Saturday, 5 April 2014

Author Interview: Amanda James

This morning it is my pleasure to welcome Choc Lit author Amanda James to talk about her latest book Somewhere Beyond the Sea which is out now as an eBook and will be available in paperback format from Monday.

Amanda certainly has been busy writing as she also has another book that has recently been published as part of the Choc Lit Lite collection, Dancing in the Rain, which I'll also be reviewing shortly.

Can you tell us a little bit about your latest book Somewhere Beyond the Sea?
It is set in Cornwall just a skip and a jump from where I now live. It is about husband and wife Dr Tristan and Karen Ainsworth who live in the fictional village of Kelerston. I decided to make it fictional so I could include different bits of my favourite Cornish towns. The Ainsworths are very much in love, but there is a secret that one of them is desperate to keep. The keeper of the secret is terrified that if it is revealed, their marriage, happiness and even their freedom might be at stake.

Where did the inspiration come from to write about a deep hidden secret that’s about to be unveiled? 
I really don’t know. Sometimes my ideas often just appear out of the blue! The characters always lead me and I was interested to discover if a marriage could hold together when confronted by betrayal, dishonesty and deceit. Also I love writing romantic suspense and more often than not there is always a secret of some kind in there.

Did you have a favourite character to write about or is that like asking a mum which is her favourite child? 
Yes I love all my characters! If I absolutely had to choose I think it would be Jacob Redbird  from my recent release – Dancing in the Rain. He is a troubled character who discovers he has a huge and terrifying task ahead of him. I admired the way he handles it and enjoyed watching him grow stronger.

Are you currently working on a new book? If so, are you able to tell us anything about it? 
I have just started one, literally only a chapter in. It is called Summer in Tintagel and is about a young woman’s quest to fulfil her grandmothers dying wish. Rosa Fernley, a travel journalist, combines work with pleasure when she takes a summer trip to Tintagel. Once there, she gets very much more than she bargained for. It is a little hazy in my mind at the moment, but there will be a paranormal aspect to it ... I think!

So far your stories have covered time travel (A Stitch in Time) and suspense/mysteries (Dancing in the Rain and Somewhere beyond the Sea), have you plans to write in any other styles in the future? 
I’m not sure, never say, never. But I feel most comfortable with the suspense/mystery genre as those are the kinds of books I enjoy reading. I was inspired by the novels of Dean Koontz particularly. I love to try and figure out what is going to happen. What the secret is or who done it etc. Koontz often has a paranormal element in his stories and I enjoy writing those too. I did enjoy writing time travel though, so was pleased to meet Sarah and John again when I wrote the sequel. It is called Cross Stitch and out in December. 

Are you a plot planner or a start writing and see where it takes you writer?
I am very much a seat of the pantster! I write the title – I can’t write without one, and then write a few bullet points underneath, vague plot, character names etc. Then I press return a few times so I have a blank page and then start. I keep scrolling down to see what I have to include next, but that’s about it.

Where do you get the inspiration from for your stories? 
Often from the title. I think of a title, something catchy or familiar like ‘a stitch in time’ for example, and then I build the story around that. Sometimes I really don’t know where I get ideas from. They just kind of pop up. The inspiration for Summer in Tintagel came from a walk along the cliff tops. As I stood on the edge looking onto the rocks I thought how easy it would be to step off and end it all ... if a person was so inclined. I’m not, in case you were wondering! Then it kind of came to me from there. I visited Tintagel Castle last month and thought that it was the perfect setting for a novel – full of history and mystery. 

If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Never give up and never forget your dreams. Rejection comes with the job, so if you let it get to you you’ll never make it. When you get knocked down, get up again and be determined to succeed. I could go on...

When you’ve finished writing a book, do you treat yourself to a reward?
Yes, I often have a nice glass of wine,(champagne on launch days) or go out for a meal with my husband.

If you could go away anywhere to write, where would it be? 
Now that is a hard one as there are so many places to choose from, but I would love a beach house in northern California overlooking the Pacific Ocean. I’m sure I could get loads done – can you fix it for me, Sharon? 

Thanks for having me on your blog, it was great fun :)


  1. Loads of lovely Amanda James books to look forward to then. :)

    Lovely interview Mandy/Shaz

    Liv x

  2. This sounds like a great read, I love books that are centred around a secret :-)

  3. Great interview Mandy. I'm a panster too, although unlike you I don't begin with a title. In fact I don't even try to think of one until I'm nearing the end of the book. Somewhere Beyond the Sea sounds most intriguing. Definitely one to download!

  4. Thanks, girls. I hope you enjoy the book :) x

  5. I loved 'Somewhere Beyond the Sea' and am looking forward to the new book. Great interview.
    Angela Britnell