Ever been influenced by a book? I have, many times, although I haven’t always realised its full impact until much later. Today, debut psychological thriller author AMANDA BRITTANY shares with me the books that have changed her life…
About Amanda Brittany
Amanda Brittany lives in Hertfordshire with her husband and two dogs. She loves travelling, and visiting Abisko in Sweden inspired her to write ‘Her Last Lie’. She began writing fiction nine years ago, and hashad 200 stories and articles published in magazines globally. When her younger sister became terminally ill, Amanda’s hope was to write a novel where her royalties went to Cancer Research. ‘Her Last Lie’ is that book, and all of Amanda’s royalties for ebook downloads will go to that charity. ‘Her Last Lie’ is her debut novel.
BOOKS THAT CHANGED MY LIFE
Amanda says: ‘I’ve loved reading since I was a little girl, and learnt to read at a very young age. I was brought up in Hertfordshire, Mum was a dinner lady, and Dad a maintenance engineer, and one of my favourite childhood memories is our monthly visit to Hitchin Library. The children’s section was upstairs, and my younger sister and I would race up into what felt like a magical world of books. My sister would head straight for the Enid Blyton’s, but I was never into Enid, perhaps because my sister was. Instead I would rummage through the shelves for Frances Hodgson Burnett’s books, including The Secret Garden and A Little Princess, and magical stories like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
One particular book that has stayed with me is The Dolls’ House by Rumer Godden, which was first published in 1947. I think the book appealed to my active imagination. I spent many hours as a child playing with my dolls – having them speak to each other – in fact, they had so many picnics I’m surprised they didn’t gain weight – so I could really relate to The Dolls’ House.
In my late teens, I was hooked on novels by Susan Howarth: The Dark Shore, The Waiting Sands, April’s Grave, Call in the Night, The Shrouded Walls and The Devil on Lammas Night were all devoured in a very short time. They were considered Gothic thrillers, often with a twist, and fitted perfectly into my teen world. I also read Penmarric, which was the longest book I’d ever read at the time, and I was very proud of that fact.
In my twenties I gobbled up all of Agatha Christie’s novels. My favourite being And then there were None. I loved the way Christie hid the true villain from her reader with such genius plots. I’m still a fan, and went to visit Agatha Christie’s holiday home ‘Greenway’ on the banks of the River Dart in Devon, and picked up Dead Man’s Folly again, which was influenced by the house.
Later, Susan Hill’s Woman in Black captured my imagination, and like no other book before, gave me nightmares. It isn’t a long book, but in my opinion very chilling, and extremely memorable. I’m sure reading it inspired me to try my hand at ghostly short stories.
I read Diane Settlefield’s The Thirteenth Tale seven years ago, and this atmospheric book is one of my all-time favourites. It’s beautifully written, and full of twists and turns.
I’m a huge fan of David Nicholls. I loved Starter for Ten, a poignant tale about growing up in the 1980s, and coping with friendship and love – and it’s very funny. And I adored One Day, which has the claim-to-fame of being the first book to make me cry in a public place.
And finally, my list wouldn’t be complete without J K Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The books have had such a huge impact on my family’s life over the past twenty-one years.
About Alice’s book, HER MOTHER’S DAUGHTER
She thought she was free of the past. She was wrong.
Six years ago Isla was the only victim to walk free from Carl Jeffery’s vicious murder spree. Now, Isla vows to live her life to the fullest and from the outside it appears perfect.
Determined to finish her book Isla plans her final trip to Sweden, but after returning from Canada and meeting a man she never thought she would, her life begins to derail.
Suddenly Isla is plagued by memories of the man who tried to murder her, and the threat that he could be back causes her to question everything, and everyone around her.
This debut psychological thriller will have you closing down social media accounts, looking over your shoulder, and hooked until the very last line.
Perfect for fans of Sweet Little Lies, Friend Request and Louise Jensen
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