Hair sa­lon the ba­sis for first novel


San­dra Knight al­ways knew she had a novel in her. She just had to meet her char­ac­ters first.

Knight’s first novel, Ben­e­fits, was launched Porirua Li­brary last week.

Knight drew in­spi­ra­tion for the mys­tery novel, set in a sub­ur­ban hair sa­lon, from her 17 years’ ex­pe­ri­ence own­ing one in Welling­ton.

She said she mixed in a bit of truth about her ex­pe­ri­ences over the years with the char­ac­ters she cre­ated.

‘‘It’s amaz­ing how you re­mem­ber the sto­ries,’’ she said.

Al­though it was years in the mak­ing, it wasn’t Knight’s first at­tempt at reach­ing an au­di­ence – as a child she dab­bled with play­writ­ing. Fringe at the

‘‘I wrote a play once and got all the kids in the neigh­bour­hood to be in it.’’

Knight, who said she en­joyed read­ing Rose­mary Pilcher nov­els, said her hus­band Terry edited the book.

She said she found join­ing a writ­ing group had been hugely ben­e­fi­cial in hon­ing her writ­ing and get­ting her book ready to self-pub­lish.

Af­ter work­ing on the novel on and off for al­most 10 years, Knight was proud to have her hands on the fin­ished prod­uct. ‘‘I never thought it would hap­pen.’’ Her ad­vice for other as­pir­ing writ­ers was sim­ple – seek the feed­back of oth­ers and be will­ing to take it on board.

‘‘You’ve got to be pre­pared to take some ad­vice or crit­i­cism.’’

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