I was brought up in the eighties and nineties Brixton.

I grew up in and around Brixton during the eighties and nineties, and I have very fond memories of my childhood. During this time there was a real sense of family and community. My experience of growing up in the area, the effect of the riots and of gentrification, have inspired many of the themes in The Book of Echoes.

The Book of Echoes

The Book of Echoes

I used to love going to Brixton Market with my mother on a Saturday morning

I still love going to the market, but it isn’t as it used to be. With gentrification, many eating places have replaced the old market stalls, particularly in the Arcade. There is a character in the book who talks about going to Brixton Market and not being able to get very far because there was always someone that knew her or her family that she would have to stop to talk to.

When I write, it is like cooking.

For me, writing is a little like cooking. I love gathering the raw ingredients, prepping them, putting them together and adding seasoning to create a novel or a short story.

I am inspired by women.

I am surrounded by strong women who I am in awe of, and strong women feature in The Book of Echoes. I believe that it is because of many of the women in my life that I have been able to make the choices I have, despite some consequences. I don’t feel I am as strong as them, even though they debate that, but I am okay with it, as it is not a competition. Everyone has a different journey to take. They have taught me it is important to know yourself well, and look after yourself mentally, by asking for help from others, and if need be seeking professional help, as the journey of life is hard. One thing they have always left me with is hope, and I hope that in some way I am passing that on.

I find writing therapeutic.

I find writing therapeutic, for me it is a way of learning, exploring and working out the world around. A way of hunting out truths. I find it strange that after the writing process, where you may be communicating with yourself, during the reading process it is opened up to the wider world -- but I feel blessed when someone tells me they communicated with my book on a very human level.

The idea for my novel came from homesickness.

The idea for the book came about over twenty years ago when I was working in Scotland. I had lots of ideas milling around in my head and wanted to write something that gave a voice to the Brixton community I had left behind in London. I was also homesick. So, when I moved into a flat with no TV, I thought it would be a wonderful opportunity to write. The character of Michael emerged first, then the character of Ngozi. I fell in love with both of them and ran home in the evenings to find out what would happen to them.

I write short stories and novels

I write short stories as well as novels and find both forms rewarding.

The Book of Echoes by Rosanna Amaka is published by Doubleday on 27th February