Today on meet the author we’re talking to the lovely Aimee….read on to find out why dark chocolate keeps her going, storytelling at 3 years old and her new book With Face Aflame…..
Historical Fiction, Historical Romance, Historical Coming of Age
Tell us a bit about yourself:
I’m 45 years old and have been married for 26 years to Jeff. We raised two children together. I love nature, including looking at plants of all types and hiking along tree-lined paths. I love to immerse myself in well-written stories, no matter what the genre or media, but historical movies are probably my favorite. And a day is not truly complete unless I eat at least a square of dark chocolate to help me remember how good life is.
What inspired you to start writing?
I can’t help myself! I’m constantly thinking, “How would so and so likely respond if they were put into such and such a situation, knowing that this and that was what was really happening?” When I meet new people, my fingers start itching to immortalize their quirks and tells through characters in my stories. People fascinate me, the way our minds work, the way our desires and fears compel us.
How many books have you written and published?
Two. I’m presently working on a third but am a bit frustrated at the moment. I love my characters, but need to come up with some more intriguing circumstances to make the story pop.
Which book, out of all the books you have written, is your favourite and why?
Ugh, that’s rough! I love A Girl Called Foote because the characters seem like admirable friends to me, people I’d love to just hang out with. However, the body positivity message of With Face Aflame is so relevant and important, and if I do say so myself, I’m rather proud that I delivered it through a historical novel rather than a contemporary one.
How do you choose the names of your characters?
I love naming characters, towns, counties, houses. Sometimes the names are chosen for their meanings. For example, the inn owned by Madge’s father in With Face Aflame is called The Gander’s Wing. It represents a safe, lovingly paternal place that Madge needs to get back to before the story can be satisfactorily concluded. There’s also a German fellow named Herman Heldmann in A Girl Called Foote. He performs an act of heroism so a name that means ‘soldier hero-man’ seemed appropriate. Sometimes I choose names because I like the way they sound or look on a page. Lydia Smythe is a main character in Foote, and I just love the appearance of the ‘y’s in the middle of both her names.
Which of your characters would you want to be stranded on an island with, and why?
I suppose Keaton, the minstrel from Aflame, because he is good, thoughtful and wise. I hope he would be allowed to bring his lute to help us pass the time with some beautiful music.
Who is your favourite author and which of their books is your favourite, and why?
Hands down, my favorite is Norah Lofts. Her characters are so interesting and believable! She wrote many excellent historical novels that are neither sappy, dull nor ridiculous in any way. That being said, a handful of her books are a bit Harlequin Romancey which I don’t care for, so don’t judge all of her books as such if you happen to pick up one of those at the start. Begin with Pargeters, The House at Old Vine or Nethergate. Those are all excellent.
What is the first thing you can remember writing?
My mom has a cassette tape recording of three-year-old me telling a story of my own composition. Its characters face suspense, injury and snakes, but there is a happy ending! Once I was in third grade, I wrote an actual book with a laminated cover. It was about a blue bird that smoked cigars and had a lot of money. Yeah, don’t ask. I don’t understand what I was thinking either!
What other jobs have you done other than being an author?
I worked as a teacher for a short while and am presently a physical therapist’s assistant.
If you could get in a time machine and had one chance to travel, where would you go?
Even though I love to read historical fiction, I prefer actually living in our present age. I like wearing deodorant and having good dental care! If I could go somewhere and just stay for three days though, I guess I’d choose Steventon in Hampshire, England around 1799 so I could try to befriend Jane Austen and hope she didn’t find me too annoying.
If you could have one conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Oh, my. I’d love to talk with Harriet Tubman. She is my ultimate hero, so brave and selfless in her conducting people to freedom when the price of being caught was death or reenslavement. I’d be happy to hear anything she had to say.
What are your favourite things to do?
I love to walk my dog in beautiful places, eat tasty, healthy food, and leave positive reviews on Amazon for books I loved reading (because I know how much authors love to get those!)
What is the strangest thing that has ever happened to you?
I’ve found myself locked inside of bathrooms a couple of times, once on a train and another time at a bed and breakfast whilst I was on my honeymoon.
If you could give your younger writing self any advice what would it be?
Read Larry Brooks’ “Story Engineering” before starting to write your first book. The advice and guidance he gives in those pages would have saved me years of frustration and confusion as I trudged through writing A Girl Called Foote.
Name one book you think everyone should read:
Just one? The Glass Castle, The Book Thief, London by Edward Rutherfurd, Book One of the Hunger Games. I could go on and on.
And finally, tell us about your most recent book and where we can find it?
My latest book is With Face Aflame:
Born with a red mark emblazoned across her face, seventeen-year-old Madge is lonely as she spends her days serving guests and cleaning rooms in the inn her father keeps.
One day, she meets an unusual minstrel in the marketplace. Moved by the beauty of his song and the odd shape of his body, she realizes she has made her first friend. But he must go on to the next town, leaving her behind. Soon after, while she herself is singing in the woods, she is startled by a chance meeting with a stranger there. Though the encounter leaves her horribly embarrassed, it proves she need not remain unnoticed and alone forever.
However, this new hope is shattered when she overhears a few quiet words that weren’t intended for her ears. Heartbroken and confused, she flees her home to join the minstrel and his companion, a crass juggler. As they travel earning their daily bread, Madge secretly seeks to rid herself of the mark upon her cheek, convinced that nothing else can heal her heart.
Set in England in 1681, With Face Aflame is the tale of a girl who risks everything in hopes of becoming the person she desperately wants to be.
This tale is available on Amazon for $2.99 or for free for members of the Kindle Owner’s Lending Library.
Thanks so much to Aimee for taking part! What a brilliant interview 🙂
If you have any questions/comments, you know what to do!
Enjoy your Saturday lovelies, and thanks for reading.