I’m delighted to be taking part in the blog tour for Behind the Lie by Amanda James and published by HQ Digital on 21 April 2017 in ebook. I do love a thriller and as soon as I saw the cover and book blurb for this one, I just had to pre-order it. It’s now waiting on my Kindle and keeps calling to me…….!
For my turn on the tour, Amanda has kindly taken the time to answer some questions but first here is a little about the book.
Who can you trust, when you can’t trust yourself?
Holly West has turned her life around. She’s found a successful and loving husband in Simon and is expecting twins. She is definitely a woman who has taken back control of her future.
Until she gives birth, only for one twin to survive. Holly can’t let it go.
Holly’s world is in a tailspin and suddenly she can’t trust herself or anyone else. No one believes her, not her husband or her best friend. Because she thinks she knows the truth…her son is still alive and she won’t stop until she finds him.
It’s a pleasure to welcome you to the blog Amanda, would you please introduce yourself and tell us a little about your background?
Thank you, Karen. It is a huge pleasure to be here. Okay, well I write in various genres, but mainly suspense nowadays. My first was suspense, then I switched to time travel with a big dollop of romance. The big dollop was due to my then publisher who liked lots of romance. I always have some kind of relationship in my stories, but they aren’t normally the major thrust. When I get an idea for a story I go with it where possible. Genres are like pigeon holes and I don’t like being boxed in, but that’s the way things are done, unfortunately. Having said that, I have no problem switching from time travel to suspense etc as there is always some suspense/adventure in all my stories.
So what else can I tell you about me…Oh, I was a teacher for fifteen years before that and have done quite a few jobs over the years too. I live in Cornwall with my husband and wider family. Not in the same house. No, that would be a bit crowded…
What it is about the Cornish landscape that inspires you to use it as a setting for your books?
Cornwall is the best place in the world to live bar none. Its wonders are beyond description really, though I do try to put them into words in my books. There are the tiny villages cradled in the arms of green valleys, the raging ocean and seas crashing against the rugged coastline, the mouth watering pasties and scones tempting you from every baker’s and walks along the windswept beaches that lift your soul and anchor the heart.
Without giving away any spoilers, can you please tell us a little about your latest book, Behind the Lie? Where did the inspiration for the story come from?
I can give you a taster – A young woman loses one of her twins near to the end of her pregnancy, but is this terrible tragedy really down to ‘just one of those things’, or is there something more sinister behind her son’s death?
I have no idea where the inspiration came from. Often ideas just come to me, mostly when I‘m out walking on the beach. The day I had the idea for this book I was on the beach, which I now know as Holly’s beach, my main character. I looked up at a gorgeous house overlooking the ocean and imagined who lived in it and what their story was. The bare bones of Holly’s story appeared and I filled in the gaps over the next week or so. Perhaps it sounds a bit dramatic, but my characters often lead me. They call the shots and I normally oblige. I do sometimes kill them off if they get on my nerves though…
How did you plan/research your books? Do you plot in detail or just see where the story takes you?
Overall, I let the story take me. I do however have some key bullet points which act as a rough guide. Often I make a list of characters and sketch out how old they are, what they look like and what their relationship is to each other. If I didn’t, I would soon be lost!
What is the best writing advice that you have received? And what advice would you give to anyone trying to get their novel published? Is there anything that you wished you had done differently?
The advice – never give up. I know it’s what everyone says, but it is very true. If you let rejection and criticism get to you, then you’ll never get a publishing deal. It hurts when you keep getting slapped down, but you must rise above it and come back stronger. I wish I had held out for that elusive ‘top’ agent in the beginning. You know, the one that gets you a huge publishing deal with film rights and your face in all the magazines? But those deals are very far and few between….I am quite happy with my progress so far and always striving for the next step. And it isn’t for the fame and fortune, though fortune would be nice, because I could do good with it. It’s so I could get a wider readership. The best thing of all is when people tell you that they enjoyed your work. It never gets old 🙂
Is there any part of the writing process which you enjoy (or dislike) the most – i.e. researching, writing, editing?
Sometimes research can be a bit tedious, depends what it is. But overall I enjoy all aspects of writing. Editing is a pain in the bum sometimes, especially when you disagree with the editor about something! In the end it is normally worked out though. A good editor can make all the difference.
We’ve been Facebook friends for a while but how do you feel about social media, do you find it helpful or a distraction?
Yes we have 🙂 I think it is a bit of a double edged sword. When it works well it’s brilliant – but I’m afraid it also works well for prevaricating too…
Do you have any favourite books or authors which may have inspired you? What type of book do you enjoy reading for pleasure, and what are you reading now?
Dean Koontz is my main inspiration I think, though I love lots of books and writers. He took the time to encourage me many years ago when I wrote to him about my writing. He answered two of my letters in his own handwriting. This man has sold over 400 million books – he’s a legend. I have an eclectic taste and right now am not reading, as I am too busy with blog posts 🙂
When you’re not working or writing, what do you do to relax?
I like reading, gardening, walking on the coast paths and playing on the beach with my family.
What’s next for your writing career? Are you working on a book at the moment?
I’d like to get a paperback out of Behind the Lie, as I have been used to them so far. And I am working on another suspense set in Cornwall.
Thank you so much for inviting me onto your blog today, Karen. It was great fun!
Thanks so much Amanda, I’m very much looking forward to reading Behind the Lie and for anyone who would like to download here’s the Amazon UK link.
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Author bio – Amanda James has written since she was a child, but never imagined that her words would be published. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true.
Amanda has written many short stories and has five novels currently published. Her time travelling debut – A Stitch in Time was published in April of 2013 and has met with great success. Amanda lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the beautiful coastline near her home. Three of her novels are set there, Somewhere Beyond the Sea, Summer in Tintagel and Behind the Lie – April 2017 pub – HQUK ( HarperCollins)
Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family, or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.