What a spring we’ve been having! A cold rain is falling and the wind is enough to freeze your lugs off. It’s a pleasure to welcome Irish author Amy Lynch today, from a country accustomed enough to rain not to let a few drops bother her in the slightest. Welcome, Amy! To cheer us both up on this damp May day I’ve a plate of toasted tea-cakes and copious amounts of tea.
Lovely to meet you!
Where do you live, Amy? I live in Co. Wicklow, with my husband, two young children and two massive rescue dogs ‘Bella and Roly’ – pictured as pups. They are now the size of Shetland ponies and we live in a small town house with postage stamp sized back garden. They are gentle giants and are part of the family. My eldest child is six, and my youngest is five – we call that ‘Irish Twins.’ Both children have inherited’ The Chatty Gene’ from me.
Absolutely gorgeous photo! And the Wicklow Mountains are my very favourite part of Ireland. My family are from near that part of the world, and I, too, have an Irish twin brother, twelve months younger than me. (Of course I’m the clever and good-looking one. Not that there’s ever been any hint of rivalry, mind! :) )
Where is your favourite place in the world? I’m very lucky to say that we have a family holiday home in Spain, and I have been going there since I was seventeen (which is a long time!) Once I arrive, I feel my shoulders drop instantly, and you can practically feel the blood pressure go down! Then I pour myself a large one, and say a prayer that we will have a safe, fun holiday. It’s all very familiar there, the family photos are hanging on the wall, the barman knows my name (and gives generous measures), my brightly coloured clothes are hanging in the wardrobe next to beach bags and flip flops, and the sun is always shining. When I first started dating my husband, we went there on holidays. He too fell in love with the laid back lifestyle, and now we go every summer with a family of our very own.
That sounds marvellous – and such a welcome escape from the rain!
Being a writer is a great job. What’s the worst job you’ve ever had? Being a writer is the best job in the world, but in order to be successful, it’s essential to be strict and disciplined – otherwise you would never push yourself to reach your goals! I’ve been working in the charity sector for many years, and currently work part-time in a children’s charity.
I’d say that the worst job I’ve ever has was as a bar maid in Dalkey Co. Dublin, at the tender age of sixteen. The following reasons may account for the fact that I dreaded going to work:
- It was below minimum wage, and I didn’t do well on tips – these went to the blonder, slimmer, bustier ones! One week I remember I’d paid for the uniform and breakages, and discovered that I in fact owed them
- I didn’t have a good memory and got the drinks order wrong. Every time. This was not cute after a while!
- I spill things. Often! A couple of customers got a pint of Guinness down their white shirts and were far from impressed!
- My sister who is twelve months older (see? Irish Twins!) also worked there and people mixed us up constantly. In fairness, we look and sound alike.
- I’m not great at mental maths and would mess up the float, leaving myself short at the end of a long night. Still, we can’t be fabulous at everything, now can we? That just wouldn’t be fair!
I used to work behind a bar, Amy, and everything you say is bringing it back to me – especially the maths. Working a till was definitely not my strong point!
What book do you wish you’d written? I’m just finishing ‘Me Before You’ by Jojo Moyes, and am simply loving it. I haven’t enjoyed a book so much in ages, and wish I’d written it! There is nothing complicated about it, it is just so easy to read. I think that the sign of a good writer like her, is that you find yourself thinking about the characters all day long!
As an Irish writer, I’m surrounded by talented authors such as Claudia Carroll and Sinead Moriarty. There is a real sense of support among Irish writers, rather than a competitive feeling.
There is so much fabulous writing talent in Ireland! And since I’ve started writing, I’ve been overwhelmed by how supportive the writing community is.
What’s your favourite song? I absolutely adore the Irish band ‘The Script’ and in particular, their latest song ‘Superheros’. I can just relate with the lyrics ‘every day, every hour, turn the pain into power’, as it reminds me of the struggle and determination it took to realise my dream of getting published.
The Script are a great band!
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and what would you say to them? My dad died very suddenly two years ago aged just 58. It was a massive shock. He was the funniest, most upbeat person I have ever known. If I could see him one more time, I’d love to show him the book cover for ‘Bride Without a Groom’, as he knew how determined I was to get published, and was editing the book before he passed so unexpectedly. He got as far as chapter nine, and I think about him every day. I’d thank him for the happy memories, and for being a great dad. But then again, although I never got to say goodbye to him, I think that he already knows.
How wonderful that your dad edited your book for you. I’m so sorry he never got to see it finally in print, but it’s really touching that he was a part of your dream from the start. That’s a memory that can never be taken from you.
What’s your happiest childhood memory? When I think of my childhood, I think of laughter and fun. My dad read to my sister and me at night – mostly Roald Dahl, who was my favourite author as a child. I love funny books, and have fond memories of my dad reading ‘Matilda’ and ‘The Magic Finger’ and laughing out loud. I loved the illustrations by Quentin Blake, and now I read the same books to my children, who also love them.
Where do you draw inspiration for your books? I draw on personal experience when I write. I think that the cliché of ‘write what you know’ is correct, and for me, I know about relationships, weddings and babies – so these topics tend to feature heavily! I’m a bit of a magpie, taking funny stories that have happened to myself or friends, and then using them in my work. Like I tell my friends, “be careful, or you’ll end up in one of my novels!”
‘Bride Without A Groom’ is about a woman desperate to get married. It takes the word ‘Bridezilla’ to another level. When my long suffering husband and I were together for four years, I was quite insistent on getting married. The hints were flying around like you wouldn’t believe. I was the one accidentally-on-purpose directing him past jeweller’s windows and pointing frantically to the sparklers! Every weekend was spent at bridal showers and wedding fairs! Thankfully, I didn’t go to the extremes that Rebecca does in ‘Bride without a groom’, such as booking a honeymoon before a proposal! However, I’ll be honest and admit that I had the poor man’s head well and truly melted, so I guess you could say this is where the idea for the first novel began.
That story made me laugh out loud!
What’s the most important lesson life has taught you? Going through a significant bereavement has taught me that we should not take ourselves so seriously, and to get as much fun out of life as possible. After all, life is short. It taught me to value family, and prioritise my children above everything else in my life.
That is so true. Your memories of your loved ones are the things that will last, so spending time with them and creating happy memories is one of the most important things you can do in life.
And finally, please tell us about your latest book, where we can find it, and where we can find your blog/website!
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?
Ebook 99p, paperback £7.50
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Thanks so much for brightening up a dull, rainy day, Amy! Your book blurb made me laugh out loud. A great read for the wedding season. Wishing you much success with your launch, and thanks so much for being such a lovely guest!
If you’ve enjoyed Amy’s interview, or have any questions or comments at all, please let us know. We’d love to hear from you!