Dancing in the Rain with Amanda James

I am having such an exciting time! Two e-releases in the same week is enough to make a person keel over. However I am here to chat to you about the ideas behind both of them, so I’d better wait until later for an attack of the vapours.

Both Dancing in the Rain and Somewhere Beyond the Sea are romantic suspense, though Dancing in the Rain has an added paranormal/spiritual aspect. I love writing in this genre, though I really enjoyed writing my time travel novel, A Stitch in Time too.


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Dancing in the Rain was the first adult novel I ever wrote about twelve-ish years ago. (Actually, looking at my notes, just found that I didn’t finish it until 2005) It has been carefully edited and honed since those early days, thank goodness. I first got the idea in 2002 at the beginning of a four week long holiday in America when I had made up my mind to write a novel after many years of faffing. I was and still am an avid fan of Dean Koontz and I read two of his books on the long car journeys. Lots of coincidences happened whist travelling around relating to his books, (too detailed to go into now) and so I decided to write to him when I returned. I never expected a reply, but he did reply explaining that he didn’t believe in coincidences.Dean letter

I wrote to him again later to ask his advice on getting an agent (cringe) and he replied again. He wished me luck and said that perseverance matters. Thank goodness I took that on board. And isn’t he a lovely guy? He has sold 450 million books, but took the time to write to me in his own handwriting.

One of the reasons for the trip was to explore Monument Valley belonging to the Navajo Nation as well as other sites – Crazy Horse National Monument in honour of the great Sioux leader. At that time, I taught The American West at GCSE and was totally absorbed in the whole subject. The beauty of Monument Valley completely blew me away and I returned another three times over the years. Traditionally, Native American culture is against harming the environment and being a one with nature. That sparked the first idea for my novel, and then the petroglyphs (ancient rock art) around the area and the history associated with the people who had created it gave me the next. Then as I travelled, one by one the ideas came. And soon Jacob Weston was born. It has been a long road to publication for this one, but I always believed the day would come.mandy pic blog 2

As well as loving the desert region of Arizona/Utah, I have always felt a great affinity with the ocean. I especially love the north coast of Cornwall and am lucky enough to have realised a life-long dream and now actually live here! The idea for Somewhere Beyond the Sea grew out of my love for the area, but how the actual mystery behind the story of Karen and Nathan Ainsworth arrived in my head I have no idea. I guess I liked the little village that the TV character Doc Martin lives in ( Port Isaac) and loosely based Kelerston on that. The village doesn’t really exist however. I wanted an imaginary village based between Mawagn Porth and Padstow, about twenty minutes from me. If I chose a real place, people would expect detailed street names etc. I wanted a ‘feeling’ of the place so I could include bits of my favourite towns. There are touches of St Ives and Falmouth in Kelerston too. I loved writing this story and couldn’t wait to see where the characters would lead me. One of the characters has a very dark secret and it was such a challenge keeping it from the reader but at the same time giving them just enough to keep them guessing. It was very tricky trying to resolve the problems of the character too, but I loved every minute of it. I hope you will enjoy reading it. mandy pic blog

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21 thoughts on “Dancing in the Rain with Amanda James

  1. I’ve never read any Dean Koontz (what an admission!) but now I’m a fan! How lovely of him to write to you – twice – you’re almost pen pals! Somewhere Beyond the Sea is already sitting on my Kindle (for when I’ve finished my edits) and Dancing in the Rain will soon follow.

  2. Thank you, Chris! I am sure you will enjoy any of Koontz, particularly his early ones. ‘Watchers’ is my favourite. And good look with those edits! xx

  3. It must be very difficult to keep the reader guessing and also to offer the reader enough clues so she doesn’t feel cheated at the end! Authors of romantic suspense, I admire you hugely. Mandy, I’m looking forward to reading these two new books. A Stitch in Time is definitely a keeper for me, and I am sure these new books will be keepers, too.

  4. I love hearing how people are inspired to write – and when someone like Dean Koontz is so helpful – well – that’s a sign to just go ahead and write it all, isn’t it?

  5. Mandy, you know we share a love/obsession with the American South West – we’ve talked endlessly about it 🙂 I can’t wait to read Dancing in the Rain, and I just know I’ll be picturing all the places as I read.

    How lovely of Dean Koontz to write – not once but twice – what a nice guy!
    It’s always heart-warming to read about internationally famous people who are genuine and – well – nice people!

    I’ve already read Somewhere Beyond the Sea – so I can only say I loved it and I’m sure everyone else will too.

    Good luck with both books!


  6. Thanks so much, Berni! One day we will meet there I’m sure. And thanks for your kind words about Somewhere Beyond the Sea. Can’t wait to read yours too 🙂 xx

  7. I’m green with envy about Dean Koontz!

    Years ago I found an author I liked as much as DK – Leigh Nicholls. I liked the fact that Leigh was very like Dean. It was some time before I found out the reason – that they were/are one and the same!

    Lovely blog, Mandy – and good luck with both books. I’m sure they’ll both live up to expectations.

    Liv x

  8. Wow – Dean Koontz sounds like a cool guy. And double wow – two new books out at the same time. Congratulations Mandy – I’m lining them up on my Kindle 🙂

  9. Congratulations, Mandy, on today’s releases. And how fabulous for you to get a personal letter from Dean Koontz telling you to keep going! A great guy, and a great writer.

  10. Thank you for your lovely comments, ladies. I thought you might like the letters, Liv and I hope you enjoy the book/s Kathryn. He really did inspire me to keep going, Hernri, and as you say a great guy xx

  11. Two releases at the same time is a wonderful achievement. We share a love for the Cornish coast, Mandy. I have spent many a holiday in St Ives as a child and as an adult, and I lived on the Lizard, so I’m really looking forward to reading Somewhere Beyond the Sea (I may even start it tonight). xx

  12. Thoroughly enjoyed reading about the settings for your two novels, Mandy and look forward to reading them. And as an aside, what a lovely man, Dean must be. I’ve seen his books of course but have never read them but am now inspired to seek out a book of his too. I can see this is going to be a very readerly sort of weekend

  13. Thanks, Zana. Mr Koontz is a wonderful man in my opinion, and any book you pick is a winner. Happy reading! x

  14. Sooo exciting, Mandy! And I (cringe) have to second what Chris said about Dean Koontz. I will rectify though. After I’ve read Somewhere beyond the Sea and Dancing in the Rain 🙂 X

  15. Thank you, Melanie! It is really lovely here and the Lizard, wow! A beautiful spot. I hope you enjoy the book xx

  16. Great post, Mandy! Monument Valley is so beautiful.
    Really lovely about Dean Koontz too. I love his books. I wish I could figure out how he gets his pacing to ramp up like that!

    I really enjoyed A Stitch in Time. I’m looking forward to reading your new books too.

  17. Thank you, Sarah. I know you will love Koontz! Thank you for the kind words about Stitch, Rhoda. Looking forward to yours too 🙂

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