16 February 2012

Getting to know you Thursdays with Amanda Deed and giveaway

Please welcome Australian author Amanda Deed to my blog today. I have gotten to know Amanda online and was so excited to buy an autographed copy of her latest book when I was in Melbourne for Christmas.
Check below for how you can win a copy of Ellenvale Gold.

1. Can you tell us a little about yourself?
I am a wife and a mum of three awesome kids. My daytime job involves one of my passions - numbers. I do bookkeeping and administration for my local church plus a few other small clients. My other job as an author involves one of my other passions - words. Combine all that with a love of Jesus and Australia and you get a Christian Australian historical romance writer! :)

2. When you were a child did you have a favourite book or books?
I used to love the Trixie Belden series. I still have most of the set to pass down to my children (although I think Trixie is a bit old-school for them now - they prefer Nancy Drew and 39 Clues). I also loved the Narnia series, and Anne of Green Gables etc, Famous Five, Secret Seven - the list goes on. I was a bit of a bookworm.  (Jenny here. I loved many of these books. loved Enid Blyton and the Narnia series).

3. Do you have a favourite Genre to both read and right write?
My absolute favourite is Historical Romance. I read contemporaries occasionally, but always sigh with satisfaction when I get back to the old days again. I do love to have a bit of adventure and mystery thrown in - that is the perfect mix for me.

4. Did you have favourite authors growing up who have influenced you?
My love of historicals didn't fully develop until I was a young adult. By then, authors such as Baroness Orczy (The Scarlet Pimpernel), Linda Chaikin (The Heart of India) and Stephen Lawhead (Albion Song) were the writers I wished to aspire to.

5. When did you know you wanted to be an author?
I think it has been there for a long time, but I didn't recognise it for many years. As a teenager I filled notebooks with chapter-stories, and I daydreamed and told stories vocally to my sister. As a young adult I continued to write 'novels' as a hobby, but it wasn't until 2000 that I thought seriously about having something published, or even letting others read my work for that matter.

6. How did you go about becoming an author?
I was tired of looking for Australian historical romances from a Christian perspective and not finding them (apart from Meredith Resce and a couple of Mary Hawkins). It occurred to me that I should write one. So, I worked on a manuscript, sent a couple of query letters to the US, but really had no idea. I prayed one day, asking the Lord what the next step was. Then I did a google search for Meredith Resce to see if she had any advice I suppose. My search came up with the Alpha 2 Omega conference in Brisbane - I think it was 2006. I said, "Ok God, if that's what I have to do."
I learned a lot at that conference and approached Meredith for a critique of my manuscript. Through her encouragement I found the courage to send out a submission to ArkHouse Press. Six months later I had a contract and so the journey progressed from there. It really has been God opening doors for me along the way and it has been an amazing roller-coaster ride.

7. If you were not a writer what would you like to be?
A pianist/singer touring with a band. That was one of my other dreams. I did a little of that in my early twenties. But, having babies kind of interrupted that one. No complaints though.

8. Outside reading and writing what do you like to do?
I love travelling and camping in this great country. I love walking in the bush. When I have a lot of spare time, I'm a bit of a gamer too. :)

9. Do you have a place you love to visit or would love to visit?
Kings Canyon is my favourite place in Australia. I could sit there all day and stare at the gorge. I'm hanging out to get back to Tassie for a good look around and to Far North Queensland. (Jenny again, I visited Kings Canyon and love the awesome beauty, I did struggle with the hike as I had blisters on my feet from the walk up Ayers Rock).

10. If you could have a meal with 3 living people who would you choose and why?
My best girlfriend - we laugh an talk inanities till all hours of the night. Robyn Green - another friend whose wisdom I love to listen to. Stephen Lawhead - I'd love to pick his brain on writing stuff.

Finally can you tell us about your current books and/or any that will
be coming out soon. Also where we can find you on the web.
My latest novel is called Ellenvale Gold. It is set in Victoria in the 1850s - our gold rush times. Here is the back cover blurb:
It is the time of Australia’s harsh rogue-filled goldrush of the 1850’s when Miss Penelope Worthington suddenly finds herself orphaned, isolated and alone. With a large sheep station to run single-handedly, she has little option but to enlist the aid of a mysterious, but sinister stranger.
But who is the more treacherous? Gus—the scruffy, trespassing, ex-convict who co-incidentally shows up looking for work just when she desperately needs a farmhand or Rupert—the handsome, wealthy neighbour who would willingly marry her at the drop of a hat and solve her apparent dilemma?
Repeatedly, her faith is tested as she faces the unforgiving elements, deceit, lies and uncertainty. But where and how will it all end? But…is it the end? Will vengeance return or  will Penny’s faith prevail?

For more information, go to: www.amandadeed.com.au or http://amanderings.wordpress.com

To win Ellenvale Gold you need to fill in the below form. This is an open giveaway.


Paula Vince said...

Excellent book and interesting interview.
I remember that A2O conference too. It went for about 4 days and was the first time Christian authors had been brought together. What a lot has happened in Aussie Christian fiction since then.

Amanda Deed said...

That conference was awesome, Paula. It kind of feels like the birthplace of what is happening now, and not just with my own work. :)

Ausjenny said...

This comes from James

Enjoyed your itnerview. And loved your comment, If I wasn't a writer I'd be a pianist/singer touring with a band.

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