I’m very pleased and honoured to introduce the lovely Amanda Prowse as my guest author today. Although Amanda didn’t start writing full time until she was forty she is a prolific writer with many published novels and novellas to her name, including her most recent novella Miss Potterton’s Birthday Tea.
Amanda states that her ambition has always been to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…
Here Amanda talks about her love of reading and explains the ideas behind her new novella.
Eva. thank you so much for having me as a guest on your wonderful blog, I am very happy to be here among friends.
Books are a huge part of my life. Reading for me is akin to breathing. I simply cannot imagine a life where this is not one of my major habits. I would rather be reading than just about anything else. We have a standard joke in our house, having visited some amazing places, sites, venues, I have very often done so with my nose in a good story only half-present, I can’t help it! What was I supposed to do? NOT find out what happened? As if.
The recent celebration of World Book Night has opened my eyes to the fact that so many people don’t read, yes I know, unbelievable, but true. My immediate thoughts are, what do they DO with all that spare time, all those hours reclaimed by not sitting with your nose in a book and secondly, what do they THINK about? As my head is largely consumed with three things;
- The book I am currently reading.
- The book I am currently writing.
- Is it time for another coffee yet?
Throughout my life, books have been my salvation, my educators, my friends and my escape. I grew up in a loving, busy, noisy, chaotic house without books in it. My wonderful Mum and Dad were too busy working and caring for their large brood and apart from reading on holiday (I picture my dad with the latest John Le Carré and my mum with anything by VC Andrews – Flowers In The Attic etc.) they didn’t make or have the time to read. Interestingly, once we had flown the coop and the burden of life was lifted a little, they both became and continue to be voracious readers! Kindles are now on their checklist when they leave the house, whereas it used to be simply, ‘keys, wallet, phone…’
I was born in Stepney and grew up in East London and remember very clearly my first ever visit to East Ham library and being given a little cardboard library card. It changed my life. Someone trusted me with the most precious thing: a book! And not only was it completely free, but when I finished, they let me choose another and another… that was it. I was hooked!
I used to curl up among the noise of my brother’s running around the room, yelling and playing ‘He-Man Master of the Universe!’ and read. This skill now serves me very well. I can write anywhere! Planes, trains, even in the TV room with a computer game blaring and boys yelling I am able to disappear into my own little world and create…
When my boys were little, I took so much joy in reading to them. Working our way through weighty classics like Moby Dick and the whole series of Lemony Snicket A Series of Unfortunate Events (LOVE LOVE LOVE THESE BOOKS!) and I hoped they would, like me, become book worms. It hasn’t quite worked out that way, my eldest would rather be watching or kicking a football, but this makes him happy and that is the goal (every pun intended!) My youngest is dyslexic and as a scientist is happier with his head in some grisly scientific tome than anything more frivolous!
So I do understand that books are not everyone’s bag but nothing gladdens my heart quite as much, as receiving a message from someone to say that they have read one of my books and it has re-ignited their love of reading! I know that this is so much more than them enjoying my stories; it is about them discovering the alternate worlds that lay in wait! How wonderful!
I also think that with the sweeping epidemic of loneliness in this modern age, not only would books provide companionship and escape for those affected, but a trip to the library would be the best tonic!
My latest novella “Miss Potterton’s Birthday Tea” looks at the loneliness of three seemingly very different people who all have that one simple desire, to switch off the light at the end of the day with someone by their side who cares about them. I think the best comment I have had about from a critic was “It made me go Aaaaaaah!” what more could I ask for?
Well, Eva, a deadline is looming and so I must get back to my edit – thank you so much for letting me hang out with you and your lovely readers and if anyone has any questions or wants to chat – they can always contact me at; firstname.lastname@example.org