The inspiration behind Knowing the Score by Ros Roberts

Posted in Author/Illustrator Posts on Thu, 9 May at 9.00 am

When I was 4 years old, my Aunty Jen, who I adored, asked me to be her bridesmaid. I said no, emphatically no. No-one knew why. No-one could convince me to change my mind. It made no sense to my family. I loved to dress up, loved my aunty.

On the wedding day, my sister wore a beautiful, pink gown, carried a posy of flowers and everyone complimented her. I wasn’t jealous. I knew my decision was right. We got in the car to go home and I was mystified when my sister climbed in. You see, I truly believed at the age of four that if you were someone’s bridesmaid, you then had to go and live with them. I liked my parents and my bedroom, thank you very much.

The memories of that decision, that one moment when my sister got into the car are SO clear; the realization that I could, after all have worn that dress and walked down the aisle following my aunty. I had got it so wrong, but no one had ever thought of course, that I had that thought in my mind!

Ros and her family aged four

Readers of Knowing the Score will see moments of this bridesmaid story in the book. I am fascinated by memories; how we grasp at them, struggle to make the pieces fit. It’s like the feeling when you wake from a dream, madly scrabbling to remember what happened. Gemma has so much of this in her mind – fragments of memories of when she was a five-year-old bridesmaid at her uncle’s wedding, of things that have happened over the years with her mum and the family fall out. She can never quite make those memories fit together but she is determined to find out the truth and try to heal the rift.

Knowing the Score is about healing and forgiveness. It is about courage and determination. In her quest to reunite Gran, Uncle Joe and her Mum, Gemma has to dig deep, ask difficult questions and push to get answers. It is a story driven by this incredible 11-year-old, determined to bring her family back together.

About the time I sadly refused to be a bridesmaid, I also picked up a tennis racket. Tennis was played by all my family. Trips to Wimbledon, summers playing tournaments, winters driving miles to an indoor court – the best of memories.  I’ve played all my life and always wanted to set a book with a tennis background. I won’t ever be a Noel Streatfield but reading Tennis shoes when I was a teenage made me so unbelievably happy. Tennis is for everyone. If one child reads Gemma’s story and gives it a go, picks up a racket, then I will be truly thrilled. If not, maybe someone will rescue a cat and call him something crazy like Carrot Cake – either of those two things would make me a very happy writer indeed.





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Knowing the Score

Author: Ros Roberts