Tuesday, March 17, 2015

20 Questions with 80sMusicGirl-Amanda Egan

Hello Everyone and welcome again to another thrill ride of an adventure with my newest blog endeavor 20 Questions with 80sMusicGirl.  Ever fancy your self being an author? Well here is a wonderful woman who did just that and has been successful ever since, so without further ado, here she is the lovely Amanda Egan!


First of all thank you again Amanda for allowing me this opportunity to interview you for my blog! I'm looking forward to a great interview so with that, let's begin!

Thank you for having me - always happy to chat to an 80's music lover!

1.  Where are you from originally Amanda?

I'm a born and bred London girl. I've mostly lived my life in Putney (South West London) but I lived in Hollywood for six months - back in the day when I was still trying to make a go of it as an actress.  

2.  Do you have any brothers or sisters?

I have two sisters - 10 and 12 years older than me.  I was a 'mistake' - my mum now tells me a very happy one! 

3.   What kind of student were you in school?

I was the model student!  I had my work in on time - but my mathematics was always wrong!  I don't do numbers AT ALL - never have and I never will - although I do have a weird talent for being able to double any triple-digit number you can throw at me.  I do words - you know where you are with words.

4.  What were some of your hobbies?

I love to entertain.  Dinner parties, themed nights, quiz nights - you name it.  I throw myself into the planning and preparation with lists upon lists to make sure I get my night just right.  I also enjoy any kind of crafts - from card making to knitting.  I listen to all types of music from heavy metal (thanks to the teen) to opera - and I LOVE musicals and old TV sitcoms.
And I read ... a lot

5.  What is your first memory of what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I started writing from the minute I could put a sentence together and wrote the first four chapters of a novel when I was ten.  (I found it in the drawer a while back and it delivered a good few giggles).  However, when I was about eleven I decided that the stage was calling, either as an actress or dancer.  The writing won!

6.   Wow London! That is amazing! If I were to come and visit, where is the first place you would take me?

I live very close to Richmond Park so I would take you for a drive through to see the deer - I never tire of looking at them - and we would then have a cream tea at Pembroke Lodge at the Surrey end of the park where you get the best views. Then we'd head off to see Wimbledon tennis courts - just 5 minutes away.  From there we'd go to the Buddhapadipa Temple, also in Wimbledon and the first Thai Buddhist temple to be built in the UK.  It's stunning!  Set in 4 acres of prime residential land and I always feel calmer after a wander around the grounds.  Of course we'd have to go shopping too - take in a West End show and have drinks at The Ritz!

7.  You've written a lot of books.  Do you base the characters on your life and experiences?

My 'Mummy Misfit' books were based loosely on my experiences at the school gates when my son was at a private prep school.  No one is TOTALLY real - more an amalgam of characters.  Take me to court and I'll stick to that!  My romcoms are based on bits of people I know or see on TV - writing is a weird cocktail of real life and anything else that finds itself in the mix before the fizz is added.

8.  Do you know of anyone else in your family that writes as a hobby or professionally?

As far as I'm aware, no one else writes.  Although, who knows?  They could have highly successful careers as writers of erotica and they're keeping it quiet!

9.   How do you plan your writing day?

I kick the teen out of the door on his way to work at 8.30 am and then the plan (!) is to write until 4.30 when I go to visit my mum.  Twitter, Facebook, blogs, email can eat into my time but, on a good day, I write 3,000 words.  A bad day? ... 3!  I DO set myself deadlines though because, as an Indie who needs to pay the mortgage and the bills, I feel I have to.  And I get very cross with myself if I don't meet those deadlines.  I'm a hard task-master.

10.  Who was your favorite author growing up?

I loved, loved, loved Enid Blyton and Noel Streatfeild and totally devoured their books.  Chicklit for young girls, at its finest - friendship, humour, love, loss and cracking plots.

11.  So I'm reading Cinderella' Buttons and I'm at Ramsey's chapter.  Was this one of those character moments that you borrowed from TV?Emoji

I guess our TV's are filled with colourful gay men but my inspiration comes from the fab guys I went to drama school with.  When I hit 18 and started my theatre training, a whole new world opened up to me and I found that friendships with men who had absolutely no interest in me sexually were just the best - generally speaking they say it as it is, have the best sense of humour and give wonderful hugs.  Thus, the fag-hag was born!  

12.  You say you have blogs plural, what are they about and where can we read them?

I have one blog but it covers a variety of topics, not just about my experience as an Indie.  In the past I've covered school phobia, breast feeding, eggs (!), periods, getting old - the list is endless.  Sometimes I've been known to have a rant about something that's annoyed me but I mainly try to keep it upbeat and cheery.  You can find my blog here.

13.  Are there any more novels in the works at the moment?

I've just completed the first draft of my June release novel and when I finish my holiday at the end of this week, I'll start on re-writes and edits.  I'm very excited about it - it's always such a relief when you type 'THE END' but that's when the really hard work starts.

14.  How does your family feel about you being a writer?

I think they're very proud of me and possibly a little surprised.  I've managed to turn a dream into a job which pays the bills and keeps the roof over our heads.

15.  Tell me more about your yearning to be an actress?

I started off wanting to be a ballet dancer but I grew too tall - and to be perfectly honest I probably wasn't terribly good!  My mum and dad started sending me to dance and drama classes to help boost my confidence as I was quite a shy child.  Suddenly, being on stage seemed like the best thing in the world and I knew that it was what I wanted to do with my life.  Sadly, the reality is it's a hard world to break in to and the necessity to earn living expenses forced me into part-time jobs and then full-time. Although I did have a two year stint in the kids' TV series 'Grange Hill' and I was also offered a lead role in a play on the South Bank but the theatre closed down due to government cuts.  My acting days are behind me now but I feel that writing brings out my creative side and I view the characters who live in my head as actors on a stage who I move around and feed lines - although they often tell ME what they want to do!

16.  Do you think as a woman, you have an advantage or a disadvantage as a writer?

I think that it's an advantage when writing chick-lit because obviously I'm privy to the workings of the female brain and all its quirks.  

17.  Do you desire to branch off into other genres of books, say children's books or a cookbook perhaps?

I've never considered writing a children's book but if that perfect idea popped into my head, who knows?  Once my current work-in-progress is with my proof-readers, I plan to continue with my party planning/recipe book, 'Mummy Misfit Entertains'.  This book will show how you can throw stylish events for very little money if you're prepared to use your imagination and put in some hard graft.

18.  Where do you see yourself in 10 years time?

I hope that I'm still writing and earning a living through doing what I love.  Some holidays would be nice too but as long as I still have a roof over my head, I'll be happy.  Who knows, I might even be a Granny Misfit by then!

19. How do  you feel social media has helped and or hindered you as a writer?

Social media has been a Godsend.  In the past writing could be a lonely business but now, within one click, we can find ourselves chatting to a friend (old or new) about anything and everything.  I've built relationships with writers and we support one another through the good times and the bad - sometimes all you need is someone who understands what you're going through to listen or to deliver a swift kick up the bottom.  The other plus is it sells books - and I don't mean by constantly plugging your work until people are bored.

 A comment on Twitter about a lost dog or Barry Manilow (!) has made me friends (who I've gone on to meet in real life) and gained me loyal readers.  The downside is, when you're working, you have to have the willpower to avoid constant chatting!  It's quite easy to lose a morning.

20.  If your son came up to you tomorrow and said. "Mum, I want to be a writer" what advice would you give him?

I'd say 'Go for it' but be prepared for a long hard slog.  The first part comes with writing 'Chapter One' and then it's bum on seat until you get to 'The End'.  It takes planning and determination and there will be days when you feel like giving in but, if you set yourself a deadline and stick to it, you'll get there.

Then the really hard work starts - rewrites and edits.  Good luck with that - it will drive you nuts but you will come out the other end.  Then we move onto the mammoth task of getting your work out there and your name heard.  As an Indie, that's a slow process but, once again, patience and commitment will get you there.  It's not a job for the lazy or half-hearted but it is rewarding.

(Thank you again Amanda for this amazing and insightful interview, if you all would like to read any of Ms Egan's books here are just a few places you can find them...)

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Twitter - @mummy_misfit
Lulu - paperbacks