Author Confessions: Amy Mason
In October 2014, Amy Mason - @AmyCMason - emerged from over 400 entries from around the world to win the prestigious Dundee International Book Prize for her debut novel The Other Ida.
Despite leaving school when she was 16 - and not taking up writing until she was 25 - Amy's book was the pick of the crop for the £10,000 prize and publishing deal with Cargo by a heavyweight panel including Neil Gaiman, Kirsty Lang and Stuart Kelly.
Amy, 32, draws upon her theatre background in her novel. Indeed, drama runs in her family; Amy's the granddaughter of Lionel Jeffries, who is best known for acting in much-loved film Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and for directing The Railway Children. We caught up with the talented new novelist to squeeze out these author confessions...
What’s your guiltiest reading pleasure?
Love It! and Pick me Up. I’m a trash-mag obsessive.
How do you arrange your bookshelf?
It is unarrangable. It is a book mountain. I can’t even see the top, like Everest.
What’s the most over-rated book of all time?
I didn’t really get The Time Traveller’s Wife. I feel bad slagging off a book. All books are great! Although I’m sure The-Millionaire-Audrey-Niffenegger isn’t going to lose any sleep over it. ‘Wait, you’re saying THE Amy Mason didn’t get my book? SOB’
Drugs and alcohol: do they help with writing?
No. I don’t understand these people who write when drunk. When I drink I just want to watch pop music telly and buy weird stuff on Ebay.
What’s a successful day of writing for you?
Getting dressed and opening Word.
Which piece of your writing are you most proud of?
The Other Ida of course!
What’s your most extreme research story?
My insane, drunken twenties. That was some serious method-writing. I was probably overly dedicated in retrospect…
Who would play you in a movie?
If you could give one piece of advice to aspiring authors what would it be?
Don’t listen to all those authors who say ‘I meditate, then write for eight hours a day at my immaculate desk, and then go for a jog’. Listening to them made me feel like I was doing it wrong because I spend 80% of the time having nervous breakdowns, 15% eating crisps, and about 5% writing, often in bed. I’ve come to believe that most other writers actually have a similar routine.
What is your worst writing habit?
Writing in bed, crying all over my laptop?
Which author do you nominate for Author Confessions?
Tiffany Murray - @TiffanyMurray.
Competition: Win a copy of The Other Amy
Thanks to Cargo Publishing, we've got a couple of copies of The Other Ida to giveaway.
All you have to do to enter is answer this simple question in the comments below or email your answer to email@example.com marked 'Amy Mason Competition':
- Which prize did Amy Mason win?
Closing date: 17:00, Monday 24 November 2014. Open to UK entrants only. Full terms and conditions.
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