all day and two 45min school runs.
I’ve admitted defeat and hang out with my baby son Jesse during the day, lots of food-throwing, clumsy slobbery kissing, various attempts to lull/persuade/vibrate him off to sleep so I can at least sneak a look at emails etc. But it’s a bit of a no-goer really.
I tend to hit the laptop at around 8pm once the kids are settled and I’ve securely shut them all the other side of my bedroom door. I’ll do four or five solid hours on my manuscript then, well, to begin with at least. As the deadlines start to get more ferocious, the hours escalate really quickly. It’s not unusual for me to still be writing at stupid o’clock, but then show me an author who doesn’t. Any writer who doesn’t graft through the night isn’t hard-core like the rest of us!
When you are writing, do you use any famous people or people you know as inspiration?
I used to do this quite a lot, for a character’s physical features in particular. I found it helped to have a visual point of reference and pictures of famous people are readily available. As for personality traits, or mannerisms, or inspiration for a plot line, all anyone needs do is pay attention to the people around them, or on newspaper articles, or the people chatting behind them in the bank or restaurant or supermarket. I like watching the way people, famous or otherwise, interact with each other. They’re rich pickings.
What is your favourite Women’s Fiction book of all time and why?
I think favourite of all time is a tricky one, because depending on the age I am, the mood I’m in, all that stuff, I’ll get something different out of what I’m reading. One title that did strike quite a profound chord was My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. I read this book shortly after my younger sister was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma at 19. At the time of her diagnosis, I had a 2 year old son and a new 4 month old baby. Suddenly, life became very fragile.
As a sister, I’d have done anything to help Mena through her illness. As a mother, I realised the hell my own mum was in, watching her child suffer. Seeing my own little boys, I found it very hard to comprehend the thought of any siblings having the lives of Kate and Anna Fitzgerald.