Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Wednesday Promo with Allison Knight

First let me thank Paty for inviting me to blog today! I love talking about writing and all the parts that go into being an author. However, today, I want to speak to a subject near and dear to my heart. Deciding where to put a story.

Location, Location, Location

I’ll start by telling a quick tale. I had a great idea and the plot almost developed on its own. Oh, by the way, this is a historical…. So the plot begins, the heroine tells her new husband of six months she is expecting. He’s not only stunned but furious. No way, he can’t have children, so of course she’s been unfaithful – just like his first wife. He says he’ll send the child away and hide her on one of his distant estates. She runs away and has the child only to be summoned to the hero’s side when she’s told he’s dying.

I thought, this has to be set in England, so I researched all the sites that might fit, decided on a location, and started to write. Then inheritance laws had to be met, the business of a possible divorce reared an ugly head and I gave up – temporarily.

This tale couldn’t be set in England. It wouldn’t work. Okay, so I moved the location. I decided to set it in New York, in about 1850. Still, it wouldn’t come together. Nothing worked. I laid it aside and started on something else, coming back to it occasionally.

One afternoon, I was researching another story and a comment about an area in the state of Virginia after the Civil War sparked my interest. I started doing research. And everything started to fall into place. A Virginia plantation was perfect. The town of Richmond would work, all the pieces went together and now, I have the novel half finished.

So location of a story can make a huge difference. Also giving your readership the best possible information is critical. With my first book, a tale which takes place during the War between the States, I wrote a battle scene where the hero is injured. When we visited the site of the battle, I discovered I’d written the order of the battle all wrong. And, worse, the way I had the hero injured would never have happened my way. I rewrote the whole chapter so that what I put on the page could actually have happened the way I described. That’s why when I decided I wanted to do a story in the Yukon,
I begged my husband to let us take trip to the far north. The things I saw, the places we visited are described in my new release from Champagne Books, “A Treasure For Sara”. The Yukon is a beautiful place. I only hope I did it justice.

Allison Knight

The book is available in digital form from . It will be available from Amazon, and
in trade paperback from ChampagneBooks in a couple of months.


Kimber Chin said...

Being the type of gal who likes to touch and talk to her 'research', historical writers always amaze me. To be able to visualize the battle scene the way you did. Simply amazing!

Therese said...


I admire you for writing historicals. Although I find so much history interesting, I just couldn't write historical fiction. I agree with you completely on how important location is, for everything else to be accurate.

There are just too many good books out there to tempt a reader/writer!! This one sounds like another I should add to the ever growing TBR pile!

Best wishes!


Debra St. John said...

Hi Allison! I always have an easier time writing something that I've actually seen. It helps to get all of the details, right, that's for sure! Location is SO important.

Allison Knight said...

Therese & Kimber,

I grew up with history. My father was a story teller, so was my grandfather. History comes naturally. In fact I'm in awe of someone who can write contemporaries.


Marie-Claude Bourque said...

Hi Allison,
How interesting that you chose your location after deciding on the story. I never though of doing that.
I have a really hard time with historical research so I can't even try to write a historical and I usually chose settings that I know, lucky for me I traveled a lot lol.
Congrats on your release!

Paty Jager said...

It's good to have you here today, Allison!

It's funny how some books its the setting that helps me figure out the book and others I come up with the setting after the premise because I'm looking for a certain type of place for the story.

Mary Marvella said...

I set my books in the south. I love historicals but don't love research.

Helen Hardt said...

Allison, very interesting post. Sometimes the setting in a story becomes a character in itself. Thanks for sharing!


Lauri said...

Allison, I loved hearing how this tale bounced around before finding a home!

Congrats, and wishing you many sales!