Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Interview with Amanda Prowse - The Idea of You


 Interview with Amanda Prowse - 
celebrating the release of her touching new novel 'The Idea of You'

Inspired by Amanda’s own experiences, this is a compelling and heart-wrenching look at the true meaning of love, family and motherhood.


I am delighted today to be able to welcome Amanda Prowse onto my blog for a Q&A; a very warm welcome to Amanda. Amanda has recently released her tender and poignant new novel 'The Idea of You'. She has kindly joined us today to talk more about the novel and the writing process behind the book. Thank you so much Amanda for joining us. I have been lucky enough to read this fabulous and compassionately written book already and will include my review on the blog later this week. This book really struck a deep chord within me, and although my circumstances around difficulties conceiving a child were different, the raw emotions experienced when reading this book really hit home. I was delighted to be able to ask Amanda more about the novel, and learn more about this special, super talented author.

With her fortieth birthday approaching, Lucy Carpenter dares to hope that she finally has it all: a wonderful new husband, Jonah, a successful career and the chance of a precious baby of her own. Life couldn’t be more perfect.

But the reality of becoming parents proves much harder than Lucy and Jonah imagined. Jonah’s love and support is unquestioning, but as Lucy struggles with work and her own failing dreams, the strain on their marriage increases. Suddenly it feels like Lucy is close to losing everything…

Heart-wrenching and poignant, this latest work by bestselling author Amanda Prowse asks the question: what does it mean to be a mother in today’s hectic world? And what if it’s asking too much to want it all?



Why did you chose to write The Idea of You, such a deeply emotional novel so close to your own personal story? 
   
I think it’s important to look at topics that affect large numbers of women even if that subject is difficult. The idea of motherhood is one that permeates many aspects of a woman’s life and it doesn’t always finish like a fairy tale. With one in five pregnancies ending in miscarriage in the UK and countless women unable to conceive, I wanted to highlight what it is like for a woman who has to live though this situation.
  
How much is Lucy a reflection of yourself and your feelings?  
   
It might surprise readers to learn that the answer is that she is ‘Not at all’. Lucy is entirely different to me in every way apart from the fact that we have both struggled with fertility. The way I see her is that she is feistier than me, smarter than me and someone I would admire greatly.
  
Do you become withdrawn during difficult times in your life or become angry? 
   
I’m probably quite unusual in that I do neither. Instead I’m a talker through the good, the bad and the times when it gets ugly! And actually, being a talker has got me through many a dark time in my life. It has always been my belief that truth lies in the old adage ‘A problem shared is a problem halved’. I talk things through with my husband, best friend, and long-suffering family members and find this helps with my perspective on life.  

Did you ever have to take time out from writing the novel if it became too painful?  
     
Yes I do and I know this sounds weird but the way I deal with it is by writing two novels simultaneously; one that is light hearted, even funny and the more serious one. This gives me balance and keeps me on track. I have to say though that although there are some darker moments in my books, the stories are inevitably uplifting, so always carry a positive message.
  
You were excellent at writing about the ever-changing teenage moods swings, what were you like as a teenager?  
   
I’m afraid to say I was very boring. I was a real home bird and a bookworm. I loved being with my parents and grandparents and realise how lame that sounds. I was never a party girl and always worked very hard academically - my escape and joy was found in reading.
   
Do you knit? Or is it something you've always wanted to learn?     
  
I knit badly and would definitely love to get better at it. I come from a family of knitters but don’t seem to have inherited the gene that makes it come easily.   
  
Where do you like to write, do you need peace and quiet or a bustling atmosphere? 
   
Either, I’m very lucky in that in any environment I go into my own little world and can happily write.
  
What would you like to be known for as a grandmother? My late grandmother baked special caramel and ginger biscuits, do you envision yourself being 'known' for something?  
     
First of all, I love the idea of becoming a grandma and hope that I get that lucky.  And I think taking a leaf out of my own mum’s book, I would love to be known for making them laugh.
    
You write so beautifully about family life, do you use inspiration from your own extended family? 
  
Yes, I do, everything funny, interesting or moving that happens to me, I like most writers, store these events away and use them to help with my writing. I draw on a lot from chance encounters with strangers too. Because I’m such a prolific writer if I bump into you there is a very high chance that I’ll take some tiny aspect that I observe to embellish a character with.
  
Did your family struggle with your writing of such a deeply personal story, when you and Simeon had gone through a similar situation?  
   
I’m very lucky in that Simeon is so supportive of my writing and I’m able to discuss the outline of all my stories with him before I write a single word.
  
Did you always have hope or did you struggle with keeping positive?  
  
There were of course times when my loss felt quite overwhelming and it was hard to remain upbeat, however I was so lucky to have such amazing support around me that it really helped me get through it.   
  
Do you have an outlet for when you're stuck with writing and need a break? Maybe going for a run, reading or swimming etc.?
   
A quick walk round the block does it for me every time.
  
Are you working on a new novel?     
  
Yes, I’m currently working on two stories; I’m just finishing the final edit stage of the next one ‘The Art of Hiding’ that will be released in July. It’s about a likeable woman from quite a poor background who marries well and appears to have it all; a wealthy husband, a big house and a couple of great boys who attend a posh private school. Not everything is as it appears however when we learn that her husband was quite adept at ‘the art of hiding’ and the reader looks on as an unexpected event turns her world upside down with devastating consequences. Anyone who enjoyed my summer book of last year ‘My Husband’s Wife’ will absolutely love this book because it tackles issue about the realisation that just because someone has a lot of money and possessions, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they are happy.
   
Do you have a favourite novel that you have written or do you love them all the same?!
   
I always tend to like the one that I’m currently writing the most, so at least that means that I enjoy going into work every day. My long standing personal favourite though is Clover’s Child and I will always love that book partly because of the romantic story line and partly because it has an imperfect ending reflecting that things don’t always work out as we would like and that sometimes life is just like that. It carries the message that you should always follow your dreams and that you should not let anyone get in the way of your happiness.
  
Thank you so much Amanda for appearing on my blog today and for sharing with us more about The Idea of You and the deeply personal experiences behind the novel. The Idea of You is such a beautiful book; a must read that I would definitely recommend!

‘The Idea of You’ is available to buy here on Amazon:   http://bit.ly/theIdeaOfYou
  
More about the author …
   

Amanda Prowse is a bestselling novelist with an incredible 148K followers on Twitter. The Idea of You is Amanda’s seventeenth novel and follows her trademark style of writing about ordinary women and their families who find their strength, courage and love while being tested in ways they never imagined. 

 Some of Amanda's other titles ...





Please check out my review of The Idea of You - coming soon.





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