Welcome to Clubhouse Chat page. Those of you who are not a member won’t be aware that the location of the Clubhouse is shrouded in mystery. The only way to visit the clubhouse is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sort of writers and authors at different levels of their writing careers. Over tea and cakes, or maybe a glass of something stronger, I shall be chatting with my guest about their work in progress, or latest book release.
Welcome the Clubhouse tearoom, Amanda.
Thank you so much for inviting me, Paula. It’s very nice here. A bit of the beaten track, but the surroundings are lovely.
Yes, it’s a haven in these uncertain times, a bit like writing, don’t you think?
Oh yes. Writing and reading both help.
Let me start by asking you when you first begun your writing journey what drew you to your chosen genre?
I was torn, at first, as I really do love writing humorous stories – and actually have a comical magical story finished and on my hard drive waiting to do something with, but thrillers and crime won me over because I’ve always loved reading those kinds of novels, and I was brought up on Agatha Christie who is my inspiration.
Tell us a little about latest writing project. Is it a new idea, or one you have been mulling over for some time?
I’ve just finished the first draft of my latest project, and it’s now with my editor. It’s a new idea and is set on a fictional island just off the Suffolk coast, and is separated from the mainland by a causeway. My main character is drawn to a hotel on the island and begins to discover things about her father she never knew before. But as guests are found dead or disappear she knows she should never have come . . .
Do you write a synopsis first or write the first chapter?
I used to always write the first chapter and let the characters lead me – with only a few main pointers about the plot in mind – particularly the twist. However, I now write an outline and synopsis as my editor needs this to agree the plot – though she is always open for it to change direction to some degree, which is good as I do find my novels tend to veer off course when characters decide to take over.
Were any of your characters inspired by real people?
No. Honestly! I do pick up on traits of people and use those sometimes, but I never base my characters on real people.
What did you learn when writing your book. In writing it, how much research did you do?
I’m always dipping onto Internet sites to check and research as I go. My latest book is partly set in the eighties – and I think my last search was to find out if Woolworth still had their pick ‘n’ mix on the date I was writing about, as I wanted my character to work on that counter. I loved writing Her Last Lie as my main character travelled a great deal, and discovering unusual places she would write about as a travel journalist, was great fun.
Is there anything about you your readers might be surprised to find out?
All my ebook royalties for Her Last Lie go to Cancer Research UK in memory of my younger sister, and I’ve now raised over £8000.
(That’s amazing. I’m so sorry to hear of your family’s loss.)
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
It depends what stage I’m at with a book. But I tend to spend most days either writing or working on writing related things. I write at my best in the mornings, and get up very early to start.
Do you set yourself a daily word count?
I do when I’m up against a deadline. Some days I can’t quite reach it though, as my head isn’t always in the right place, and other days I write twice as many words as I’ve set myself.
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
I did. I was going to call myself Amanda Timoney, which is a family name. But in the end I decided it would be lovely to see my own name on a book.
How do you select the names of your characters? Do you know everything about them before you start writing their story?
I tend to visualise my character, and then decide what name would suit them. Sometimes I look up popular names in the year my character was born, and that works well. When I start writing my characters I don’t know them very well at all, but by the end of the book they are very real to me, and when I read through the first draft again, I often take out things I know they wouldn’t say or do now I’ve got to know them better. For example, my main character in my latest manuscript was far too cowardly in my first draft, and I knew after getting to know her, she would be braver so had to amend a few scenes to incorporate that.
Thank you for a lovely chat, and taking time out to join us.
If you would like to find out more about Amanda’s work check out her links to Amazon UK: and her website You can follow her on: Twitter: @amandajbrittany
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/amandabrittany2 Instagram: @amanda_brittany_author
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Member’s Books don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.