Tell me about your story in Aftermath - but don't give any spoilers!
I have two stories in Aftermath, the first, is called Lifeline and is a story about Lily, a girl whose social life has been cut short by lockdown. However, she’s doing her best to live her life to the full. She does this using technology which she recognises is her lifeline, allowing her to adapt to the restrictions placed on her and the rest of the world during such a difficult time. Jack the Lad is a story about a young man with no thought for others at a time when people needed to have more thought and consideration, not less.
What inspired you to write this?
Lifeline was inspired because one of the things that struck me most about the pandemic was my reliance on technology - and I don’t think I was alone. Not only did it allow me to connect to the outside world, it gave me the means to actually expand my world. I joined a book club in Hawaii and became involved in writing projects with the members there (unusual, because I live in the UK!). I joined a critiquing writing group consisting of members who live north, south, east, west and central UK! Obviously, without Zoom, we’d never manage to meet weekly as we’ve been doing for the last few months. And there were other friends, old and new, who I made an effort to contact during that time. Then, there were the online talks and courses… I could go on. It also struck me that I’m fortunate in that although lockdown didn’t affect me as much as it did others, it must have been hard for the young who hadn’t really begun their lives and, of course, those who lived alone. The final part of the story was inspired by a book I’d just finished writing with friend, Colin Payn called The Future Brokers mybook.to/TheFutureBrokers but I won’t say why!
The second story, Jack the Lad came to be written because of something that struck me about the pandemic, and that was the kindness and consideration of many and the rudeness and thoughtlessness of others. And of those who acted inconsiderately, their seeming inability to realise how irresponsible they were being.
Why did you think it important to contribute to this collection?
I have three stories in Covid 19: An Extraordinary Time, A collection of responses written during 2020 where I wrote about my thoughts at the beginning of lockdown. However, when there was an opportunity to write something for Aftermath, I wanted to consider life once I’d adjusted to the restrictions and also to think about future implications. These two books will be a record of views, opinions, hopes, fears and thoughts of a time that is unique in the world’s history. They will probably be more pandemics, but 2020 will be remembered as the first where the world closed down, country by country.
How have you coped with the pandemic?
My family and I have coped very well. We’ve been very fortunate as I know many others have suffered in many ways. Writer friends have mentioned being unable to write but for me, I’ve had more time to work and have turned to technology to help me to be more efficient. I’m really a loner and so long as I have my family around me, I’m happy, but those of my friends who are more gregarious seem to have found the time really challenging. I sometimes feel guilty that I’ve been so happy! I’m also grateful for the new opportunities I’ve taken advantage of during this time.
Can you tell us about your other publications?
I have several books published by Gill - two hopefully humorous books entitled The Basilwade Chronicles and The Macaroon Chronicles. There are plans for a third book called The Crispin Chronicles, written in a similar style. Gill also published a collection of my sci-if and speculative fiction stories entitled Extraordinary. Books are available here from the Bridgetown Cafe Bookshop http://www.thebridgetowncafebooksshop.co.uk/search/label/Dawn%20Knox My most unusual book is The Great War -100 Stories of 100 Words Honouring Those Who Lived and Died 100 Years Ago. It was unexpected, in that I didn’t set out to write a book, just a few drabbles. But as the number of 100-word stories grew, the idea formed to put them together into a book. This is the book I always say contains my heart and soul. Available here from Amazon mybook.to/TheGreatWar100 I also have an interest in historical romance and so far, I have nine stories published as large print paperbacks with one more on the way. Mostly, I’ve written stories set during the first and second World Wars but recently I’ve become interested in the 18th century, especially the transportation of convicts to the newly-established colony of Sydney, New South Wales. My latest romance, however is contemporary and has some sci-if elements, so it’s a departure from history. But my next planned story will be back in the late 18th and early 19th centuries in Sydney. Books are available here from The Reading House https://thereadinghouse.co.uk/search?type=product&q=Dawn%20Knox For more publications by Dawn Knox, Amazon Author Page http://mybook.to/DawnKnox