My friend Dawn Knox is rolling out her new book “The Macaroon Chronicles” right now. I met Dawn through one of my favorite Facebook groups run by Paula Readman. She is not only a talented author but a very generous and giving person. She directed me to Tony Cranston who produces Talking Stories Radio out of London. Dawn was reading stories for him and suggested I give it a try which I did. Since then many of my stories have been heard worldwide. Thank you Dawn!
Dawn Knox lives in Essex, UK with husband and son. She has been writing for several years and has had success with various horror, sci-fi, and romantic stories. Her first published children’s story was DAFFODIL AND THE THIN PLACE.
In 2016, she published THE GREAT WAR – 100 STORIES OF 100 WORDS, HONOURING THOSE WHO LIVED AND DIED 100 YEARS AGO, her tribute to the people who endured World War One. I have read this book and it’s a heartfelt look into life during the war years. I highly recommend it.
Her third book is an anthology of short speculative fiction stories entitled EXTRAORDINARY published by Bridge House Publishing in October 2017.
THE BASILWADE CHRONICLES was published by Chapeltown Books in December 2019.
She has had several historical romances set not far from where she lives in Essex, called ‘WELCOME TO PLOTLANDS’, ‘A TOUCH OF THE EXOTIC’ and ‘TOUCHED BY TWO WARS’ published by Linford Romance Library. Several further stories in the ‘PLOTLAND’ series will be published by Linford Romance Library shortly, as well as the World War Two ‘HEART’ trio.
Six My Weekly Pocket Novels have also been published, so far.
Dawn has also written two plays about the First World War, one of which has been performed in England, Germany and France and the other in England and Germany.
I’m pleased to offer this interview with the talented Dawn Knox as part of the role-out of her delightful new novel, “The Macaroon Chronicles.”
1. Hi Dawn! Please tell us about your latest book release.
My latest book is called ‘The Macaroon Chronicles’ and it’s published by Chapeltown Publishing. It is a – hopefully – humorous romp on the fictitious Isle of Macaroon with Eddie the Bald Eagle who is really a chicken but doesn’t like to admit it and his friends: Brian, who’s a monkey, Colin who’s a lemur and doesn’t like to be referred to as a monkey, Gideon the failed spy who’s a pig and finally, two teenage rabbits, Babs and Deirdre, who are addicted to social media. The geography of the Isle of Macaroon is interesting because it contains Meringue Mountains with chocolate waterfalls, cheese mines, a custard river and the island itself, is surrounded by the Bouillabaisse Sea to the east and the Vichyssoise Ocean to the west.
2. How did you become interested in writing?
I’ve always read lots of books and made up stories in my head, probably as a result of being an only child, but writing stories only began about fifteen years ago when I was trying to help my, then, teenage son to complete his essay homework. In fact, I was actually trying to encourage him to start it! And the beginning of a story which I came up with interested me so much that I carried on writing it although I think my son thought of an idea of his own for his essay. But that incident began a real passion for writing and a few years ago when I was feeling rather down I realised that writing was therapeutic and could lift me out of my thoughts and transport me to a different world.
3. Do you prefer to write in any particular genre and if so, which?
I’ve tried many genres including sci-fi, speculative fiction, historical romance, horror and humorous, quirky stories. I’ve also won two prizes for non-fiction writing, which surprised me greatly! It would be hard to say which I prefer although it’s probably fair to say that I prefer the genre I’m writing in at that particular moment. The only genre I haven’t written is erotica and at the moment I have no plans to start that although if I did want to have a go, I think I’d use a pen name!
4. Of all the stories you’ve written, which is your favorite and why?
It would have to be one of those stories that are in my book ‘The Great War – 100 Stories of 100 Words Honoring Those Who Lived and Died 100 Years Ago’ and I would probably pick a different one each day (well, at least for one hundred days!). I always describe that book as the one that contains my heart and soul. Writing a story in exactly 100 words necessarily means that it is a compact and concentrated story and of course the subject of the First World War is extremely emotive. But of all the stories I have written they are the ones which mean the most to me.
5. Have any of your characters ever decided to take things into their own hands and write themselves a bigger part or a different part than you’d intended? If so which one or ones?
Two of the characters in ‘The Macaroon Chronicles’ are ones who wrote themselves larger parts. The first is Eddie the Bald Eagle who’s really a chicken and he came about when I was planning a short story to read at my writers’ group. I’d been watching a clip of the British ski-jumper Mike Edwards or as everyone knew him, ‘Eddie the Eagle’, who captured everyone’s hearts in the Winter Olympics of 1988 in Calgary. I thought ‘Eddie the Eagle’ was a fine name and initially, the character was going to be human but I thought it might be fun if he was actually a bird. And then to give him a twist, I turned him into a Bald Eagle and even more bizarrely, I decided that his vanity would compel him to represent himself as a bald eagle whereas in fact, he was a bald chicken. The other character was Gideon who merely popped up to help Eddie out of one of the many spots of bother in which he finds himself, but Gideon was so endearing with his incompetence and inability to pass his exams to become a fully-qualified spy, he earned his place in the rest of the book. He is completely inept at using the espionage tools he’s been given and has an unfortunate knack of shooting any bystanders with his sleeping-dart-tipped pens. So, Gideon was allowed to stay and he ended up joining Eddie, Colin and Brian on their adventures on the Isle of Macaroon.
6. Is there a specific word count to which you usually work either intentionally or unintentionally?
When I’m writing short stories, they tend to be between 2000 and 3000 words unless of course I am aiming for a Drabble which is exactly 100 words. However, I generally I end up with more words than I intend and then have to edit to cut back to the desired word count. But I think that’s good because it makes me think about the appropriate words and perhaps to cut out any waffle.
7. Does food feature greatly in your current release or work in progress?
It certainly does, as I’ve said before, the Isle of Macaroon is made of many food-related geographical features and even the names of the towns reflect this, in that at the beginning, Eddie, Brian and Colin are heading to Spudwell to the stadium, to perform in a music concert. The chums’ boat is moored in Hummus-on-Sea and just before Christmas, Colin finds himself in Treacletart and on his way back to Hummus-on-Sea, he’s nearly run down by the bus from Eggsenham!
8. Do you like macaroons? If so do you prefer coconut or almond?
Unfortunately, I have to stick to a strict diet which limits carbohydrates and therefore nowadays I don’t eat macaroons at all but I adore anything that’s coconut flavored, so I would probably say coconut macaroons although on the other hand I do love almonds…
9. In “The Macaroon Chronicles”, on the Isle of Macaroon, there are Meringue Mountains with chocolate waterfalls, cheese mines and a custard river. Imagine you were to visit the Isle of Macaroon which one of those sites would you visit first? And why?
Definitely the cheese mines would be my first port of call for the reason that I gave above, in that I have to limit the carbohydrates I eat. But perhaps a trip to the Bouillabaisse Sea might be quite tasty as well!
Thank you so much, Dawn, and here’s wishing you all the best on your role-out!!
You can follow Dawn here on https://dawnknox.com
on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DawnKnoxWriter
on Twitter: https://twitter.com/SunriseCalls
Amazon Author: http://mybook.to/DawnKnox
‘The Macaroon Chronicles’ can be purchased here mybook.to/TheMacaroonChronicles