It’s hard to imagine a more prolific author than bestselling Bristol writer Amanda Prowse. Her latest novel, The Coordinates of Loss, will be the 25th work of fiction she has had published since her debut six years ago.
Ahead of its publication she spoke to Bristol24/7 about her writing and her abundant output.
The Coordinates of Loss will be your 20th novel to be published in six years, and your fourth of five that will be published this year. How are you able to produce books at such a copious rate?
I write all the time! Literally all day every day and I love it. It’s more like an obsession than a job and I would do it even if I wasn’t writing to a deadline. I also prioritise my writing over everything else so my house could do with a good dust and I haven’t seen the kids for weeks. They are probably under a laundry mountain somewhere… I am joking, kind of.
Your books have sold a staggering six million copies in 22 countries and have been translated into a dozen different languages. When you see those figures written down what does it make you think?
These numbers are surreal and I can’t really get my head around them! I love it when I travel to a country on a book tour and feel connected to people from such a diverse range of environments and backgrounds from all over the world and we are joined by no more than a story that started in my head. I think that’s magic. Despite selling millions of books I am still so so grateful and a little overwhelmed when someone tells me they are reading one of my stories or I see one being read on the bus or on a sun lounger… there’s no feeling like it!
When did you first know you wanted to be a writer?
I have always loved storytelling, reading and books – but as a child I didn’t know it could be a job! I also knew as an adult how hard it would be to get a book published and never in a million years thought I would achieve the success I have – I was just happy to have finished one book. I count my blessings every single day.
Libraries played a very important role in your childhood; what do you think of the current precarious plight of the library service in the UK?
How much space do I have to answer this question because I feel passionately about this and could fill a magazine! Libraries are the lifeblood of communities. They have proved to be my friends, my haven, my shelter and my joy. Funnily enough I didn’t grow up in a house with a library in the East Wing and the thought that poor kids like me might not have access to books is something I find utterly, utterly heartbreaking. It is so shortsighted to close libraries. It is wicked, cruel and will only mean that the divide between those who have and those who have not will widen and this is criminal.
What influence has Bristol had on your work?
Bristol has been my home since I was 16. I LOVE THIS CITY! It’s beauty, people, culture, architecture and history has a huge influence on my work and I have set books in Weston-Super-Mare, Clifton, Stoke Bishop and my new book is set in Bermuda and Yate – that well known pairing!
Your latest novel, The Coordinates of Loss, like much of your work is centred on a family in turmoil. Why do you think you keep returning to that theme?
Because this is all of our lives! Every single one of us lives through things like loss, sickness, debt, sadness, addiction, joy, desire – the good times and the bad, struggling and doing our best to get through whatever life throws at us – THIS IS LIFE! And I think it is good to explore the idea that when we strip away the wrapping, we are all exactly the same, doing our best to get through and sometimes getting it right and sometimes getting it wrong…
Amanda Prowse’s latest novel, The Coordinates of Loss, is published on September 25. For more information, visit www.amazon.co.uk/Coordinates-Loss-Amanda-Prowse/dp/1503904954