Amy is an author of women’s commercial fiction and writing is her passion. She loves to write humorous romantic fiction, but not always with fairy tale endings! She is represented by literary agent, Frank Fahy.
After finishing her degree in Trinity, she then went on to complete a Masters Degree in Overseas Aid in UCD, and has been working in the charity sector for twelve years. She is living in Wicklow, Ireland, is married to Eoin and is the mother of two young children. When Amy is not writing, she can be found juggling school lunches and two Shetland pony-sized rescue dogs. Now, how’s that for multi-tasking?
Can you tell us a little bit about your debut novel ‘Bride Without A Groom?’
Rebecca has chosen the most luscious, five tiered, wedding cake – as featured in Hello! Magazine. The engagement ring that she has selected is celebrity inspired. The wedding singer is on speed dial. He doesn’t usually do Michael Bolton, but as it’s for a first dance he’ll make an exception. Father Maguire is checking dates for the parish church as we speak. The deposit on the white sand honeymoon is paid for in full on Barry’s card. Sure, the resort was good enough for Pierce Brosnan when he tied the knot. She has fallen for an ivory lace couture gown that is to die for. The down payment may require her to sell a left kidney, but it will be worth it. Isn’t that why you have two?
There’s one teeny problem. It’s nothing, really. No need to panic! It’s just that Barry has yet to propose. Says he’s not ready! He can be a bit of a kill joy that way. It’s time to face the harsh reality – she is a bride without a groom.
Truth be told, Barry’s had enough. There’s only so much wedding talk that one man can take. Discovering the credit card statement is the final straw. Now he’s leaving for a conference in Bangkok and frankly, he’s looking forward to the peace and quiet. He says he needs time to think about their relationship. As the Tiger beer flows and the tie loosens, his colleague Shelley is providing more than a shoulder for him to cry on. Maybe Shelley is right. Maybe Rebecca only wants the big day.
Back in Dublin, Rebecca worries. Maybe she has pushed Barry too far this time. Best mates Pam and Emer are on hand for counseling and cocktails. With the help of family, friends and a well stocked drinks cabinet, Rebecca puts her cunning plan together. Operation ‘Win Back Barry’ is in full swing. She needs to convince Barry that she’s not crazy – just crazy about him. But wait… who is the mysterious woman that is so keen to talk to her, and what is it that Barry needs to get off his chest?
Where did the inspiration come from to write about a woman obsessed with getting married?!
Well, Sharon, let’s just say that when my long suffering husband and I were together for four years, I was quite insistent on getting married. The hints were flying around like you wouldn’t believe. I was the one accidentally on purpose directing him past jeweler’s windows and pointing frantically to the sparklers! Thankfully, I didn’t go to the extremes that Rebecca does in ‘Bride without a groom’, such as booking a honeymoon before a proposal! However, I’ll be honest and admit that I had poor Eoin’s head well and truly melted, so I guess you could say this is where the idea for the novel began.
What do you enjoy reading?
Mostly, I enjoy a good chick-lit, such as Claudia Carroll or Sinead Moriarty. My books are light and funny, the type of thing you can curl up on the couch with after a long day and just have a good laugh. ‘Bride without a groom’ is great for loading onto the kindle as a fun holiday read. Life is full of pressures, so sometimes it’s nice to read something lively that will make you smile.
Are you currently working on book 2? If so, are you able to give us a teaser as to what it’s about?
Absolutely. In fact, my literary agent, Frank Fahy is editing book 2 and I’m working on book 3!
In book 2, ‘Does my bump look big in this?’ Rebecca continues her antics. This time, she’s pregnant and the hormones have her (and everyone around her) driven mad. She’s grappling with swollen ankles, ante natal appointments and the terrifying realization that she’s about to become a mother. Sure, what could go wrong?!
You took several creative writing courses, have you always been interested in writing?
Yes. In school, a teacher in second class really encouraged me to write. She once gave me a fancy notebook and said “You have a lot to say, Amy, you should write it down.” Then again, I was a chatterbox and she might have been telling me to be quiet. The teacher would ask me to stand in front of the class and read my short stories aloud. When the class laughed at the funny bits, I got a real kick from that.
I’ve taken several creative writing courses in the evenings, it’s a great way to develop skills and build confidence in yourself as a writer. Each week, we got a writing assignment and then had to read it aloud to the class. Being able to share your work is often frightening, as many writers are their own worst critic. After a couple of years attending writing classes, I sent a few short stories off to various magazines. Seeing my name in print was a thrill, and quite addictive. Mum and I bought copies of the magazines and showed them to everyone!
Suddenly, I went from saying “ah, sure it’s just a hobby” to unashamedly saying “I’m absolutely determined to get a book published.”
Claudia Carroll has been very supportive, and even put together a great blurb as you can see on the book cover, which was an honor.
With a job, two young children, when do you find time to write?
Like everyone, life is busy. I work part-time, there are endless laundry piles, lunchboxes to fill and two dogs staring at me, desperate for a walk. However, I strongly believe that if you really want something, you make time for it. As the old phrase goes, “find a job you love, and you’ll never work again.” For me that job is writing, and although it takes up a lot of my time, it doesn’t feel like work.
For me, eight o’clock in the evening is writing time. The kids are asleep and the house is quiet. As well as my mum and sister, my husband is very supportive. If I’m trying to finish a chapter on the weekend, Eoin will sometimes take the kids off to the playground, and come back an hour later to find a more relaxed me! That’s why the dedication reads:
To Eoin. Sorry about all the burnt dinners, darling. As you can see, I’ve been a little busy…
If you could give one piece of advice to an aspiring author, what would it be?
Persistence. I’m not the best writer out there, the world is filled with talented authors. However, I have persistence, and I think that drive is what really gets you to your goal. I finish projects that I start, and I keep knocking on doors until someone answers. I’m like those annoying contestants on the XFactor that keep coming back year after year until they catch a break, refusing to take no for an answer. For me, being signed by literary agent, Frank Fahy, was the highest point in my writing career. And yes, I probably pestered him a little, too!
Stephen King’s ‘On Writing’ is a wonderful read. It’s part biography, part writing tips. One of the recommendations is to write one thousand words a day. This may seem hard to achieve when you’re drowning in a sea of paperwork, kids and chores, but for me it’s important to make time for writing. Some days I can write for hours when the kids are at school, losing track of time. Other days I can squeeze in thirty minutes before I need to dash off on the school run. That’s fine. It’s all about flexing that writing muscle – some days it gets a great cardio workout and other days it gets a little shuffle around the block. Little by little, you feel your skills sharpening and your confidence growing.
‘Bride without a groom’ is out now on Amazon