My guest this month is an author from the South West of England. Well, actually, she’s from Sheffield originally, but she now lives in Cornwall and, as you can see from some of her answers, has had links to that beautiful county for most of her life. She has six published novels and her writing has elements of both romance and suspense. Two of her books feature a time-travelling history teacher but although she trained as a history teacher, she has never managed to time travel – so far! I met her at an author/blogger shenanigans in Exeter (not as wild as it sounds, although probably best not to mention Top Gun!) and was delighted when she agreed to chat with me. So meet this month’s guest, Amanda James.
Hello Amanda and welcome. Let’s start by going way back: what was your earliest memory and how old were you at the time?
One of my earliest memories is of being on holiday in Cornwall. I was four. My family and I were walking around the harbour in Mevagissey, I think, and there were some dead sharks hanging up on hooks. A sign nearby sad do not touch the skins of the sharks as they are rough. So what did I do? Yep…OW! We also went to Newquay and a freak wave came in and submerged our picnic. There are loads of snippets from that holiday, but we’d be here all day.
What was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?
I adored English and History. I hated Maths because I was never any good at it. Once I was in Maths class when I was about fifteen, gazing out of the window singing the latest Bowie song quietly to myself and wishing I was far away. The teacher said that I needed to get on with my algebra, and I said I couldn’t see the point as I was going to be a hairdresser so why would I need algebra? He said, one day you will need maths, mark my words. He was right. Many years later with a History degree under my belt I still needed to pass GCSE Maths to get onto my teaching course….I did it with much help and cramming! Don’t you hate it when teachers are right?
Where is your favourite place on earth — and why?
I do have about three or four, but if I had to choose it would be where I live – Cornwall. The beautiful landscape and wild beaches inspire me every day, and the coastline here is some of the best in the world. In fact I would say THE best.
If you could change one law, what would it be?
I’d make it illegal for 2% of the population to own 50% of the wealth. We have enough resources in the world to make sure that every person has shelter, food, clothes and education. It is shameful that in today’s society people are still starving, have no access to clean water, medicine and so forth. There is absolutely no need for it. Oh and I’d shut down all the munitions factories and take away all the guns and nuclear weapons in the world. Easy, no?
What would be in your ‘Room 101’?
Rude and unkind people. I know we all have off days, but I do try to be as nice as I can and prefer to help someone rather than not. Some people are just full of grumpy though, without needing to be. Oh and Donald Trump and evil dictator types. They would be shoved in there and never let out.
If you could meet one person from history, who would it be — and why?
Too many to choose – but okay, Nelson Mandela. I admire his steadfast determination to fight for a better life for his people even while he was under extreme duress. No matter what, he never gave up. He was one of my few real heroes.
If you could take part in one television programme, which one would it be?
I’d go on The One Show of course to talk about the new movie of my book. I’d talk about how I was on set helping the director and producer get it right. I’d also toss my hair a lot and grin at the camera. Ha!
What would you have printed on the front of your T-shirt?
Never give up, and never forget your dreams.
Would you describe yourself as left-brain (analytical), right-brain (intuitive) or a mix of both?
Left mostly, but right too. Not an event mix. But yes, both.
Thank you for taking the time to chat with me today, Amanda. Readers, you can find out more about Amanda on her website. You can also find her on Facebook. Her latest novel, Behind The Lie, is a suspense thriller which was published earlier this year. You can find it here.