Today we have the pleasure to welcome lovely Anouska Knight to our blog. Anouska is the author of three novels and her latest one ‘Letting You Go’ is out today! We’re so excited about it and can’t wait to read it. We want to congratulate Anouska on the publication day and thank her for the beautiful and inspiring post. Enjoy her post, guys!
I became a writer by entering a writing competition on ITV Lorraine.
It was as simple as that.
I’d seen the competition by chance after my husband left the TV on before leaving for work one morning. I was feeling really naffed off at the time. I’d recently closed my lovely cake shop because I couldn’t balance it with family life and had applied for loads of rubbishy part-time jobs that no one would even interview me for, the buggers. Eugh, January 2013 was a really gloomy time.
I was literally reaching for the TV off button when I heard the lovely Lorraine Kelly outlining the comp details. A nifty jaunt for two to Los Angeles, lunch with Jack-ie-Collins y’all (!) and, opportunity of opportunities, a book deal with publishing giants, Mills & Boon!
Honestly, I didn’t think I’d have much of a shot, there was a lot of buzz on social media about the competition which had come about in the wake of the phenomenal Fifty Shades success. I knew competition was going to be stiff! But if you don’t try, you don’t get anywhere, and somewhere in the very back of my mind where no-one could see or ridicule it, the tiniest hope of becoming a writer was beginning to take shape.
So off went my entry! I fired off the requested 1k words of a ‘racy read’ that afternoon, and went back to sulking about my job prospects.
And then I received a call. ‘One of six finalists… Come down to the London studios… interview by Jackie Collins via video-link from LA…’
It was the most amazing time. After going on to make the final three, ITV came up to Staffordshire and spent the day filming with us. The husband and kids got in on it and we all had the best experience. I was so happy just to have gotten that far, because writing was now something I could have a real go at anyway from that point on. It wasn’t such a fanciful idea anymore, not if Jackie Collins and ITV thought I had potential, anyway.
But the dream didn’t end, it just kept rolling. On February 14th 2013, I was stood with Helen and Georgina, the other two finalists, as Lorraine slipped the winner’s name from her golden envelope. I’ll never forget hearing my funny Russian moniker in Lorraine Kelly’s softly spoken Scottish accent! I’d bloody well won it!
By March I’d jetted off to Beverly Hills to hook up with Jackie, as you do. By April I’d somehow submitted nearly 100k words to my editor. May saw the book going through all the things the publishers have to do their end – copy-editing, that sort of stuff, and then on July 16th 2013, Since You’ve Been Gone was released.
I wasn’t kidding when I just said the dream kept on rolling. Before my debut had even gone to print, the publishers had come back to me with two more book offers. Which was a pretty marvellous feeling, I can tell you. Two years later and three books under my belt, it’s been emotional!
As if it wasn’t amazing enough that Letting You Go has just gone on release, I’ve just accepted an offer from Harlequin/Harper Collins for books four and five. And all from a shot at a competition. Like I said… amazing.
Thanks for having me!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Since securing the top prize in a widely-publicized UK writing contest, Anouska Knight has become an international sensation with her debut novel, Since You’ve Been Gone, hitting both The Bookseller and Heatseekers bestseller lists and securing praise from the likes of Jackie Collins and Jenny Colgan.
A former bakery owner, she has gone on to wide acclaim in her native England and now writes full-time, currently on her next novel for Harlequin Mira.
Anouska lives in Staffordshire close to the countryside where she grew up, with husband Jamie, her childhood sweetheart, their two growing boys and new baby son. When she’s not writing or wrestling small children, she can still often be found baking and will whip up a cake at the drop of a hat if asked nicely.
Letting You Go by Anouska Knight is published on Thursday 10th September (Mira, £7.99)