Writer Wednesday: Amanda Egan

Name: Amanda Egan

Bio: Born and bred in London, I trained professionally as an actress and then, after years of procrastination, turned my hand to writing Chick/Mummy-lit. A voracious reader of the genre myself, I began focusing even more on my writing soon after my son developed school phobia at age 11 and I had to physically remain in the background at his school for nearly three years until he regained his confidence. Five books and a novella later, I now write full time. 

1. Why did you want to become a writer? 
I trained as an actress so I guess I've always had a creative side that had to come out somehow. Reading has always been a huge part of my life and I've been writing stories and dabbling with books for as long as I can remember. My first novel Diary of a Mummy Misfit just felt like a book waiting to be written and it almost seemed to write itself. After that, I got the bug and never looked back.

2. What's the toughest part of the writing process for you? 
The absolute WORST part (the part where I have endless hissy fits and temper tantrums) is the joint edit with my husband. It takes weeks and I'm really quite nasty - probably because I know I can get away with it with him - I just feel that he's messing with my baby and I get stroppy. Of course I'd never do that with a real live, paid editor but it's a bit like teaching your child to drive - you're too close and tempers will flair!

3. What's the most enjoyable part of writing? 
The best bit is when the characters have taken the stage and they tell me exactly where they need to go and what will happen to them. I love the days when I sit down at the laptop and my fingers can't work quickly enough to keep up with the thoughts that are going through my head. I also love it if I make myself laugh or cry - then I know I've got it right.

4. Out of all the amazing books out there, which book do you wish you had written and why?
Her books are a totally different style to mine but I really admire Maeve Binchy's work. It took me a long time to discover her books and I'd tried several times in my youth but never really got into them. Once a friend re-introduced them to me a few years ago, I devoured them. My favourites are Quentins, Scarlet Feather and Evening Class. I also love Lisa Jewel's earlier novels as I feel she has such a talent for creating believable characters and their histories.

5. If you could only save one of your characters from fictional calamity, who would you pick and why? 
I have a real soft spot for Libby in the Mummy Misfit books - partly because she was my first viable creation and partly because there's so much of me in her. Her words come very easily to me and when I was working on the Misfit books I felt as if I were living and breathing them. I love the banter between Libby and Fenella too - Fenella has a lot of fans!

6. If you could spend the day with your favourite character (not from your books), who would you spend it with and what would you do? 
I'd love to have a day out with Delysia Lafosse from Miss Pettigrew Lives For a Day. We'd sleep until noon, then shop till we dropped, have a champagne lunch, prepare for our evening out, sip cocktails and dance with handsome men to a live jazz band until dawn.

7. What can we expect next from you? 
Well, I will be releasing a Christmas novella in October and a new full length novel in December - but I can't reveal too much about that just yet as I'd have to eat you. It's been fermenting for a while and is now flying at a rate of knots. 'Watch this space' is all I can say at this stage.

8. Is there any particular writing advice you wish you'd been given at the start of your writing career? If so, what is it? If not, what advice would you give to someone starting out? 
I wish someone had told me that, as an Indie, the promotion is the hardest part. It never stops and if you want to sell books it's vital that you keep looking at new ways to get your books talked about. The writing is a joy, the promoting is a killer! My advice to new writers would be to keep at it. Write every day if you can as it really does keep the flow going and makes your job easier. If you're trying to write with small kids and holding down a job, don't beat yourself up - you can't always keep all the balls in the air and your time will come.

9. Tell us what a typical writing day involves for you. 
A typical day starts at about 8.30 with me checking my sales, tweets, email and Facebook. Several cups of coffee later, I will crack on with either interviews or blog posts before I turn to my Work In Progress. If I'm mid novel, I try to write three thousand words a day - this can vary, depending on the characters' moods! I work until 4.30 but, if things are going really well, I'll often carry on in the evening. The rest of the time is taken up with Twitter - a great place for new writers, and the vehicle which has sold most of my books.

10. Finally, what are you reading at the moment? 
I am currently reading a fellow Indie's debut novel - Moody not Broody by Kathryn Player. It's an easy read with a nice sprinkling of humour and it's going down very nicely!

About Lottie's Luck:

I’m Lottie Truman and this is my story. My life was simply tickety-boo until a neighbour’s prediction seemed to coincide with my luck running out. Join me on the path I needed to take to get me to where I am now. But don’t judge me. Because sometimes you have to make a few diversions to allow fate to push you in the right direction.

Buy on Amazon | Follow Amanda on Twitter | Read her blog

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