Friday 26 August 2011

Q&A with Ali Knight ~ Book Giveaway

I recently read and reviewed Ali Knight's novel Wink Murder - my review can be found here.  

Wink Murder was released in hardback by Hodder and Stoughton in April 2011 and the paperback is due for release in November this year.

Wink Murder is Ali's first novel and has already been sold in ten other countries.  Ali was previously a journalist, writing for major newspapers including The Guardian.

She is part of the wonderful Sky Arts Streets Galleries campaign, you can find out more about the campaign here

Ali has been kind enough to answer some questions about her writing and reading habits:

What are you reading at the moment?   I tend to read several books at once as I'm easily distracted.  At the moment it's Hanging Hill by Mo Hayder, Shantaram by Gregory Roberts and The Sick Rose by Erin Kelly.  I love thrillers.

Do you read reviews of your novels?  Do you take them seriously?   I always read reviews - good, bad and indifferent.  I think it's the least you can do, particularly if someone has made the effort to post on Amazon or Good Reads.  I'm not offended if someone gives a bad review, you need a tough skin to be a writer, you come up against a lot of nos, particularly at the beginning of a writing career, and you have to take the downs to get the ups.

How long does it take to write a novel?  It takes me about 10 months to write a book, but I'm spending four long mornings a week doing it.  I so admire writers who have to fit in writing at the end of a long day doing another job.

Ali Knight
Do you have any writing rituals?   I have so many!  They act as ways to force me to my desk.  A big cup of coffee, always the same start time: 8.30am, always after a glance through my emails.  Four days a week without fail, all through the year.

What was your favourite childhood book?   Charlotte's Web made a big impression on me.  I read it recently with my seven year old son, and seeing him enjoy it made me realise the joy of how a good book is timeless.  Also the first line "Daddy, where are you going with that axe?" could be straight out of a thriller - perfection.

Name one book that made you laugh?    Elizabeth Gilbert's Eat Love Pray.  I love football and I used to live in Italy.  Her description of Italian football fans and what they talk about is one of the funniest things I've ever read.

Name one book that made you cry?   Sister by Rosamund Lupton.  The first third of that novel is a huge weepathon - brilliant.  The ability to make a reader cry is an absolute sign of writing success.  Testament of Youth by Vera Britten I read as a teenager.  It still sums up the tragedy of war for me better than anything.

Which fictional character would you like to meet?   James Bond.  Though maybe Jack Reacher could shove him aside.

Which book would you give to your best friend as a present?   One Day by David Nicholls.

Are you inspired by any particular author or book?   There are far too many to list properly.  I like women who wrote great books when they weren't supposed to do that kind of thing; Jane Austen, the Brontes, Maya Angelou, Alice Walker.  I include Martina Cole here.  I believe she is their modern day equivalent.

What is your guilty pleasure read?  I never feel guilty about reading.  But Jackie Collins takes some beating if I'm on a sun lounger ............

Who are your favourite authors?  This is very difficult.  I love Ruth Rendell.  I think A Fatal Inversion is a wonderful book.  James Ellroy - the way he combines crime with American history is beautiful.

What book have you re-read?   Pride and Prejudice.  I never tire of this book.  There's just something about it that makes it seem fresh every time you open it.

What book have you given up on?   There are many books I can't get into, let alone finish.  I'm a big believer in hooking someone in from the first paragraph.  Midnight's Children is a particular problem for me, as is White Teeth - sorry Zadie!

I'd like to say a huge thank you to Ali for answering my questions.  Her answers have certainly added a few books to my wishlist, and I have to agree about White Teeth - I so wanted to like that book, but it has remained unfinished for me too!

I've decided to give away my proof copy of Ali's Wink Murder - it's in great condition, I've read it very carefully.  So, if you'd like to be in with a chance of winning my copy, just leave me a comment at the bottom of this article.  I'll choose a winner on 15th September. 

Good Luck!


  1. Terrific review! I love the author's answer to name one book that made you cry. I totally agree that when an author evokes emotion from the reader, that book will long be remembered and appreciated! Like Still Alice by Lisa Genova. She had me laughing and crying. I'd love to read Wink Murder. Please enter me for a chance to win!

  2. Great interview Anne. I found it interesting what she said about book reviews. I always feel guilty if I have to leave a poor review on a book, but now I feel much better having read her comments. I have had an author send a "not quite so nice" message before when I left poor feedback.
    Very interesting interview all around, with some great answers to your questions.

  3. What a great interview Anne, it's always interesting to know about new authors. Would love to win a proof copy of this book :)

  4. What an interesting interview, I would definitely like to read this especially with the author's Italian connection.

  5. What a great interview Anne - I'm always keen to find new authors.
    jaffa and I would love to enter your giveaway !

  6. Hi Anne. Just discovered your blog and am looking forward to perusing further. I also love things arriving through my letterbox-especially when they're books!

    I really enjoyed the interview. I do think book talk tells you a lot about a person. Plus it usually leads to further reccomendations to investigate ;)