CHRISTINE M. KNIGHT

An Australian author who provides insight into the human condition.

Biography

Christine Mari-Anne Knight was born in Paddington, Sydney. Her father, Ian, was a builder while her mother, Mary, worked in retail. Christine's paternal and maternal families came from Kilcreggan Scotland and Mullumbimby NSW respectively. Christine lived with her parents and siblings in Cabramatta, Liverpool, and then later Kiama, NSW.

Christine was educated in the New South Wales public education system. When at Macquarie University, she majored in English and History with a specialist strand in Theatre and completed a four-year Diploma of Education.

A musician, Christine supplemented her university scholarship through teaching private students and through playing keyboard and singing in a rock band. A non-classical contralto, she composed songs for the band. They also did covers of hits.

In her twenties, Christine also worked in theatre as an actor. In this period, she met and was inspired by historian and author, Edgar Penzig, and was a member of Bushranger Re-enactments for a time. 'Edgar introduced me to Australian bush song and music. That music was infectious, great fun to sing. He often spoke lyrically about the need for stories, plays, and songs that reflected the Australian experience.'

Later as a Drama teacher, Christine directed a number of award winning productions in the years she entered competition, the most recent being the Canberra Area Theatre Awards. Christine attributes her theatrical experience to her understanding of character, dialogue, imagery, tension, and storytelling. 'In theatre and storytelling, the momentum comes from interest in what-happens- next.'

Married to a Royal Australian Air Force officer, Christine travelled extensively with him on postings in Australia and overseas. She has taught in Australian schools in a number of states and territories. In that time, she had two precious children: a son and a daughter.

Because of overseas postings, the family lived in Montgomery, Alabama, and then San Antonio, Texas. While on those representational postings in USA, Christine presented a number of talks on a variety of Australian themes and perspectives to American clubs and community groups. The Knights travelled extensively across America during this period.

During her stay in the States, Christine made firm friendships with many Americans as well as other internationals on overseas duty in the States - 75 people from 49 countries in total. As a result, she learnt that American diplomacy involves the building of social as well as political networks in all spheres and occupations - the one enhancing the other. Her understanding of gender politics also deepened at that time because of shared experiences with other women from diverse lifestyles.

After 2000, Christine lived in Castle Hill (NSW), Katherine (NT), and Canberra (ACT) as a result of her husband's postings. In this period, she had the opportunity to accompany her husband overseas when he participated in NATO events where she again met a diverse and enriching group of people including Lord Simon Glenarthur and the Duke of Westminster. Christine's experiences have given her an international perspective on the issues addressed in her debut novel.

When asked why she pursued a career as a secondary teacher rather than as an actor or musician or writer, Christine said, 'At the time, it better accommodated life as an Air Force wife and later being a mother. Air Force postings are usually two to three years; my contributions to regular income were important.' During her teaching career, Christine held middle management positions a number of times. She said, 'The hardest thing about being a serving member's spouse is the constant requirement to move and pursue your career with a new employer, often returning to the first rung of the ladder.'

Christine's interest in writing began in her teenage years and extended beyond it. In the busy years of raising children, she only had time to write poetry and short stories, many of which were published in literary magazines. The 1990s was the beginning of a creatively productive time for her. Christine wrote and refined a number of novel manuscripts while continuing to generate poetry and short stories.

When asked about her writing, Christine said her goal was to create people not characters, a real world not an imitation of it, and to move readers emotionally so they share in what the people in her novels experience. She believes it is through experiencing life that we truly gain insight into the human condition.

In response to a question about her favorite female singers, Christine said she loves the pop, rock, and country contraltos such as Mama Cass, Carol King, Annie Lennox, Toni Braxton, Natalie Mains, Amy Winehouse, and Adele to name just a few.

NOTE: The spelling system used in Australia is the British spelling system.  

Quicklinks

LATEST BLOG 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.

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    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

    Notes:

    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. 

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NEWS

  • Christine's music update

    11-Oct-2018

    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

    10-Oct-2018

    Help Christine cross over to commercial radio by following this link (https://www.triplejunearthed.com/artist/christine-m-knight), playing her songs, and giving them a star review. Yo..
  • 4 out of 4 stars review for 'Song Bird'

    16-Jul-2018

    Another 4 out of 4 stars for 'Song Bird'. Click here (https://forums.onlinebookclub.org/viewtopic.php?t=75821)for the review...

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