AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Elle Amberley
Recently we posted about Nowhere Left to Hide, the new novel by Elle Amberley. In the book, Natasha leaves her home to go to California - where she hopes to leave her past behind. We caught up with Elle to ask her more about her exciting new book and her writing habits!
Please describe your latest book in 15 words or fewer.
Young woman seeks to escape her past and finds love, friendship and herself in California.
What inspired you to write Nowhere Left to Hide?
I fell in love with Santa Barbara many years ago. I was at a difficult stage in my life. I received such a warm welcome, it blew me away at first. Californians are so friendly, it was perfect for me as a shy teenager coming out of her shell.
When Natasha popped up in my head, demanding to be written, I knew exactly where to send her. The poor girl needed a break and the town provided the perfect escape for her to flee her tormentors. And what a backdrop!
Most of all I wanted Natasha's story to be positive. All too often victims are labelled and find it difficult to dig themselves out of their hell hole. Natasha may have been a victim but she's a fighter and a go-getter.
Where do you do most of your writing?
Anywhere I can. I grab any opportunity I have so I may be writing while I wait for my children after a dance lesson or while they're playing in the park. Sometimes I have to stop the car to jot down ideas. Most inconveniently my best ideas, my lightbulb moments, come when I'm swimming or in the shower.
I write a lot in bed, early in the morning or late at night. During the day though I do try and sit down at my desk which is often cluttered by my children's drawings. I do get interrupted a lot.
What is your favourite book?
Impossible to answer. I don't have one, I have many. Often it will be one of the latest books I happen to be reading at the time, until the next one comes along. I read an awful lot, always have. As a child I rapidly outgrew the children's section and was lucky enough to be guided by a friendly and understanding librarian to suitable reads in the adult section.
When we lived in foreign countries I ended up reading not so suitable books which was a bit of an eye opener.
Which part of Nowhere Left to Hide was the most enjoyable to write?
The part where Natasha sheds her last fears. She goes to Los Angeles with her boyfriend and by letting go she actually finds herself.
What are you currently reading?
Just started yet another book by Tatiana de Rosnay. I started reading her in French but then she decided to switch to English. I need to discover more French writers. I love reading in another language, it stimulates me, although I'm not so sure I need stimulation. I find it hard to switch off as it is.
Who is your favourite heroine?
Oh dear, I'm not very hero or fan orientated. I can't think of anybody I'd call that. Saying that there are a lot of heroes out there, people who make a difference, the ones who stand up against injustice or defend others. Any one of those is a hero for me.
Do you have any tips for readers who are looking to become published authors?
Ah, well, no magical answer to that. Write, write some more and keep at it. Try not to get distracted or worry about wordcount, or try to follow a particular trend.
I write what I'm passionate about, I have to be driven. Write the best story you can and go for it.
Are you working on anything else at the moment and if so, can you tell us?
I always have several projects on the go. My brain bursts at the seams. Too many ideas, so I try to organise them in files and get back to them when I can. Typically I have two or three novels on the go, I dip in and out. Perhaps that's my secret to writer's block. Going from one to the other refreshes me, sparks new ideas.
I also write short stories, poems and articles.
You can find out more about Elle Amberley and Nowhere Left to Hide over at her website.