Alison Knight Guest Post: The Legacy
I reviewed Alison's last book - Mine and as regular readers will know it was one of my favourite books of last year. So I was delighted to be asked to host a guest blog from Alison as part of the blog tour for her newest book. I will be buying the book and reviewing it at a later date, so keep your eyes peeled for that as well. Below, you can see which other blogs Alison will be visiting, or which will have reviews, so don't forget to check them out as well!
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?
Is a book set in the 1960s historical fiction? By Alison Knight
Am I a relic?
There are a number ways to tell that I’m getting old – my silver hair is the first clue. Yet like most of my peers, I swear that I don’t feel any older than I did three decades ago.
But when I wrote The Legacy, based in the 1960s, I discovered that some people regard that as historical fiction. I was outraged. How can it be historical? I lived it and I’m still here. I always assumed that ‘history’ was what happened before I was born. However, the publishing world seems to work on the basis that anything more than fifty years ago is historical. So I bow before you, I am now a historical relic.
Hard to believe
I have to admit that life in the 1960s was very different from today. I tell my children about outside loos, black and white television (with only three channels to choose from), pirate radio, and shops closed on Sundays, and they shake their heads in disbelief. These days I’m taking great delight in watching my grandsons shaking their heads at my son when he tells them about the days before xBox, Paw Patrol and Sonic the Hedgehog.
Life was certainly different in the 1960s. There were no home computers, telephones were attached to the wall, and we had to find our way from A to B using maps rather than a handy sat nav. People still thought it was good to smoke, children should be seen and not heard, and women were treated as second-class citizens. Attitudes to homosexuality and sex outside marriage were harsh.
Sex and cards and rock and roll
During the sixties, attitudes to sex were still influenced by the Victorians but were slowly changing. Homosexuality was illegal until 1967, but even when the law changed society was still very much against it, so many gays stayed firmly in the closet. Only married women could take the contraceptive pill, abortion was illegal until 1968 and single mothers were ostracized.
The Betting & Gaming Act, 1960 saw a boom in casinos, and the badly drafted legislation enabled organized crime to infiltrate the gaming industry. Many a fortune was lost at the roulette wheel or the blackjack table – a problem faced by a character in The Legacy.
So many things happened in the 1960s that changed our lives. There were lots of cultural changes too – the music and fashions of the 1960s were far more radical than previous decades. The economy was booming after the austerity of the post-war years and there were jobs for everyone. Young people had more money and freedom than ever before.
Being judged by Victorian standards
The characters in The Legacy, on the cusp of so many societal changes, were judged by an older generation that was brought up by Victorians and suffered through two world wars. It was a difficult time.
Okay, on reflection I have to admit it. The 1960s – and therefore my stories – are historical. But I hope that you’ll see that the problems of greed, intrigue and desperation faced by the characters in The Legacy are still being faced by people today.
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