Wednesday 8 December 2021

A Slice of Cake With... Amanda James

This week I am delighted to be having a slice of cake with author Amanda James.

Amanda has written since she was a child, and as an eight-year-old, she asked her parents for a typewriter for Christmas. She never imagined her words would ever be published, however. Then in 2010, after many twists and turns, the dream of becoming a writer came true when she had her first short story published for a Born Free anthology. She left teaching in 2013 to pursue her dream full-time.

Originally from Sheffield, Amanda now lives in Cornwall and is inspired every day by the wild and beautiful coastline near her home. She has many suspense novels set there, but her last few books have been uplifting in nature with a twist of magic. She loves writing feel-good reads and has decided the world needs more joy in it right now, and her plan is to write many more novels in that genre. Amanda can usually be found playing on the beach with her family or walking the cliff paths planning her next book.

What kind of books do you write?

I used to write suspense/domestic noir until 2019, but suddenly realised I didn’t want to write about death and destruction anymore. I think there is enough misery around nowadays without writing about it. What I needed and I’m sure what lots of people need right now are uplifting feel-good fiction. That’s what I have been writing since, and absolutely love it! So, I’d say I write uplifting fiction set in Cornwall, with a sprinkling of magic!

Can you describe your writing why?

I’ve always written, but I’ve written seriously for about twelve years. It’s something that’s always been in my blood. There are so many stories inside me just waiting to escape. What motivates me? I love to hear that my stories make people happy. There’s nothing better than hearing how much somebody has enjoyed living in my made-up world for a little while. I sometimes use writing as a counterbalance to everyday life too. I like slipping into the shoes of my various characters and finding out what they get up to as the story unfolds. Where I live motivates me too. I have lived in Cornwall for eight years and adore being by the ocean. It inspires me and lifts my spirits. 

Share with us your favourite passage from the book you enjoyed writing the most

It’s so hard to choose as I love all my book babies. But because I’ve just been talking about the ocean, I thought I’d share this from The Calico Cat:

On a bench with Algernon between us, we eat bananas, apples and cheese for the next while, in silent contemplation of the wondrous scenery all around us. Well, I do, I couldn’t tell you exactly what’s going on in Caleb’s head, but he looks he’s enjoying the view. The sky is blue with not a proverbial, the grass is green and has that lovely springy-spongy texture underfoot, the ocean is vast - turquoise in the shallows and sapphire blue further out - and today it has put a calming and peaceful ‘shhhh’ into its ancient song. 

I eat a sliver of apple and wonder which I like best, the ocean at its angriest, roaring at the top of its voice as it storms the beach, smashing great salt fists against harbour walls and leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. Or when it’s like this - serene, quiet and thoughtful. It would be silly to try and choose one over the other, wouldn’t it? Both ends of the spectrum are wonderful and all the other ocean moods in between. 

Tell us about your latest project

My latest project is A Secret Gift published by One More Chapter- Harper Collins which came out on 30th of October. 


Three years ago, Joy Pentire lost her firefighter husband and she still hasn’t returned to the woman she once was. But then she meets Hope, one of the residents at the nursing home where she’s a carer. Hope has a secret gift that she wants to pass on. And Joy’s life is forever changed. Surrounded by the community in her Cornish hometown, Joy’s unexpected inheritance soon leads to new opportunities, new friends, new love, and the part of herself she’d thought forever lost … her joy.

I can’t say too much about what the gift is, because it’s a secret! Suffice to say that it involves pebbles, auras and a little bit of magic. 😊

What is your favourite cake?

That’s so tricky! But if I had to pick just one, it would have to be chocolate cake. I don’t like really sweet cake, so it would be dark chocolate, with maybe a hint of orange. 

Thanks for having me over for a chat! 😊 

You can connect with Amanda on Twitter at @amandajames61 and on Facebook at mandy.james.33

Join me next week when I will be having a slice of cake with Ros Rendle. 

If you would like to take part in A Slice of Cake With... please fill in the form found here. I'd be delighted to have you.

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Claire Buss is a multi-genre author and poet, completely addicted to cake. Find out more about her books on her website Join the discussion in her Facebook group Buss's Book Stop. Never miss out on future posts by following me

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