Introducing myself

Hello, I’m Amy!

I live in Auckland, New Zealand, and have done for three-quarters of my life. The other quarter was spent in England, where my kids were born. I have three of those, and they’re very cool. I’m a bit demented and thought it would be a good idea to have them a year or so apart. I’m still recovering from that misguided notion, but am convinced that a month in Bora Bora would set me right!

Speaking of travelling, as much as I crave a tropical island escape, you’re far more inclined to find me hankering after snow. We don’t have any of that in Auckland – not a drop! And, although it did snow occasionally in dear old England, I’m still looking for the up-to-your-window sort of snow experience. I come from Viking stock (my grandmother was Swedish), so maybe that’s why I have always craved the cold, white stuff. In fact, my husband and I bonded over our love of scarves.

'Twas love at first discussion about the pleasure of a good scarf!

When I’m not writing, you’ll find me...

Editing!

Other than that, I run a graphic design business with my husband. Funnily enough, we always thought it would be fun to design a book cover one day, not necessarily thinking it would be my book covers. But, it's one of the most enjoyable projects we've worked on together. The cover artwork is a real team effort, and I have to say, I'm pretty pleased with what we've come up with so far.

Sometimes, I actually step away from my computer, nod at my children, let my dogs lick me, and then I fall asleep (but never for long enough!).

If I wasn’t so busy I'd like to...

Clean my house!

And once that was done, I'd quite fancy reclining in my pergola with a hot chocolate and a faux fur throw (of course, since this is my fantasy, I'm imagining it's winter!). It would be raining, and I'd put on a podcast and flick through a fresh stack of home decor magazines, getting inspiration for building my dream house one day. The idea of 'doing nothing' is not me, but that feels as close to mindless mindfulness as I think I could possibly get!

My reading journey

I was drawn to historical romance as a young reader. I loved anything by the Brontë sisters, but I think Jane Austen was my favourite author at that time. It was a toss-up between Pride & Prejudice and Jane Eyre for my favourite book as a tween. As I got older and developed a real love of history, I became obsessed with anything do with Vikings. I fell in love with Bernard Cornwell and Robert Lowe, Giles Kristian, too. But there’s always been time to fit in the next Diana Gabaldon. Her Outlander series is probably my favourite series ever (great tv too!). History is my one true love, so some of my favourites lately have been C.J. Sansom’s thrilling Tudor series and Patrick O’Brien 19th century naval adventures.

I always thought I would write the Furyck Saga as a historical fiction series, but I never found a period or place where it felt possible. Ultimately, I realised that actual history was far too limiting, so I stepped away from reality and entered the wonderful world of fantasy, and that’s when the fun started…

My all time favourite

Book: The Bronze Horseman
Movie: Thelma & Louise
TV Show: Supernatural
Album: The Joshua Tree
Band: Pearl Jam
Family Fun: Disneyland
City: Stockholm
Super Hero: Drax
Food: Chocolate!
Car: 1969 Ford Mustang Mach 1
Beach: Bethells Beach, Auckland

Writing is all I’ve wanted to do since I was eight

I think I was eight.

I do remember writing a poem about my cat, Twinkle, around that time which was praised by both parent and teacher alike. It’s the first time I thought; this could be for me. But my teachers tried their best to steer me away from that path by demanding that I ‘write what I know’, which goes against my entire reason for writing in the first place! I resisted and complied in equal measure, even taking a journalism course in high school. But reality was never for me, and I quickly ran away from the idea of that as a career into the safe place of my imagination.

Writing for me has always been an exciting escape from reality, where I can twist and turn my ideas into anything I damn well want and now that I’m no longer eight, there’s no one to stop me!

It took me a long time to become a writer.

I have ring binders and ring binders of stories, screenplays, tv show concepts, and book ideas that I’ve been creating since I was 10-years-old.
I was always very fast with ideas but seeing them all the way through was a lot harder, and eventually, as I grew up, life and work got in the way.
I would try writing Winter’s Fury off and on, but I never got very far, and dissatisfied, I always gave up, telling myself there simply wasn’t enough
time to fit writing in around three children, two dogs, a graphic design business, etc. etc. But what I quickly discovered is that time is what you make of it.

Inspired by an article I read about James Patterson, who got up early to write his first book and fit it in around his job, I started making writing a
daily discipline; the idea being that, bit by bit, I would eventually create an actual book. At first, it was tough. It felt like I was training for a marathon
and I didn’t even know how to run. But every day it got a little easier and eventually, I started to write more freely, and one day I had enough of a
book to show my husband. At this point it was either, forget it again, or keep going.

He read it and said… keep going. So, I did.

And I haven’t stopped!

Snapshots