When did you start writing?
The very first time I wrote a story that was longer than a few lines was at the age of 8. It was about a girl and her imaginary dragon. I agonised over it for weeks until the teacher basically tore the book from my hands so she could mark it. I guess it taught me a valuable lesson about deadlines at a very early age. After that I wrote a screenplay at the age of 9, based on the Beach Boys’ Surfin’ USA. From there it remained a love, but I wanted to be a singer and a dancer so though I still wrote a lot – including an award winning piece in year 10 – I left it alone until I left high school and started at Uni. Then it became all consuming… twenty years later it is still a pure joy, though it still scares me when I hand over a manuscript.
Besides writing, what do you love doing?
The obvious answer is my family. I wouldn’t be able to do what I do, being a true crime author, if I didn’t have their support and passion. Outside of my family, I adore dancing. Though I am certainly chunkier than I was when I danced on stages across the country many many years ago, it is still a love of mine and to this day, I still go to dance lessons. It is an escape and another creative outlet. There are only so many hours in the day that you can allow serial killers into your head so I keep a great balance through dance and my family.
What was the last thing you ate?
Thankfully you asked this question after I stood on the scales this morning in disgust and have gone back to healthy eating. So this morning I had fruit salad and Greek yoghurt, plus my standard double espresso. I do admit that this is my usual breakfast, but had you asked me this last week, I may have scared you with the awful things I ate due to the craziness of my life and shovelling down take away between media interviews.
When was the last time you laughed so hard your stomach protested, and why?
I am currently nursing broken ribs – just a clumsy fall which is common for me - so anytime I laugh at the moment it hurts, but still it doesn’t stop me.
I am lucky because I laugh most days, I think it’s a joy to find happiness in life. Also I have a fantastic husband who has the worst humour ever. Often he has to go for the long job, keeping at a joke with me until it becomes funny and yesterday he did that. The stupidest thing is though, that when I laugh people laugh too, as I make no sound when I laugh. It is really weird and so if I am hysterically laughing – like I did yesterday, I just make this weird wheezing sound that just cracks people up.
Tell us something about where you live
Where I live is something I need to protect. Dealing with serial killers on a daily basis, I need to keep my family safe. We have lived in the same house for more than two decades and we have changed it a lot in that time. My husband, though I love him dearly is a horrific snorer so with the last extensions that we did, I was lucky enough to get a writing retreat created – which is also now my own bedroom – away from his snoring. My room is full of inspiration and creation. I have plotlines stuck to walls as well as photographs and quotes to keep me going. I live a very busy life – with children, full-time work, my writing career , a YouTube Channel and studying for my Masters at Uni – I enjoy coming home to my sanctuary where I can create. If I am not in my room, I can often be found on the floor on the big fluffy rug in my library. I am lucky to have a whole room dedicated to books. My library really needs a lounge chair or two, which I will get one day, but until then, I am happy to grab a whole pile of cushions, a note pad and a pile of books and just write on the floor – often with one of my children and the cat on my lap.
Tell us a random fact about yourself
I love bonsai trees, though they don’t love me. I have killed probably 40 of them over the years. I am never able to get them to last anything longer than a few years. I seem to either over water them or under water them… not sure what I am doing wrong, but in the end I have a dead twig in a very nice glazed pot. I will admit I am not a very good gardener at the best of times, though I am really successful with my banana tree and my Robinia (mop-top), but bonsais just don’t live if I buy them. Of course it won’t stop me buying them, as I adore them, particularly Japanese maples, I will just keep trying in the hope that one day I will succeed.
A quick bio:
Author of 17 books, including 10 true crimes, plus a “how to be an author” (collab). I have appeared on many international documentaries, news programs and TV shows due to my expertise in violent crimes. I’ve featured in newspapers, magazines and radio programmes. I do talks across the country regarding my books and my writing experience.
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Amanda-Howard/e/B001JP7X7I/ (my full bio is here)