So happy to host this interview with Amy Lynch, whose Bride without a Groom has started off as a self- published project and is now taking a huge turn into major league publishing. Meet Amy and her trip to stardoom!
1. When did you decide to be a writer?
Twelve months ago, when I finished writing my first book, I decided that becoming a full-time writer would be my goal.
I started writing at school, when a teacher really encouraged me. She once gave me a fancy notebook and said “You have a lot to say, Amy, you should write it down.” Then again, I was a chatterbox and she might have been telling me to be quiet. This teacher would ask me to stand in front of the class and read my short stories aloud. When the class laughed at the funny bits, I got a real kick from that.
I’ve taken several creative writing courses in the evenings, it’s a great way to develop skills and build confidence in yourself as a writer. Being able to share your work is often frightening, as many writers are their own worst critic. After a couple of years attending writing classes, I sent a few short stories off to various magazines. Seeing my name in print was a thrill, and quite addictive. Mum and I bought copies of the magazines and showed them to everyone!
2. Is there any genre that you like to read but would never write yourself? Why?
I adore horror, and have read or watched almost everything that Stephen King has written / produced – the more gruesome the better! However, I’m more of a ‘write what you know’ kind of person, so although I’d love to give horror writing a try, I don’t think I’d be very good at it!
3. Which literary heroine was your favourite when you were little and which is now? Why?
My favourite author as a child was Roald Dahl, my dad used to read to my sister and I and we would giggle, and look at the illustrations by Quentin Blake. Matilda is a heroine I still love, and my children are now fans also!
4. Who is your biggest and most trusted support when you write?
My husband is very supportive. If I’m trying to finish a chapter on the weekend, he will sometimes take the kids off to the playground, and come back an hour later to find a more relaxed me! That’s why the dedication reads: “To Eoin. Sorry about all the burnt dinners, darling. As you can see, I’ve been a little busy…”
However, when I ask him what he thinks of a certain paragraph, he says “yeah, great” to everything. Ditto if I ask him what he thinks of my outfit. Useless! I usually find that my agent is honest in his feedback, which is a good thing.
5. Is there any book in your life which has really changed your life or had a significant impact on it?
When I was a teenager, I read Alex Garland’s ‘The Beach,’ and it was the first time in my whole life I stayed up all night to read, it was literally un-put-down-able! I remember thinking that there are books out there that can hook you in so much that you wake up thinking about them.
6. At this point in life, what are you most satisfied with?
I’m a mum of two, and have been working in the charity sector for over twelve years. I’m satisfied with the fact that I’m reinventing myself as a writer, and it is opening up a whole new career for me. One day, I’ll be able to drop the kids to school and turn the car around, put pot of coffee on and thrash out a few thousand words. When writing is my day-job I’ll know I’ve really “made it” as a writer.
7. When you meet new people, do you tell them you are a writer? How do they react?
At first, when I met new people at dinner parties, I would never say that I was a writer. It was only when I self-published and then got a book deal with Harper Collins that I considered my self a ‘real’ writer and could say it without cringing!
8. Which famous romance book would you like to have written?
I’ve just finished ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes, and it has been ages since I enjoyed a book so much! Warning: you’ll need a box of tissues!
9. What do you think sells books nowadays?
I still think that a really strong book cover and synopsis on the back page hooks most people. Hype sells books – hearing the book mentioned on TV / radio / book clubs.
10. How do you handle criticism?
Why, what are you trying to say? Just kidding. I used to be pretty rubbish at taking criticism, but I’ve had to learn to listen to feedback and use it to improve my writing. The Harper Collins version of ‘Bride without a Groom’ is better than my self published version, simply because I’ve learned to use criticism to my advantage. For example, the main character is a Bridezilla, but I’ve made her more likeable thanks to constructive criticism.
11. Would you like to add anything Bride without a Groom, sort of give us a sneak peek?
Single, coupled-up or married, this laugh-out-loud summer read is the perfect anecdote for the wedding season!
Rebecca has chosen the most luscious, five tiered, wedding cake. The engagement ring that she has selected is celebrity inspired. The wedding singer is on speed dial. He doesn’t usually do Michael Bolton, but as it’s for a first dance he’ll make an exception. Father Maguire is checking dates for the parish church as we speak. The deposit on the white sand honeymoon is paid for in full on Barry’s card. She has fallen for an ivory lace couture gown that is to die for. The down payment may require her to sell a left kidney, but it will be worth it. Isn’t that why you have two?
There’s one teeny tiny problem. It’s nothing, really. No need to panic! It’s just that Barry has yet to propose. Says he’s not ready! He can be a bit of a kill joy that way. In fact, he’s gone away on a business trip and says that he needs some space. Meanwhile, Barry’s tie loosens, the Tiger beer is flowing, and his colleague Shelley is providing more than a shoulder to cry on.
Back in Dublin, Rebecca worries, putting Operation Win Back Barry into action. But who is the mysterious dark haired woman that is so keen to talk to her, and what is it that Barry wants to get off his chest?
Amy’s Press Release (courtesy of author herself)
Harper Collins have signed a novel from Irish author Amy Lynch.
Editor Caroline Kirkpatrick signed world all language rights in Bride Without a Groom in a deal with Dublin agent Frank Fahy. The novel will be published on 7th May.
Kirkpatrick said: “With the wedding season soon to be in full swing, Bride without a Groom is the perfect summer read for women everywhere. Whether you are planning your wedding or not, this quirky, romantic comedy will have you laughing-out-loud.”