Michelle Knight. Writer, photographer, programmer, truck driver and general, all round nut case. Life is a journey and that's what this blog will probably end up being. Let's see where we go, eh? ;-)
Where are you from?
I’m from Wales. Not the deep sea mammals, but the country. A part of the United Kingdom. Currently I’m living in Sussex, in the south of England, where I’ve been for around fourteen years.
A little about yourself (i.e., your education, family life, etc.).
I’m a career IT technician and for these last ten years I’ve been living with my Mother. It's just how it worked out. No children, but loads of friends. When IT work went quiet I’ve done various things for a living, including brief spells as a photographer, baker and a period as a light truck driver. I like walking for relaxation. I also have channels on Vimeo and YouTube, although I'm not monetised. I'm not in this for the fame and fortune; that's another lesson I learned over time.
Tell us your latest publishing news.
I’ve started a new science fiction currently titled, “The Wrap.” No idea when it will be finished. It’s a case of doing it whenever the muse strikes. I'm hoping to get it finished this year, but as I have a day job I won't worry if it drags on a little.
When and why did you begin writing?
I started writing in 1996. I was into BDSM and writing was a way of working some of the fiction out of my system. Things you dream of, but will never become reality. That was published by a specialist in the genre. I did see a copy of it available on Amazon three years back, but someone was asking ridiculous money for it, so I stepped in and reviewed it myself, giving it a three star. Someone commented of my review, “You stand practically alone, I would guess, in the modesty of your self-assessment. Remarkable!” I actually checked to see if it was still for sale, but it was listed as unavailable. Well, whoever bought it was warned fair and square!
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I don’t think I’ve ever considered myself a writer. It isn’t my career. Sure, the elation of holding a book with my name on it was incredible, but over time I realised that I’ve got a long way to go before creating anything of any worth; so I guess I’ll never really consider myself a writer.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I don’t think it was inspiration, more than circumstance. I had a computer so the tools were there, and I had emotions that I wanted to get out.
How did you come up with the title for your latest novel?
At the moment, it’s still a working title based on the central object of the story. Right now, I can’t see that changing.
Do you have a specific writing style? Is there anything about your style or genre that you find particularly challenging?
My previous genre came naturally, as BDSM is in my soul. Science fiction, which is what I write now, is challenging in terms of writing new worlds and new societies with their own rules, while still keeping it relateable. I suppose I could try mixing the two some day, but even that’s already been done.
How much of the book is realistic and are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life?
Realistic is where I like to be. Things that could actually happen. That’s what I also like to see in the books that I read. I don’t knowingly bring my experiences of any one individual into the books; although I’ve used common-ish names and I do wonder whether some of my friends think that a character of the same name, is what I think of them; but I think they know me better than that. OK, I, “hope,” they know me better than that. Otherwise, I'm in deep trouble.
Some events, particularly the main BDSM series, do draw on real people and events; but everything has to be mashed together to form a cohesive story line, so no one would really be recognisable from them.
Of all your characters, which one is your favourite? Why?
I think that Mark is my favourite, from the BDSM series. He’s the dominant, but particularly as the books go on, it demonstrates the areas where he doesn’t have any control and that life haunts even him. Just because he’s the one whose supposed to be calling the shots, he’s still human and can’t control everything. To a large degree, I will always curse that I didn't write these books later on; but it was always actually meant to be, book and done, to get the story off my chest. I certainly didn't envisage making it a series. I think that, if I'd written them later down the line, I could have done a much better job of the books, but even then Mark would have still been the key character, for the same reasons already given.
What is your favourite book of all time?
“Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency,” by Douglas Adams. There are some other books that nip at its heels, but that’s top of the heap by a small margin.
To craft your works, do you have to travel? Before or during the process?
Well, I do travel as far as wikipedia and Google maps let me. Both before and during. For, “Check Mate,” I did a chunk of research on a few locations and I looked over Roswell for both geography and the buildings themselves, as well as the surrounding areas. I try and do my research, but there are limits.
Who designed the covers?
For the BDSM series, the publisher found the artwork. Check Mate was done by a friend from Germany, and GENIE was done by an artist in Worthing who declined to be named in the book, so I’d better not name them here!
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
Well, the BDSM series had a message, that scene people are just normal people with a penchant for exploration. They still have to face the same challenges in life that everyone else does. The science fiction books don’t really have a message, except possibly a warning of what can happen to humanity if we take things too far. But then, a good chunk of fiction seems to do that.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest? Who is your favourite writer, and what is it about their work that really strikes you?
I’m still reading old authors. People who are generally no longer of this world. I blame it on my TBR pile! My most favourite is Terry Pratchett in his early Discworld days. He had such an ability to take mundane observations about our everyday society and turn them into something which would make me actually laugh out loud.
Outside of family members, name one entity that supported your commitment to become a published author.
A good friend, Phillip Kettless. He’s named in almost all the books, or possibly all of them, I can’t remember. He’s got a great imagination and I’m hoping that he buckles down and writes his own book some day.
Would you please recommend three titles for a holiday break?
“Prison Ramen – Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars”
“The Game Believes In You”
“Life with an Autistic Son”
… and I recommend those even though they’re factual, because that’s what a break is all about; renewal, yes?