Author Interview: William Knight
Hi, William. Thank you for allowing me to interview you. It’s quite an honor and we’re pleased to have you here on our blog.
William: Well, that’s very nice of you to say. It’s a pleasure to appear.
Would you take a moment and introduce yourself to us?
Well, let’s see . . . my name is William Knight. I’m forty something, have two children, and a guitar. I’m a terrible footballer. I enjoy spicy food and can’t keep chocolate in the house without eating the lot in one sitting. I lived in New Zealand until today, but I’m writing this response at Wellington international airport while waiting to board a plane back to the UK. And one more thing, I wrote this book, you see!
Can you tell us more about your book, Generation?
It’s a crime-thriller with an injection of horror, but a friend came up with my favourite description, “A thriller steak with a horror garnish.”
So what does that mean? Well, I think it means the book has the structure and plot of a crime-shaped-thriller-genre-thingy, but I couldn’t resist putting in a real-life dose of horror. Horror, more in that this could happen to you, rather than a mythical beastie or little man with club feet and a clown face.
How did the idea for the book come about?
I read an article in the New Scientist about a body farm in the U.S. where they study decomposition of human remains out in the open. In the same issue, was a piece about the regenerative powers of the lowly flat work, and my dirty little mind just put the two together. The situation was relatively easy to come up with, populating the world with believable characters was much harder.
Was there any extensive research done for this book?
I wrote the book first without too much research, then when I was clear what research was needed, I downloaded papers, went to the library, asked my wife (she’s a GP and gave me loads of nasty medical details based on her own experience in the theatre and casualty) and delved into the details.
I kept myself awake at night after reading about blowfly, beetles and liquefaction of human remains. Yuck. I find I need to overwrite by about 20% then cut, with research, there is no limit. You can just keep going until you build a believable picture. Weirdly, sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction and you need to fib to make it believable.
Are Horror, Thriller, Science-Fiction the only genres you write in? Or have you experimented with others besides these?
I did write a book of poetry called Galactic Surf, but even that has a bit of science fiction, thrills, and horror in it.
I see that you were first and foremost an actor. Has your experience in the industry helped to broaden your writing further? If so, how?
Wow, that’s tricky. Like most actors I know, I like to think that I’m bloody marvelous at it darlings. This means I have a pretension to believe my acting allows me to step into characters and feel how they feel and act like they act.
The reality is that I did a few weeks at the Edinburgh fringe (including a very uncomfortable stand up at the fringe club where I was pelted with peppermints) and a three month tour of Ireland. Beyond that, my acting has been distinctly amateur. Has it helped . . . God knows!
How do you find inspiration for writing?
I keep searching, under tables, beneath bushes, etc. but inspiration just doesn’t turn up. To get words to appear, I have to sit down for long periods and stare at a screen. If inspiration is setting a target of 100 words (of whatever quality) in ten minutes, then the humble clock is my muse.
Tell us a little more about Hendrix. What makes him tick?
Discharged from the forces due to trauma and psychological damage, (in particular, damage to his professional confidence and his relationship with technology), he’s trying to forge a career in journalism but has ended up working for a distinctly un-scientific magazine. Only during the dark watches of the night is he particularly bothered about this — when his demons tell him he should be doing better — but nevertheless he is at a point in his life where he is hankering after a more important role that simply reporting on Cryptozoology and other Strange Phenomena. He is loyal and protective, but he is certainly not afraid to break a few rules.
Do you have any upcoming projects you can tell us about?
I’m working on a psychological thriller called Foretold. A successful Lawyer obsesses over a joke fortune-telling given during a drunken game. Terrified it may come true, he attempts to block the predictions, but his actions cause the very events he struggles to avoid. As his life falls apart, obsession turns to desperation, and he seeks revenge on the messenger: his best friend.
I have a good first draft but it needs work in adding the sprinkling of horror that I’m so fond of.
Do you have any recommendations for books that you think the blog’s readers may enjoy?
I read both for enjoyment and for gathering information.
For enjoyment, if you like quirky thrillers with odd protagonists, then you’ll probably enjoy Eoin Coiffer’s, Plugged.
For information there is only one current choice, read Storms of my Grandchildren by James Hansen. It’s a bit dry in places and heavy in others, but it will give you the information you need to understand why climate change is so important to fix, and at least partially answer the question why nothing has yet been done about the problem.
Plotter or Panster?
Sorry, I don’t know what a panster is.
What’s your favorite past-time?
Blimey, I can’t just give you one. I love cinema, reading, eating fish and chips, playing monopoly with the kids, and on dark winter afternoons when the rain whistles horizontally across the fields, you can find me playing football.
Do you have any tips, or thoughts, that you would like to offer to the blog’s readers?
In the words of Bill & Ted, “Be excellent to one another.”
So there you have it, everyone, a lovely interview with the author, William Knight. We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning more about him.
About The Tour:
And please vote for my blog in the traffic-breaker poll for this tour. The blogger with the most votes wins a $50 Amazon gift card. I want that to be me! You can vote in the poll by visiting the official Generation blog tour page and scrolling all the way to the bottom.
Be sure to enter for your chance to win an autographed copy of Generation : ENTER HERE.
About The Author:
William Knight is a British born journalist and technologist currently living and working in Wellington, New Zealand. He’s chased a varying career starting in acting, progressing to music, enjoyed a brief flirtation with handbag manufacturing and was eventually wired into technology where he’s been since 1989.
In 2003 he published his first feature in Computing magazine and has since written about the many successes and failings of high-tech for the Guardian, Financial Times and the BBC among many others publications. He continues to maintain a lively IT consultancy.