It’s nearly Christmas, so here’s a little treat… I’m really excited to share an interview with lovely Choc Lit author, Amanda James, today. Amanda tells us where she finds the inspiration for her novels, how she found writing a sequel and gives us a taster of her latest novel, Cross Stitch…
Thanks for having me! I am a writer of romantic mystery/suspense, live in Cornwall with my family and enjoy singing and walking along the cliff paths around my home.
Can you tell us a bit about your new novel, Cross Stitch (released 12th December 2014 with Choc-Lit)?
I will give you a little taster …
Sarah plans to marry her true love, John, but will she live happily ever after? A stitch in time may save nine, but a cross stitch spells disaster …
Cross Stitch is the sequel to your fantastic novel, A Stitch in Time. How did you find writing a sequel, does there feel more pressure writing about already established characters or is it easier to pick up from where you left off previously?
I think there is more pressure, yes. I had never written a sequel before and found it a little tricky. The sequel had to be read as a standalone for those who hadn’t read A Stitch in Time, and for those who had – I knew I couldn’t repeat too much that they already knew. I loved revisiting my characters though and meeting new ones that part at least was easier.
Are the characters in A Stitch in Time and Cross Stitch completely fictional or are they based on anyone in real life?
There are always bits of me and bits of others, or experiences I have had over the years, in my writing. Sarah is a teacher and I used to be one – therefore I was able to draw on my own teaching experience and knowledge from time to time. Mostly however, the characters are fictional.
Where do you find inspiration for writing your novels?
Lots of different places. It could be something that I saw on the news, or heard on the radio or something someone said. On the other hand, inspiration could just pop up out of nowhere. I have found inspiration for my recent novels walking by the sea. I feel calm, refreshed and open to idea when I’m close to the ocean.
I like both, but I guess my heart must go with the full length novel. I feel I can develop a character and live in their world much more, but having said that, I enjoy the challenge of a short story and keeping within the word limit.
Before becoming a full time writer I believe you worked as a teacher. Is that something that you miss at all?
I do miss the interaction with the youngsters and seeing the ‘light bulb’ moments when they ‘get ‘an idea or become engrossed in a topic. But the day-to-day paperwork and constant change heaped upon the profession by various governments, is killing the love of teaching in my opinion. I wouldn’t go back to it.
Who are your favourite authors and what books do you enjoy reading?
I like lots of different genres, but I guess I would have to say my favourite is the mystery/suspense. I like to be able to guess what’s going to happen or who the baddie is. In a way that genre opens up a dialogue between the reader and author. Authors I admire off the top of my head are, Dean Koontz, Jane Shemilt, Tom Winter, Tess Gerritsen, John Steinbeck, Kurt Vonnegut, Charles Dickens, George Orwell, and lots of the Choc Lit girls of course.
And finally – can you tell us a bit about what you’re working on at the moment?
I have just finished a mystery/suspense called Summer in Tintagel. I also have a few more ideas rumbling around in my head.
A MASSIVE thank you to Amanda and Lu at Choc Lit. ♥
A stitch in time may save nine but a cross-stitch spells disaster …
It should be the happiest day of her life. Despite past heartache, Sarah Yates is finally marrying her true love, John Needler.
But Sarah and John can’t pretend they’re an ordinary couple. They’re time travellers and where time travel is involved, nothing runs smoothly. One minute Sarah is saying her vows and the next she is hurtled back in time to a country that is on the cusp of war, and into the company of the bad-tempered Veronica Ratchet.
Newly-wedded bliss is certainly not on the cards for Sarah as events see her travelling from the British punk era to 1950’s America. And even when she returns home she can’t escape Veronica.
But when the past and the present collide, that’s when the real problems start …