Today I’m excited to introduce you all to a good writing buddy of mine, Amanda Knight. I first meet Amanda at the Sydney RWA Conference and we’ve been chatting on-and-off ever since. Amanda is a down to earth Australian romantic suspense author that will be sure to blow our minds one day when her books are published.
My hope, is that when you read my books, you’ll be cheering for the triumph of the human spirit whilst running to lock your doors!
What are you currently reading?
What was the last book you bought?
All These Perfect Strangers by Aoife Clifford – a great read!
Do you prefer to read books in print or electronically?
These days, I actually prefer electronic, just for the speed and ease at which I can purchase and read… but when I have the opportunity to snuggle somewhere warm and cosy, with a cuppa and no interruptions… there’s nothing like the feel, smell and process of reading a ‘real’ book to immerse me in whatever world I’m diving into through the pages!
If I was to walk into your house right now, what would your bookshelves look like? Do you have an organisation system (genre, colour, author…) or are you just happy to go with the flow?
I’m a little bit OCD within my bookshelves usually and they’re generally arranged in genre, author and height (unless the height messes with the author’s books staying together!) Some new additions from some of my favourite writer friends haven’t yet made it into the ‘system’ and are sitting atop the rest! I have one shelf that’s classics (and one for children’s books and another for the adult!) – these include CS Lewis, J K Rowling (yes, I include the Harry Potter series as classics!) Mark Twain and LM Montgomery through to Jane Austen, the Brontes and Thomas Hardy. Some of my favourite ‘classic’ Australian Authors are D’Arcy Niland, Ruth Park and Dymphna Cusack… I have a letter Ruth Park wrote to me as a very young writer, urging me to follow my dreams… and it was a life changing moment! At the moment, there’s been some shuffling of the book cases – I’ve still about 6 boxes of unpacked books, but the latest to come out is a whole self-development, mindfulness kind of reads – so the bookshelves are a work in progress at the moment!
How often do you read?
Almost every day… it is my wind down process before bed… the only time I skip the reading is when I know I have a big work event/commitment the next day that requires me to be on my game… and I have to particularly employee this strategy when I am totally engrossed in a book… I’ve been known to see the sun coming up with ‘just one more chapter’ behaviour!
Describe what you would expect to find in your dream book?
Characters who weave their way into my hearts pretty quickly… especially those ones you want to dislike but can’t quite do it, and come around, some really clever mystery/suspense/intrigue, enough setting that I can hear. see, smell where I am… and some sharp witty or heart-wrenching dialogue!
How do you choose what to read next?
Oh, that’s so random for me! I have SOOO many in my TBR pile. If an author friend has a book just out, I usually try to read that quickly so I can write a review… but other than that, if I’ve recently read a review or seen a cover that grabs my attention (yes, I am one of those!) I’ll have a read of the blurb… so sometimes it is the one that’s been top of mind that’ll get opened first!
So you’ve started a book and discover it’s not for you. Are you more likely to discard it or finish it?
I used to read something to the end, firstly, just because I couldn’t stand not to know what happened… and also, as a writer, to identify when the book lost me and why… NOW, time is way to precious to waste on words that don’t grab me… so now, I discard pretty quickly!
If you could read any book again, for the first time, what book would you choose?
Hmmm.. that is so tough! There’s so many books that linger with me, stay for days and keep me thinking about the characters, the place, their lives… one that comes straight to mind is The Power of One by Bryce Courtney.
What is about books that appeals to you so much? What is your favourite part about reading?
Escaping to another world, immersing in other lives, moments… that let you live a little differently whilst you’re reading. I love the idea that words change lives… even if it’s only momentarily.. and my favourite part of reading is it closes the entire world out while I’m doing it… and nothing matters. When I’m reading a great book – nothing enters my head whilst I’m reading…
Was there any particular book that inspired you to start writing?
Goodness, so many… but one I read as a young teen, Stranger with my Face by Lois Duncan NEVER left me (the picture is the version I had)… a particular fascination with twins, and loving the suspense element – this appealed to me even then! And then, researching the writer in later years, I found this book came about due the murder of her daughter… and the impact of it became so much greater for me. The Anne of Green Gables series was and remains one of my all time faves, it was definitely an influence… but Playing Beattie Bow, The Shiralee and The Harp in the South series made me want to write stories that moved people in so many ways, that made me want to cry, love, fight and everything in-between… I want to be that kind of writer!
Do you have any advice to other writers out there?
Keep. Going. Don’t. Stop. I keep this picture on my wall… because I have come so close, now, that is the norm… the close – not far from getting over the line situation… and whilst there have been days where I just don’t know if I can do it.. it is a calling. I can’t stop… and also, you just never know when you’ll crack that diamond. If you want it bad enough, if you keep honing your craft, listening, learning and do it all with respect and dignity for both yourself and those you’re working with… it will come. I truly believe that! Also, behave like a published author… be kind to people, build your networks, be gracious.
To learn more about Amanda Knight, visit the following social media sites: