Writer Wednesday: Amy Lynch

Amy Lynch is an Irish author of humorous romantic women’s fiction, but not always with fairy tale endings! She has been working in the charity sector for many years, is married and has two young children. When she is not writing, she can be found juggling school runs, packing lunch boxes, tackling the laundry mountain and walking two large rescue dogs who stare at her until she walks them. Talk about multi-tasking!

Her d├ębut novel ‘Bride Without a Groom’ is a laugh out loud Bridezilla comedy, and will be published by Avon, Harper Collins in May 2015. Amy has published articles in Women’s Way, TV Choice Magazine, Sunday Times, and The Irish Examiner. She is represented by literary agent, Frank Fahy. 

1. Why did you want to become a writer?
I started writing at school, because I realised that it was something I was good at. My teacher gave me a floral notebook to encourage me. she asked me to stand, red faced on a plastic chair, in front of the class to read my short stories aloud. When the class laughed at the funny bits, I got a real kick from that. Even though my career went in a different direction (I've been in the charity sector for many years) writing was always something I went back to. Creative writing classes, and submitting articles to magazines kept me busy when the kids were little.  

2. What's the toughest part of the writing process for you?
Rejection is all part of the writing experience, and it's something that many will identify with. It's the toughest part! However, persistence pays off! If you really believe in yourself, and truly want to be published, don’t stop until you get a yes! The trick is to use criticism to improve, which is not easy. I used to struggle with this, but I have learned to listen to feedback.

3. What's the most enjoyable part of writing?
For me, the most enjoyable part of writing is when someone tells me that they enjoyed my work. This morning, I saw a new five star review on Amazon, and the person said that she had spluttered her tea while reading 'Bride without a Groom', she thought it was so funny. It really made my day. Any writer reading this will understand how stomach churning it can be to share your work with others. During my creative writing classes, sharing was part of the course, so it helped to build my confidence.  

4. Out of all the amazing books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why?
I've just discovered Jojo Moyes, and I love her. I fell apart reading 'You Before Me'. 

5. If you could only save one of your characters from fictional calamity, which would you pick and why?
I'm a big fan of the Sophie Kinsella 'Shopaholic' series. The main character is flawed, hilarious and loveable - just like the main character in 'Bride without a Groom'.

6. If you could spend the day with your favourite literary character (not from your books), who would you spend it with and what would you do? 
As a child, my dad read all of the Roald Dahl books to me, and that planted the book loving seed! I'd chose Matilda, as she comes with happy memories!  

7. What can we expect next from you?
I'm editing the next book in the series, ‘Does My Bump Look Big In this?’, where we see Rebecca coming to terms with becoming a mother. I'm also making progress with the third book!

8.What advice would you give to someone starting out?
I often meet people who are dreaming about getting published. They tell me they've been working on their book for years. I tell them to put that book to one side, and start the next one. It's hard to edit your own work, so I while they’re waiting for a big break, keep writing. Once you get a book deal, it will be a good idea to have a back catalogue of other books, so that you can keep them coming!

9. Tell us what a typical writing day involves for you. 
I'm trying to squeeze it around work, kids, laundry and dogs! The plot and chapter plan comes first – these are the bones which are later fleshed out. I'm really strict with myself – writing every single day is important. Flex that creative muscle as often as you can, and it will become second nature. For me, eight o’clock in the evening is writing time. The kids are asleep and the house is quiet. My husband is very supportive. If I’m trying to finish a chapter on the weekend, he’ll sometimes take the kids off to the playground, and come back an hour later to find a more relaxed me! That’s why the dedication reads: “To Eoin. Sorry about all the burnt dinners, darling. As you can see, I’ve been a little busy…”

10. Finally, what are you reading at the moment? 
I picked up a signed copy of Claudia Carroll’s twelfth book ‘Meet Me In Manhattan’ at her book launch last month, and can’t wait to dive in. I mostly read when I’m in Spain – we go with the kids every summer.

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Single, coupled-up or married, this laugh-out-loud summer read is the perfect anecdote for the wedding season!

Rebecca has chosen the most luscious, five tiered, wedding cake. The engagement ring that she has selected is celebrity inspired. The wedding singer is on speed dial. He doesn’t usually do Michael Bolton, but as it’s for a first dance he’ll make an exception. Father Maguire is checking dates for the parish church as we speak. The deposit on the white sand honeymoon is paid for in full on Barry’s card. She has fallen for an ivory lace couture gown that is to die for. The down payment may require her to sell a left kidney, but it will be worth it. Isn’t that why you have two?

There’s one teeny tiny problem. It’s nothing, really. No need to panic! It’s just that Barry has yet to propose. Says he’s not ready! He can be a bit of a kill joy that way. It’s time to face the harsh reality – Rebecca is a bride without a groom!

Follow Amy on Twitter | Buy Bride without a Groom on Amazon |
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Author photo © The Sunday Times, supplied by author for this feature.

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