An Interview with Amelie Rose
author of The Duchess’ Diary, Love Child, Mirror Image, Lazy Weekend 1 & 2 Love’s Return and Henri’s Cellar and her most popular How to Create a Shabby Chic Lifestyle
Q.Who are your greatest support – who believes in you?
- My husband, son and daughter-in-law who all think I am amazing – I’ve never bothered to enlighten them.
Q.Where do you write from? e.g. Kitchen table? Study? Bedroom? Garden shed?
A. I have a lovely room downstairs which is light and airy and very spacious. All year round it seems to maintain a nice even temperature and as our home overlooks the water, I have a lovely inspiring view right there beside me. I am very fortunate.
Q.Do you write at set times e.g. morning, afternoon, evening, very early morning?
A. Most days I am in my office by 9.00 a.m. My routine is that I check through my emails first and answer anything that needs attention then by 10.00 I am ready to start back on my latest manuscript. It takes me about another hour or so to go over the previous day’s work and edit and make any changes. By the time I’ve done that and had lunch, it’s 1.00 p.m. and that’s when I get into full writing swing. I aim for 2000 words a day and finish around 5.00 p.m.
Q.What motivates Amelie Rose to write?
A. I’m not really sure except that it’s always been the only thing I ever really wanted to do so, since I left a long career in real estate when writing was secondary but always a part of my life and my record of published short stories, a source of great satisfaction, I decided to give it my best full-time shot and here I am, three years later, still writing and still loving every minute.
Q.What are the biggest distractions to your writing time?
- Emails, essential shopping, friends inviting me over or calling in for a cuppa because they are convinced I must be desperate for a break from my computer and when I tell them I absolutely love what I am doing they look at me like I’ve lost a marble or something equally mad. Of course, they live interesting lives, just not the kind of interesting life I want. I am entirely happy doing what I do – it took a lot of years before I could pluck up the courage to make it my career and I couldn’t be happier.
Q.What part of the world do you live in?
A. I live with my wonderful husband in a pretty waterfront cottage on New Zealand’s glorious east coast, barely half an hour to the city of Auckland. This area is called the Hibiscus Coast and it’s known to be in the `winterless north.’ The climate is temperate, winters never cold, wet, or long enough to own things like macs, electric blankets or heavy sweaters and coats and the remaining nine months of the year are heavenly.
Q.Are you from there originally?
A: I was born in Blackpool in the UK and my husband is from Devon. We love going back. The last time was to my amazingly fit, attractive, energetic mum-in-law’s 90th birthday. She looked amazing and still does.
Q.Have you ever suffered from writers’ block?
A. I’m really not sure. Sometimes I can’t settle into what I’m writing and I need to go away and do something else for a little while but usually, going through my notes, checking over what I’ve last written, generally something falls into place and I start typing. I don’t really think that can be construed as `writers’ block’ so I think my answer has got to be No.
Q.How do you overcome it?
A. Just start writing.
Q.Have you taken any writers’ courses and have they been worthwhile?
A. Many years ago when my children were tiny and before real estate, I did two correspondence courses – Novel Writing and Short Story Writing. I really enjoyed them but while my diploma for the novel writing course noted `with distinction,’ I never even dreamed of trying to write an actual book until around 2000 when I started my first novel.
Q.Have you ever belonged to a writers’ group? And what value did you gain from it?
A. I joined the Hibiscus Writers Group in 2004 and stayed until about a year ago. It was peopled at the beginning by some very talented lovely writers. Today it goes from strength to strength with a newer, vibrant, ambitious membership so I think it will be around for many years to come. I gained a lot from the clutch of experienced writers, the excellent workshops, competitions and highly experienced judges who gave of their time and knowledge so generously. From my own experience, I would highly recommend joining a writers group. Whether a new or experienced writer, I believe we can all benefit from input by like minds.
Q.Is self-publishing satisfying enough for you or would you prefer to be traditionally published?
A. I thought once that being traditionally published was the only way to go. That has changed. Now I absolutely love the independence of being able to publish my own work on Amazon and Smashwords and others. There is still a little voice at the back of my mind, however, that whispers to me from time to time about how neat it would be to have a book published traditionally. Who knows – maybe one day it might happen. If not, I am more than happy being one tiny cog in a worldwide network of wonderfully talented Indie authors.
Q.Have you ever tried to find an agent?
A. I did try last year after completing my latest book, but after a bunch of rejections and some non-answers I wondered why I was putting myself through the stress, so I stopped and became happy again.
Q.What would you expect an agent could do for you that you can’t do for yourself?
A. I imagine it’s a bit like real estate – they have industry knowledge and contacts built up over time and are able to open doors we writers wouldn’t even know were there.
Q.Do you think you can make a full-time career being an Indie writer?
A. It’s what I am doing now. I work almost as many hours writing as I did in my previous career and the money, while intermittent, is pleasing and building as I become known.
Q.How long have you been writing?
A. Since high school when an English teacher I adored was so encouraging and suggested it was a path I should consider. It took me quite awhile but I’m here.
Q.What drew you to want to write a book?
A. Previously it was always short stories and essays and I never gave a thought to doing anything longer but my father, a school teacher and the biggest bookworm I’ve ever known, told me one day that when I wrote a book he would read it and give me my first critique. Unfortunately, I left it too late and he passed away before I got that far. Later, I did the course on novel writing and that started me thinking more about my father’s and teacher’s comments. It still took awhile but eventually I completed my first book and was hooked. From then it has been books all the way.
Q.From where did you get the idea for this current story?
A. I read about someone who had accumulated a large number of paintings that had been stolen from France during WWII. Shortly after, I went to France and in Paris, in the Louvre, staring at the Mona Lisa, it all just seemed to come together in my mind.
Q.How did you go about developing it?
A. I keep notebooks and work the same for each of my stories. I start with a running thread of the story – sort of synopsis if you like then I break that down into chapters. It just goes from there.
Q.What is your next project?
A. I am working on my first murder mystery, which I am hoping I will be able to turn into a series – it seems to lend itself to that form.
Thank you Amelie Rose for an insight into the mind of the author of all these books, click on any cover to take you to the Amazon page to learn more or purchase any of Amelie’s books.
follow Amelie check out her blog site at busypen.com