Thursday 10 September 2015

Book Spotlight and Guestpost: Letting You Go by Anouska Knight

TitleLetting You Go
AuthorAnouska Knight
Published: 10th September 2015
Publisher: Mira

What Inspired Me To Write Letting You Go by Anouska Knight

The first plot thread of Letting You Go was a bit of a lightbulb moment when it finally came. I’ve referred to it before as being a lot like that scene in The Big Lebowski when Jeff Bridges gets a coffee mug bounced off his head. Dill’s accident as it unfolds in the book’s prologue was basically my mug-meet-head moment. 

It hadn’t come easy though, I’m sad to say! (You know those people who gush Oh, my book just FLOWED! Yeah, those… grr.) I was actually due to meet with my editor in London just a few days after the mug hit, so I was cutting it pretty fine. I’d been searching the murky depths of my mind trying to hit upon something I could pitch to her and for weeks nothing was coming. And then one morning I’d dropped my sons off at school and had gone for a stroll down to the neighbouring village along the river there. It’s a great spot, we used to play in the shallows there as kids, years before concerns such as cramp and Weil’s disease hit the radar. I’m a lot more mumsy these days though and I remember thinking then that I was just glad I didn’t have the boys with me at the time because I was pregnant and if one of them went in we’d have been in a pickle. 

Dillon Foster came to me that morning, somewhere between dropping my two safely off at school for the day, and the steady flow of the river. 

Dill’s accident was one of those wrong-place wrong-time scenarios though, the kind of terrible twists of fate that none of us can ever completely factor out of our lives because accidents happen. I didn’t just want Alex - Dill’s older sister and main character in the book - to be dealing with the consequences of a freak accident, I wanted to find out how a person like her, somebody decent and kind and loving, would endure having to shoulder the responsibility for it.

In many ways, Letting You Go is about good people, inadvertently hurting one another. Once I’d latched on to this, the thought of exploring the kind of damage a family can unintentionally do to itself really snagged my interest. The slow but steady drip-effect of family secrets, mistakes and misunderstandings between people who genuinely love each other is something I think a lot of families have had experience of. Alex’s own journey is about learning to accept her mistakes, and those of the rest of her family, so she has a shot at living a happy and fulfilling life again.  

 Letting You Go by Anouska Knight is published on Thursday 10th September (Mira, £7.99) 

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