Writing a book is a long game and getting published is even longer, so patience and tenacity are definitely virtues in this line of work. Unfortunately, I am not particularly patient, although I’m learning to be. Tenacity I do have. Writing a publishable book did not happen for me overnight, but that’s fine, because the great thing about writing is you can do it at any time in your life, fitting it around other things. If someone tells you they don’t have time, or don’t know what to write, it’s probably just that they’re not quite at the point where they NEED to write. When that desire takes over, it will not be ignored, believe me.  

Amanda Reynolds

Amanda Reynolds

I can be bit of a diva, but only at home. I like peace and quiet to write, and I like my tea and coffee just-so, and I’m grumpy when I don’t get time to write or am handed a milky cup of tea, although I always say, ‘Thank you’.

I love the whole world of writing. I like the writing itself and everything that goes with it: literary festivals, travelling to meet my foreign publishers, events where I get to meet readers and bloggers. Writers are a supportive group, reading and reviewing each other’s books. It’s such a thrill to be sent a proof of something, knowing how important a moment that is to the author.

I’ve just bought a greenhouse, which either means I’m super-trendy and will soon be self-sufficient in salad and veg, or, as I suspect, I’m getting old! Anyway, I love it, and my raised bed. There’s nothing like wandering outside to return with a handful of something freshly picked for the pot, or opening an unpromising clump of leaves to spy a creamy cauliflower budding inside.

I have two dogs, sometimes three as I also look after my daughter’s Cavapoo two days a week. This will come as no surprise to anyone who follows me on social media as my timeline is filled with photos of them, which always attract a lot more interest than my other posts. I recently posted in a group I belong to on Facebook asking if any other readers or authors have furry companions. The response was amazing, over 300 Likes and dozens upon dozens of photos and comments. We bookish-types love our pets.

I am a very enthusiastic person, but also a worrier, so everything is either wonderful or the world is about to end. Good job my husband is a bit more level-headed.

We’ve lived in the same house for sixteen years, in a tiny village in The Cotswolds. I never thought I’d stay-put, by the time I was seventeen I’d lived in seventeen houses, but when I moved to Cheltenham in my mid-twenties I finally put down roots. It’s such a beautiful part of the country, almost slap-bang in the middle of England, which means nowhere is that close, but neither is it that far away. London is doable there-and-back in a day, which is great. My only wish is that I were a bit closer to the coast as I rarely see the sea.

I get up very early, before anyone else in my house. It started when I was writing Close To Me and was working on a tight deadline to get it ready for my agent to submit. It seems to have stuck, which means I normally fall asleep in the evenings whilst my husband watches television, but at least I get those precious hours to myself first thing. It’s particularly nice in the summer, when the garden is light and the birds are singing.

I never settled to a career until I started writing. I’ve been a teaching assistant, a sales trainer, a goat milker, sold second-hand clothes on eBay (that was an eye-opener, there are some interesting people out there!) and many other things besides. Mostly, it was to accommodate the needs of my children when they were younger, but also because I don’t think I was ready to be a writer. I had to live a few other lives first.

I have the attention span of a gnat and am a total butterfly, flitting from one task to another. The only time I settle is when I’m writing!

Amanda Reynolds June 2017