I’m happy to welcome author Amanda Paull back to the blog. Her books have appeared here in the past but this is the first time I get to interview her!
Hello and Welcome, Amanda! Thank you for spending a little time with us here on the blog today!
Hi Nesie, thank you for inviting me to chat.
Where are you chatting from?
I’m in Washington, in the North East of England.
Are you self-published, traditional, or hybrid?
I am self-published.
Are you a full-time writer or do you also work a “day job?”
I would love to be a full-time writer, but I do have a day job. I originally started writing as a hobby. But the more I learn about writing and self-publishing, the more I would like to become full-time.
How long did it take you to write your first book?
LOL! I think I started it in 2015, and although it has been published for a while, I am currently re-editing it. The story itself hasn’t changed, but as I learn more, I keep going back to change little things.
Pantser or Plotter?
Plotter. Probably too much so.
What inspires your writing? Do you have a Muse?
I would like to open up to having a Muse, but struggle with this. It goes back to Grammar school, where everything had to be ‘correct’, so I find it difficult to get out of my own way sometimes.
What’s your favorite genre to write or do you only write in one genre?
I have written one Women’s Fiction novel and I am currently writing my 2nd one. I love writing the Scott Family Short Stories. They are so funny to me because I get the ideas for them from my family. But, they are really silly. I am always astonished when someone else finds them funny. Strangely, I don’t really like farcical situations – I get stressed – probably because there’s always so much chaos going on in my own family.
What’s your favorite genre to read?
I love reading Women’s Fiction, especially Marian Keyes novels.
What are you reading now?
I am reading a Barry Hutchinson, Space Team novel. It is called the Wrath of Vajazzle. Sci-Fi is not my favourite genre, but I find Barry’s writing really funny.
Where do you get the most writing done?
Sitting on the sofa in front of the TV. I’m from a noisy family and don’t like silence.
Wow, really? I’m from a big, noisy family—including five sisters–and I love the silence.
Do you have pets who “help” or inspire you?
No pets. I can sense if there is an insect in the room though and this freaks me out. I sense it and then 5 minutes later, I will see it creeping out from a hiding place.
Are you totally addicted to social media or could you live without it?
I could live without it. Though I must day that, back in the day Friends Reunited led to a rekindled friendship that led to romance, and the idea for my first novel.
What’s the inspiration behind your latest release? Who’s your favorite character?
My husband and I went on holiday to a beautiful family-run hotel in Mallorca last year. It was on the coast on the mountainous side of the island. My husband took his cycle because apparently, it is great for cycling. However, it caused us no end of trouble. The scene about the taxi transfer in Pedalo Pandemonium is based on a real experience.
My favourite character is Maureen Scott. She was originally inspired by my mother. Although Maureen is a fictional character, when my mother reads my stories, she says things like, ‘I didn’t do that… Say I did such and such…’ ‘Why don’t you make yourself do something stupid?’ I have to remind her they are not really about ‘us’.
What’s your next project or release?
I would like to write a novella about the Scott Family, to sort of complete Ben and Laura’s story. I will need to spend more time with my family though as I need new material. So far, Maureen and Bob have a CCTV obsession, with THREE separate CCTVs, all sending constant alerts to their mobile phones, day and night, whenever a plant so much as sways in the breeze…
I am also writing my 2nd novel, Painting Bananas, which is another Women’s Fiction novel.
Do you have any advice for new authors?
Lots of people tell me that they would like to write a book but couldn’t. Give it a go, you don’t know until you try. And listen to podcasts. The writing community is very supportive. I have learned so much from podcasts, such as those by Mark Dawson and Joanna Penn.
Thank you, Amanda!
Thank you, too.
Continue scrolling to learn about Amanda’s latest release, Pedalo Pandemonium, and check out her bio.
Pedalo Pandemonium (Scott Family Short Story, Book 4)
Laura and Ben are still together, against all the odds. Laura’s Family, the Scotts, are adorable – but they wreak havoc wherever they go. The couple have survived first date silicon dog poo, Christmas mayhem and even dodgy marshmallows.
Their future together may have looked doomed on more than one occasion, but here they are at the airport – eating bacon sandwiches and watching planes take off, as they wait to board their flight to Mallorca.
A whole week in an idyllic Spanish fishing village. Just the two of them. Away from their families and the usual chaos. Wonderful.
What could possibly go wrong…?
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My name is Amanda Paull. Well, that’s my pen name, not my real one, which helps to keep my writing separate from my day job.
I grew up in the North East of England and couldn’t wait to move away. However, after studying and then living both in England and abroad, I returned to the North East and wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else now.
Going to Grammar school in the days when teachers wore black caps and gowns, and walloped at will, wasn’t much fun for a shy, quiet child like myself. So, I just kept my head down, did my homework and tried to stay invisible.
I used to love daydreaming and making up stories in my head, but I never thought about writing them down. In those days, writing wasn’t an enjoyable pursuit, it was more of a time to toe the line and avoid being hit by a flying blackboard rubber. I was the type of pupil who would have been mortified to have ‘made’ a teacher launch one at me, so I would have shown respect by not ducking.
A short career in teaching was a revelation, to put it mildly. After going back to University, I settled into my current post in the public sector, where I am very happy.
It was Jim, a work colleague, who suggested around 12 years ago that I write a book. Apparently, my contribution to coffee break conversations always seemed to be either tragic or hilarious. But to me it was just normal stuff. No-one would want to read about that.
Then, a couple of years later, while sunbathing in Mallorca with my boyfriend, who is now my husband, and a glass of Cava, the idea of writing a humorous fiction novel came to me. I didn’t need to make it all up though as I had a plentiful supply of funny real life snippets.
To get started, I studied creative writing through the Open University, which fitted nicely around my job and, to my delight, was absolutely nothing like school. The Scott Family Short Stories started out as an assignment for this course. A Christmas Day Kerfuffle was the result of the fictional account of the first Christmas brunch my husband spent with my family. Of all the short stories, this one has more true snippets in it than the others. The taxi driver and bike box scene in Pedalo Pandemonium was pretty true to life, too. The driver looked different, but the airport to hotel transfer only required slight embellishment.
I also write Women’s Fiction. Pictures in the Sky was my debut novel, and I am currently writing my second, Painting Bananas.
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