Please welcome the talented Amy Bird! I am getting a late start this morning because I was up far too late finishing her debut novel Yours in MIne. No spoilers here, but it was totally worth the dark circles under my eyes today! Once you have read it, please tell me your thoughts on Anna. I am desperate to talk about the book with people, and I don’t want to ruin it for anyone.
What does your writing day look like?
I’ll wander around in my pyjamas and have a sit down breakfast with a cup of tea, so my brain can get used to the day and digest any ideas from dreams. Then, once I’m fully power-showered and dressed, I’ll go out for a quick walk round the block – the movement gets the ideas circulating in my brain. Once I’m back, which is probably around 10am (ok, 10.30), I’ll sit down at my desk and fire up my laptop, stare out at the garden for a short while, then start to write. At some point in the afternoon, I’ll realise I’ve done my best creative output for the day, and I’ll maybe do a bit of research instead, which tends to draw out new ideas for the next day.
What is the most you have written in a day?
I generally write a couple of chapters a day. If I’m doing particularly well, it might be four chapters.
Do you listen to music when you write?
Absolutely not! I can’t stand any noise when I write – it interferes with my concentration, and the rhythm and mood of the words in my head.
Who gets to read your work before it is published?
My lovely husband – he also writes, and is a big film buff, so gives useful structural feedback – and my super editor, who gives intelligent and thoughtful suggestions for revisions.
If your child told you they wanted to be a writer, what advice would you give them?
‘Go on, then.’
And I suppose I ought to say something responsible too, like: do an English degree, experiment with lots of different forms, get some real world experience and reliable income by doing another job for a bit too.
But ultimately the key thing is to sit down and write.
Describe your heroine in five words.
She wants her life back.
In what way is she most like you?
Kate is a lawyer and so am I, in my other life. I suppose I also have her spirit of inquiry about new ideas, a strong sense of self and her ability to put up a fight when the stakes are high.
In what way is she different?
I don’t have any plans to exchange identities with anyone right now.
Did you research this book? Discover anything interesting.
I spent a lot of time exploring the concept of identity, in particular visiting a great exhibition at The Wellcome Trust and reading a lot of Jean-Paul Sartre and other works about identity and existence. For researching the character of Anna, Kate’s nemesis, I read the excellent ‘The Divided Self’ by R.D. Laing. That had some important insights about how inner logic can deny external scrutiny.
If your book was made into a movie, who would you cast in the starring roles?
Emily Blunt would be Kate, as I think she has the right mix of humour and intensity. Maybe Gemma Arterton for Anna, if she used the same menacing cool as she did in ‘St Trinians’. If one of them isn’t available, maybe Megan Fox, for the sleek, stylish brunette vibe. As for the boys… A friend made a special request for Ryan Gosling to be in it, so who am I to refuse? He can be Neil. If Robert Pattinson plays Ben, then I guess people will definitely go and see the movie, right? And he has the correct smouldering quality.
I could SO be a casting director…
What would is your favourite meal? Calories don’t count.
Wild boar pasta.
What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you?
Proposed to me on a rowing boat in Norfolk.
What would a perfect day for you look like?
Nailing an excellent chapter in the morning, then a smug country drive with my husband in the sun with a picnic lunch, before coming back home to dinner and wine in the garden.
What accent do you find the sexiest?
Irish. When I was in sixth-form, a group of us from our nice girls’ school planned to go on a post-A-level trip to Dublin. I remember totally melting on the phone when I spoke to a male hostel receptionist. I think it was best for everyone that we ended up staying at home.
Who is your celebrity crush?
*Covers husband’s eyes* I had a definite Clive Owen phase. I defy anyone to watch ‘Children of Men’ and not feel the same.
Name the sexiest redheaded man.
Kierney – these questions! I clearly just need to blindfold my husband before answering any more… *Does so* Definitely Damian Lewis. Yet I somehow failed to see any of ‘Homeland’. I’ll have to treat myself to the box set when I’ve finished the novel I’m currently working on. As motivational tools go, that’s a pretty hot one…
Yours is Mine, a psychological thriller about two women who exchange identities, is available now from Carina UK, the new digital imprint of Harlequin, at http://www.carinauk.com/yours-is-mine and via Amazon http://www.amazon.co.uk/Yours-is-Mine-ebook/dp/B00DP220YY, Kobo http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Yours-is-Mine/book-u1u9U5e7aUm9JztScFyNOA/page1.html and iBooks. You can follow Amy’s progress at www.amybirdwrites.com, on twitter at https://twitter.com/London_Writer and on facebook at www.facebook.com/amybirdwrites.
On her last blog tour stop, http://unhingednavywives.blogspot.co.uk/ on 7 August, Amy will be doing a giveaway of a MIRA goodiebag, filled with some great titles from that Harlequin imprint. So be sure to catch her there!