Mandy James – Q&A

Today on the blog Mandy James author of A Stitch in Time, Righteous Exposure and Dancing in the Rain talks about her the inspiration behind her new novel, Beyond the Sea.

1. Your new novel Somewhere Beyond the Sea was published on 7th April. What’s it about?

It’s about secrets, mystery, and suspense set in the idyllic Cornish village of Kelerston. When Dr Tristan Ainsworth takes his wife Karen and their young children back to Tristan’s beloved Cornwall he is overjoyed. He has always wanted to return and when a post as a local GP turned up he grabbed it like a shot. He firmly believes that Kelerston is a wonderful place in which to live and raise children, so he can’t understand why Karen is gradually becoming more withdrawn and unhappy. She won’t, or can’t tell him what the problem is and soon their marriage begins to feel the strain. One of them is not being honest. One of them has a dark secret, and soon Karen and Tristan face a difficult question. Is their love strong enough to face the truth when the truth might cost them everything?

2. Your previous novels, A Stitch in Time, Righteous Exposure and Dancing in the Rain are all different stand alone novels. Where do you find the inspiration for your work?

Often from the title. ( I can’t write without one) I think of a title, something catchy or familiar like ‘a stitch in time’ for example, and then I build the story around that. I was originally inspired by the writing of Dean Koontz. I love his paranormal suspense and therefore tried to write what I liked reading. I got the idea for Dancing in the Rain when I was travelling around Monument Valley Arizona and the one for Righteous Exposure when travelling in Texas. An idea just sparked and the whole story followed. Sometimes I really don’t know where I get ideas from. They just kind of pop up. Somewhere Beyond the Sea was a combination of a catchy song title, the fact that I was in the process of moving to my beloved Cornwall, and I also love writing about dark secrets and mystery!

3. Do you like to plan your new work in progress before you start or do you like to see where the story takes you?

I am definitely not a planner! I have the basis of a story and then sketch out the characters, jot down a vague idea of where they are going, and then I let them lead me. They often take me down roads I had never dreamt of travelling!

4.Can you tell us anything about your current work in progress?

I have just started one, literally only two chapters in. It is called Summer in Tintagel and is about a young woman’s quest to fulfil her grandmother’s dying wish. Rosa Fernley, a travel journalist, combines work with pleasure when she takes a summer trip to Tintagel. Once there, she gets

very much more than she bargained for. It is a little hazy in my mind at the moment, but there will be a paranormal aspect to it … I think! The inspiration for Summer in Tintagel came from a walk along the cliff tops. As I stood on the edge looking onto the rocks I thought how easy it would be to step off and end it all … if a person was so inclined. I’m not, in case you were wondering! Then it kind of came to me from there. I visited Tintagel Castle last month and thought that it was the perfect setting for a novel – full of history and mystery.

5. What’s your way of dealing with the dreaded writer’s block?

I don’t really get it, or if I do it doesn’t last for long. I try to not think about a new idea and then low and behold one appears. 🙂 

6. You must answer a lot of these questions. What question have you not been asked that you wish had been, and what’s the answer?

Where do I see myself in five years time? Across a desk from Steven Spielberg as we plan his adaptation of one of my books for the latest blockbuster! Dream big I say 🙂 

About the Author:


Amanda James was born in Sheffield and now lives in Cornwall with her husband and two cats. In her spare time, she enjoys gardening, singing and spending lots of time with her grandson. She also admits to spending far too much time chatting on Twitter and Facebook! Amanda recently left her teaching role (teaching history to sixth form pupils) to follow her ambition to live her life doing what she most enjoys—writing.

Amanda is a published author of short stories and her first novel with Choc Lit, A Stitch in Time was chosen as a Top Pick in RT Book Reviews magazine in the US in July 2013 and won a 2013 Reviewers’ Choice Award from Single Titles. Amanda’s Choc Lit novels include: A Stitch in Time and Somewhere Beyond the Sea (April 2014).


Beyond the Sea is published by Choc Lit and is available to buy now.

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