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 it is via membership or an invite to the tearoom. Every few days, I’ll be sharing a conversation with all sorts 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.
Cafelit is an online magazine which posts a new story every day. To find out more click here. CafeLit books are published by Chapel Town Books to find out more about the publisher click here. Today in the tearoom, I’m chatting to Cafelit writer, Amanda Jones about her entries in The Best of CafeLit 10. Welcome to the tearoom, Amanda. Let’s order our drinks now, so what would you like?
Thank you for invite me to the tearoom, Paula. Please could I have a hot chocolate, thank you.
Now we have our refreshments I’ll start by asking you, what made you write the story you decided to submit to Cafelit? Was it as seasonal call-out .i.e. Christmas, summer holidays, autumn, Halloween etc or just something you needed to get off your chest?
My Grandfather’s Far East Prisoner of War story has been years in the waiting. Like most of my work it became part of my diary and was crossed out and rescheduled until I had a draft. I work like this due to my health and it gets things done! Years of research from the National Archives at Kew, Bedford Archives and online forums come together in this short story. It was just waiting for the right moment for me to finish it and Gill’s 1940s group inspired me to submit it to CafeLit.
Did you use a writing prompt for your story?
No, it is a true story based on thorough research in my quest to find out what happened in the Far East in World War II; the Forgotten War.
Did you write an outline first, or follow where the characters led you?
Yes, I started the story by looking through my many notes, timeline and research items from over the years. Then I created an outline of the key facts to include and typed them in Word, ready for me to fill and write around.
How do you create your characters? Do you start with a name first?
When I write fiction my characters form at the beginning of a piece. Names are less important to me as I start to write and come along as the character develops. I like to create around a theme most often with a moral or underlying purpose.
Was your story told in your normal genre or did you try something different?
I have been writing true, non-fiction recently so it is different than my normal. However, a long time ago I started writing about my life and it sat by the wayside. Suddenly I was inspired to break the writing down. So, rather than write a whole book I created short stories exploring different life lessons learned and themes. It started with my ongoing Mum series, all about her life, but in ‘chapters’ of one short story at a time. I really feel it works better like this and helps the reader navigate often difficult subjects. My story about my Grandfather came into being in a similar way.
What do you enjoy most about being part of the Cafelit community?
The spirit of support and friendship is so welcoming and the encouragement to promote each other’s work. I love the format of CafeLit too, the ability to submit, see a story scheduled and read online. Each story I have scheduled I create a Facebook Event for on my Facebook Author Page and choose relevant images from Pixabay to illustrate the story and help with marketing.
How long have you been writing and what got you started?
My Mum taught me to read and write from the age of three and I still have some stories I wrote from my first school days. Then I began writing poems and made an illustrated booklet as an eight year old. From here I just kept writing; poetry, essays, short stories, novels and non-fiction. I have a book I wrote by hand as a 10-12 year old which I then typed on an electronic typewriter having taught myself to touch type. With carbon copy paper in use I typed this book in between school work and created a copy at the same time. Then I borrowed the Writer’s Annual Year Book from the library and sent off my manuscript to publishers. This was in the early 1990s and before I had a computer. I continued to write as a teenager and have a novel I am resurrecting at the moment, worked on with my English teacher at the time.
When I visited Australia with my late partner I wrote a diary-style book and inspired him to do the same. It would be interesting to print the two into one book! Then I started my Missy Dog charity series having had the inspiration to delve into history and bring it alive in my dog’s dreams. The research and thoroughness of real history is very interesting when you weave it into such a setting. From there I continued to write short stories and poetry with ideas for more novels.
What’s the one thing you would give up to become a better writer?
I would give up my incurable, progressive disability so I could tour the UK, run book signings and talks and author events for myself and others and combine the events with music performances. These are my online links with an overlap between writing and arts/crafts as I sell my books in my online shop Missy’s Matters and promote my editing work there too.
My Books are available from the links below through Missy’s Matters and through Kindle. Please follow me through my profile and social media channels to keep up to date with my work. Thank you!
Missy’s Matters is my Conscious Crafties Shop full of creative, handmade goodies with many donating to good causes. https://www.consciouscrafties.com/crafties/missys-matters/
My Go Fund Me campaign supports good causes through my Missy Dog Books. I donate the writing, art, design and illustrations, friends support me with their time, proof-reading, editing, layout and more, but printing is an expense. Please support the creation of a book as a book is for life and supports a charity forever.
If you want to find out more about Clubhouse Members’ Books, don’t forget to check out the Clubhouse Bookshops too.