An Australian author who provides insight into the human condition.

Author Christine M Knight's Blog

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Q and A for fans

Growing up, were you an avid reader? If so, what did you read?

Yes, I've always loved reading. Books have functioned as portals into other worlds for me. I've always been drawn to novels that explored the times, culture, and values in which a story was set.  

The 'Heidi' stories made a significant impression on me in my pre-teen years. In particular, the comfort that Heidi drew from the soft chorus of the alpine trees in her most vulnerable moments when she moved into her grandfather's house. That impression was so strong that many years later, I looked for a rural property bordered by confirs. It was the deciding factor for me when my husband and I purchased land north of Canberra, 

As a teenager, I loved Jane Austen's novels, not because I saw them as romances, but because her stories looked at the world from the female perspective. Her novels explored the challenges that women faced in her society then as well as the changing attitudes to relationships. I think Austen would be upset to know many people nowadays had reduced her novels to simple romances. They represent so much more than that.

I also enjoyed writers like Elizabeth Gaskell and the three Bronte sisters. Harper Lee's 'To Kill a Mockingbird' was another favourite. In each case, it was the world the stories were anchored in that interested me. I also read all of Agatha Christie's novels.

In my late teens, I was enlightened and inspired by authors such as Mark Twain, Leon Urus, John Steinbeck, and Hemingway. Their stories were firmly grounded in the historical, social, religious, and economic circumstances of the times they wrote about. 

Reading helped me comprehend the world.

What did you read as an adult?

I loved quality fantasy fiction by authors such as Marion Zimmer Bradley, Terry Brooks, and Raymond E Feist. I was fascinated by science fiction stories as told by Issac Asimov, Orson Scott Card, and Frank Herbert. 

I loved James Clavell's novels - he wrote superb stories. 'Shogun' is a favourite. I loved the way Clavell positioned his readers to view Japan from the changing perspective of his central character, John Blackthorne. Half-way through that novel, if I'd been able to speak Japanese, I would have stopped speaking English. The female heroine in 'Shogun' is truly memorable. 

Clavell had a huge influence on me as a writer. In my stories, I also position readers to see the world through one or more character's eyes. By doing so, I make it possible for the reader to feel life from that character's perspective. That makes the impact of conflicts powerful.

I was attracted to all of those stories because the authors wrote about ideas, values, and the world their characters inhabited. Stories like that can be read more than once. 

I am also a huge fan of the TV series 'Castle' and have all the novels that were spin-offs from that series. Although those books were fun to read, they lacked the substance that I normally look for and enjoy in novels.

Have you ever had a favourite bookshop?

As a child and teenager, I did. My father used to take my brother, sister and me to David Jones at Parramatta once a fortnight (2 weeks) on Saturday mornings. My mother worked in retail - Rockmans at Cabramatta - and it was Dad's job to entertain us and keep us out of mischief.

We used to sit on the floor in the book department section of the store, browsing the first chapters of books, deliberating on which ones we'd ask Dad to buy.  Although money was in short supply in those years and we didn't have much, we did have access to books.

Dad let us buy two - three books each on the proviso that we had to read them over the two week period and then talk to him about the stories, ideas, and values in them before the next trip to David Jones. In many ways, my father had difficulty relating to his children but he did share many precious moments with us through a shared love of reading and storytelling. 

Those days are wonderful memories. I'd sit cross-legged on the floor in the book section, a book open on my lap, and disappear into new worlds. The shop assistants didn't fuss about us reading their books beyond talking to us about how to hold a book and turn pages. They actively encouraged a love of reading. When business was slow, they would chat to us about the stories they loved and thought we'd enjoy.




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The Month's Posts


    Wednesday, October 10, 2018

    reflection on 'In and Out of step'

    Wednesday, October 10, 2018

    Set between 1988-1990, In and Out of Step’s thesis picks-up on a period of significant change in Australian social and cultural history which mirror the wider western world. The novel reflects the popular perceptions of the era and explores reaction to changing roles and values, the relationship between generations, gender dynamics, and power in society through contrasting character perspectives.  

    The novel charts Cassie Sleight's (rhymes with slate) and her generation’s journeys in new and uncharted territory in their relationships: personal, social, and work after the second wave of the women’s movement.

    Life forces the women in my novels to reassess what they are doing, how they are doing it, and to evaluate who they are and want to be.

    Through Cassie’s experiences, the reader is entertained and provoked to consider the perceptions held and dualities of women’s roles in western society. That may suggest that this is a non-fiction work masquerading as fiction. However, this aspect is firmly set in the external world of the story and Cassie’s experiences.

    In and Out of Step explores:

    • how identity and relationships are shaped by the way gender operates and gender differences
    • how place—geography, attitudes, values, and culture—shape people’s lives and actions
    • the culture that supports and promotes sexual harassment in the workforce and social spheres
    • changing perceptions of gender roles
    • adapting to change in oneself and the wider world
    • the personal, social, and workplace influences that contribute to change.

    My novelsIn and Out of Step, Life Song, Song Bird portray the diverse and changing realities of women in the time the novels are set: 1980-1990, 1996-1998, 2000-2002.  The stories are anchored in the social and historical context of each period.

    Read more

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Life Song - a story of metamorphosis

    Saturday, August 12, 2017

    Twenty-two-year-old Mavis Mills first appears in my novel In and Out of Step. Outgoing, gregarious, and confident, Mavis is a significant secondary character in that novel.  Mavis' story - a subplot - is used to provide contrast to and insight into Cassie Sleight's (the central character) journey. 

    At one point in the novel, effervescent Mavis is severely injured – physically, emotionally, and psychologically - by domestic violence and the fire of her partner’s rage. He also destroys her guitar and the copies of her original songs. Part of  the subplot from In and Out of Step explores the context of the domestic violence and provides insight into the psychology of it. Excuses are not made.

    At the start of Life Song, Mavis is twenty-eight-years-old and very different from the young woman who shone throughout most of In and Out of Step. She is the central character in Life Song. She has become subdued, distrustful of her own judgement, and an echo of her former self. Unexpectedly, she discovers she has a choice: continue to live a life tainted by domestic violence or seize the opportunity before her and try to rise above her circumstance and, like the phoenix bird, leave the ashes of her past life behind.

    'Could she live the rest of her life as she'd been living. She couldn't, not now she'd glimpsed another world, fleeting though that vision had been.'

    Life Song is not a cliche 'chic musician on the road' story and is definitely not a romance. It is about the woman Mavis becomes and the people who stand by her as she undergoes transformation – physical, psychological, and to an extent spiritual. She does not solve her problems in the arms of a man but makes the hard choices herself.

    The drama comes from the tugs-of-war that Mavis has to work though. It is made all the harder because Mavis' heart is in conflict with itself. One person, no matter how strong, cannot win a tug-of-war alone. The same applies to Mavis.

    Readers learn about the things that give Mavis strength and that enable her to boldly embrace the inevitable changes coming into her life as she becomes Nikki Mills, the Song Bird from Oz.

    I recommend you listen to two songs from that novel: Sunshine Days and Life Song (A Vision Splendid) to get a feel for this story.

    There are many kinds of wins in life, most of them personal rather than widely acclaimed. It's those personal 'brave heart' moments that define Mavis. Reader feedback through my publisher and website is that Life Song is a gratifying read.

    As part of your journey in reading this blog,  I suggest you listen to Move On.  In my imagination, it is first sung by Mavis' support network, but ultimately the song becomes her personal mantra.

    Australia is a diverse landscape and has diverse communities. Life Song gives readers an opportunity to spend time in some of those communities. The title alludes to the fact that each character's life has its own melody and when sung in concert become the symphony that is Life Song


    Life Song is one of four novels in The Keimera Series. Each novel is a standalone narrative and has the backstory woven into it.  The Keimera Series is an opus.

    Keimera does not in any way allude to chimeraa monstrous fire-breathing hybrid creature from Greek mythology.

    If you would like to lend me your support so that I can produce more music from my novels, you can buy any of my songs from CD Baby.  Each of my songs can be purchased for the very small price of $1.69. My music is also on iTunes and other major online music sellers as well.

    Read more

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    The story behind my song 'The Flame'

    Sunday, June 25, 2017

    'The Flame' features in my novel ‘Song Bird’. In the novel, it is sung by rock legend Rick Brody who serenades Nikki Mills (the central character in the novel). In real life, it was sung by Funnie Williams and Thanapat Yarchartoen (aka Film). I produced the song through Karma Sound Studios in Thailand.

    BACKSTORY TO 'THE FLAME' - The Singer or the Song?

    In ‘Song Bird’ and its prequel 'Life Song', Nikki Mills - the Girl from Oz - is a survivor of domestic violence. Once an innocent, she believed the very convincing serenade of her first significant love, Terry Kikby. Long before Nikki met Rick, his song 'The Flame' resonated with her.  She believed that Rick's songs really expressed his own ideas and values.

    Having been at the top of the music industry for sixteen years, Rick finds his music is dropping in the charts. Defined by his 'bad boy' image, he has lost sight of his real self. Consequently,  his music has lost its connection with his fan base. Interested in Nikki as a woman as much as in her skill as a lyricist, Rick collaborates with Nikki on a new album. 

    Flattered by Rick's interest in her and impressed by 'The Flame', Nikki embarks on a relationship with him.  A subplot in the novel explores the ramifications of that decision.  Can she help Rick find the heart that his music once had?  Will Nikki be hurt or healed by the relationship with him?  The answers are found in my novel 'Song Bird'. 

    Readers of this blog may also find the pop rock song 'Masque' and interesting insight into Rick and Nikki's relationship issues.

    I currently have 8 songs on CD Baby and iTunes. You can help me raise the money to produce the rest of my songs by buying one or more of my songs at the very small price of $1.69 per song. They are on sale at CD Baby and  iTunes. Online music streaming services such as Spotify and Deezer promote my music, but I only earn approximately one cent per one hundred streams. 

    Read more

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  • Christine's music update


    Christine’s admin team are pleased to report ‘Life Song’ has continued to receive an increasingly strong response in its latest month of rotation on numerous radio stations targe..
  • Christine's music on Unearthed Triple J


    Help Christine cross over to commercial radio by following this link (, playing her songs, and giving them a star review. Yo..
  • 4 out of 4 stars review for 'Song Bird'


    Another 4 out of 4 stars for 'Song Bird'. Click here ( the review...

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