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My First Time...with Amanda Reynolds

Amanda Reynolds teaches Creative Writing in Cheltenham, where she lives with her family. Close To Me is her debut novel.

Amanda Reynolds

Here's the blurb for Close to Me...

When Jo Harding falls down the stairs at home, she wakes up in hospital with partial amnesia - she's lost a whole year of memories.

A lot can happen in a year. Was Jo having an affair? Lying to her family? Starting a new life?

She can't remember what she did - or what happened the night she fell.

But she's beginning to realise she might not be as good a wife and mother as she thought.

Describe the exact moment you decided to write your book.

I’d had the idea for a while, but it needed to percolate in my subconscious for a bit before I allowed it to fully develop. I’d written a few thousand words, mainly to get inside Jo’s head (the novel is written in first person from her perspective), then I wrote a synopsis and sent it to my agent, and she loved the idea.

What’s the one thing you wish you’d known before starting to write it?

That I’d get to the end! I’m not a great planner, so it’s always a bit terrifying facing the blank page, but I now accept that is how I write. I produce a very rough first draft, to tell myself the story, then I go back and edit; a lot. I guess it would have been nice to know it would be published, but then again, that’s part of the excitement and the challenge.