Friday 26 October 2018


How important are settings in novels? Well of course, very important. Albeit a fictional place, or a real place, the reader needs to believe they have visited the area you've described.

I found this really useful blog post about how to get your settings just right: HERE

And this helpful post about choosing between fictional and non-fictional settings: HERE

In HER LAST LIE all my settings are real places (albeit with a tiny bit of poetic licence) When Isla travels to Sweden, and her life unravels, I hope the reader believes they were there with her.

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Isla meets long-term boyfriend Jack outside Strand/Aldwych disused underground, and I was lucky enough to take a tour of the inside. It was a fascinating place to visit, and made me realise that my settings in HER LAST LIE are either places I’ve visited and loved, or places that I’ve heard of, that fascinate me. I even included my home town, and found losing myself in words about a place I was so familiar with, very enjoyable. More about HER LAST LIE'S settings can be found HERE

I think the most important thing is to imagine you are actually in the places you are writing about. Maybe print off photos of the place and pin them up around you, or close your eyes and visualise yourself there. If you've never been, read up as much as you can about the area, watch videos on You Tube, and look at images on the internet.

My second novel TELL THE TRUTH is out in December 2018, and one of the settings is County Sligo in Ireland. I chose there for two reasons. One is because my Grandfather was Irish, and was born in Cliffony, County Sligo, and two, because when I visited the area, it fascinated me so much. However, the area within County Sligo I've written about is fictional.

The second area I’ve focused on in TELL THE TRUTH is Finchley, London, because each time I travel into London, I see the Emirates Stadium, and Finchley opening up behind it, and it intrigued me somehow. I’ve also included a rather spooky spa, although my novel is a psychological thriller, rather than a ghostly tale! J

If you would like to download HER LAST LIE, you can do so HERE. You may already know I’m donating all Ebook royalties to Cancer Research UK, and that I've already raised almost £7000.

TELL THE TRUTH is out December 2018, and can be pre-ordered HERE at just 99p.  With a paperback following in February 2019.

Wednesday 11 April 2018

‘Her Last Lie’ The first 3 months of being published.

It’s been an amazing 3 months, since my debut novel ‘Her Last Lie’ was first published on January 9th 2018. 

There have been some exciting ups as I watched my novel become a best seller in its category, and saw it climb its way into the top 100 Kindle chart in the US and Australia. I was amazed too to see it reach #116 in the UK Kindle chart. I never thought I would have a book published, let alone reach such amazing chart positions. At one point I was nestled between Jo Nesbo and Tess Gerritsen   - how cool is that?

I was thrilled and truly grateful to Karen Byrom for mentioning 'Her Last Lie' in My Weekly. I was chuffed too to appear in the local paper, and to chat on BBC Three Counties Radio. 

And I’ve also met some lovely people on Twitter. If I’m honest (and this is between you and me) I've never been very good at the whole social media malarkey - it's completely out of my comfort zone of hot water bottles and fluffy slippers, so I never expected to enjoy my time on there as much as I do. In fact, I've even  set up a Facebook page, an Instagram page and a website. GO ME! Details below if you want to have a wee look.

Facebook: HERE
Twitter: @amandajbrittany
Instagram: amanda_brittany_author
Website: HERE

Another upside of being published was receiving my very first month’s royalties for my ebooks. I’ve whizzed the money straight over to my Just Giving Page HERE which I set up when my sister became ill, and I will continue to put my royalties there each month. It will be such a thrill to see the amount grow. Thanks SO much to everyone who has downloaded a copy - you are all brilliant.  And if you enjoyed it, and would like to pop on a review that would be absolutely FANTASTIC!  You can do so HERE.  In fact, you can have my last Rolo if you do. 😃If you didn’t enjoy it, let's pretend I never said anything.

Actually, that brings me onto the hardest thing I’ve found with being published – it’s the negative reviews. I hadn’t realised how much they would hurt! I tend to keep reading the wonderful 4s and 5s to remind myself I must keep writing, as it’s so easy to let the 1s and 2s get under my skin.  But I am getting better at just accepting them as the months go on - and try to avoid reading them if I can. Sadly, they go with the territory – not many writers get away with none at all – and everyone has a right to an opinion – and sometimes (although not always!) they can say something that might help my writing in the future.

Anyway, I'm clearly not letting them get me down too much, as I’ve just typed The End on an early draft of novel 2 – so it won’t be long before I whiz it off to my editor with everything crossed that she likes it.   

And that's about it for the first 3 months! Thank you everyone for all your support. 😘

Tuesday 27 February 2018

Settings in 'Her Last Lie'

It was great fun including places I’ve been to, and the area where I’ve lived all my life, in my debut psychological thriller. I  enjoy conjuring up fictional settings, but to describe places I know so well, was a real treat.

My main character, Isla, travels by train into Letchworth Garden City Station at the start of the novel. 

Her apartment and a restaurant are fictional, but she does take a walk along the very real Greenway, and the park is based on Howard Park.

There's a scene where Isla visits Hitchin Market, and sits by St. Mary’s Church and the River Hiz. (Something I’ve done many, many times.)

The church in the scene set in Baldock, is based on St. Mary the Virgin Church.

There is also a scene set in Hunstanton, a place I visited often as a child, and somewhere I’ve taken my own children.

Me in Narvik

Further afield for Isla, she travels to The Blue Mountains in Australia, Abisko in Sweden, Narvik in Norway, and there are various scenes set in Canada.

Her Last Lie can be downloaded on ibook or ebook, with all royalties going to Cancer Research UK

Amazon: HERE

At the moment, I'm writing my second novel for HQ Digital, and crossing my fingers I can come up with some equally lovely settings.

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Talking about 'Her Last Lie' on BBC Three Counties Radio

On Friday, I was thrilled to be invited onto BBC Three Counties Radio, to talk about Her Last Lie, and why I'm giving my royalties to Cancer Research UK.

I arrived at the studio in Dunstable a wee bit early. I didn't want to be late. It was a cold but bright day, and I felt a wee bit strange as we walked towards the BBC building. In fact, it felt  surreal, as though it was all about to happen to someone else.

After my husband had snapped a photo of me standing outside, I pressed the buzzer, and was let in by a smiley man who told me to take a seat in reception.

Within a few minutes, the producer of ‘Mystery Guest’ Kady Braine appeared. She was so friendly; my nerves began to melt away. Although when she offered me a cup of tea, I declined, as I would probably have spilt the tea all over the floor. I can't be trusted!

She told me briefly what would happen next, and then left me for about ten minutes.

When she reappeared, I was taken to a small studio. Inside was a mic, and I popped on headphones, and listened to Nick Coffer on air for a while, amusing his audience with funny anecdotes, before he played some music.

When the music stopped, I was on air, and my heart was thumping a bit too hard. Nick asked me questions, trying to guess why I was there. He got the reason pretty quickly, although I gave him a huge clue – that the only thing I ever exercised is my fingers. (True story!)

More music, as I was taken through to Nick’s snazzy studio and sat down opposite him, another mic inches from my face.

Questions followed, and Nick carried me through brilliantly, as I told him about Her Last Lie and the reasons why I’m giving my royalties to Cancer Research UK. Talking about my sister brought a lump to my throat, but hopefully nobody noticed.

It was a brilliant experience, and one I will remember always.

Her Last Lie is, by some kind of miracle, is a #no.1 bestseller, and can be bought from Amazon or iBooks for just 99p.