We welcome Dawn Knox as our Writer of the Week. Dawn’s story, “Light At The End Of The Tunnel”, appears in our May 11 issue.
You come from a medical laboratory background. Did you draw from past experience when writing “Light At The End Of The Tunnel”?
Yes, I definitely did. I worked in the Virology Department of the Royal London Hospital in the 1980s. In my story, the characters are fictional; however, most of what I’ve described actually existed. I worked in the Institute Of Pathology, which had a basement as well as a tunnel leading to the main hospital buildings.
The accidental meeting with Her Majesty in the tunnel actually occurred to me, as did the power failure, which plunged a colleague and me into total darkness. However, unlike the story, there were definitely no romantic intentions – my colleague and I simply wanted to get home!
Have you always wanted to write, and do you think writing is a pursuit that’s flexible with other jobs and commitments?
I started writing about eighteen years ago. Although, as a child, I used to make up stories, I never had the urge to write them down. When I started writing I was still working and studying, so it was hard to find time. But now I’m retired, I’m grateful I can write when I like.
Do you prefer to write period or modern stories?
I’m currently writing a Pocket Novel set during World War II, as well as collaborating with a friend on a book set in 2050. I’m enjoying them both, so I suppose the answer is that I just love writing – whatever the era.
What do you love most about writing?
I love the fact that when I’m writing, I’m completely immersed in whatever world I’m writing about.
Notebook and pencil or laptop? Kitchen table or study? Blank wall or inspiring view?
Anywhere, any place, anytime! I use a notebook when I’m travelling and then type up on my computer when I get home. My office is in the attic, which gives me a great view over everyone’s gardens. But I generally find I’m too busy writing to notice.
P.S., What’s your one top tip for aspiring writers?
My top tip is to have a go at as many different genres as you can. Don’t limit yourself.
When I started writing, I thought I was best suited to young adult books. But so far, I’ve had success with horror, speculative fiction, sci-fi, romance, World War I and young adult books, as well as two play scripts.
If I’d listened to my instincts, I’d have stuck to young adult and missed out on all the fun of having tried something new.