I had the pleasure of interviewing Andrea Bramhall, who wrote her first novel at the age of six and three-quarters. It was seven pages long and held together with a pink ribbon. Her Gran still has it in the attic. Since then she has progressed a little bit and now has a number of published works held together with glue, not ribbons, an Alice B. Lavender certificate, and a Lambda Literary award cluttering up her book shelves.
She studied music and all things arty at Manchester Metropolitan University, graduating in 2002 with a BA in contemporary arts. She is certain it will prove useful someday… maybe.
When she isn’t busy running a campsite and hostel on the North Norfolk Coast, Bramhall can be found hunched over her laptop scribbling down the stories that won’t let her sleep. She can also be found reading, walking the dogs up mountains while taking a few thousand photos, scuba diving while taking a few thousand photos, swimming, kayaking, playing the saxophone, or cycling.
1)Where do you get your inspiration from as a writer?
From everything I see and hear. I got the inspiration for my book Nightingale from a song by Norah Jones of the same title. The Chameleon’s Tale storyline hit me when I was talking to a woman from South Africa at a book event in Nottingham while she was drinking a glass of wine. The story from Collide-O-Scope came to me when I was walking the dogs on the North Norfolk Coastal Path and heard some of the local farmers scaring the geese off the fields. Radio shows, news broadcasts, conversations…you name it. I get inspiration from everywhere.
2)What is your writing process and how does it influence your writing style?
I am the consummate plotter. I have my stories worked out pretty much chapter by chapter before I start writing the story. I do this because my partner and I own a campsite and this keeps us so busy in the summer that I can’t write, so I guess I save it all up and let it out in a huge splurge once the season ends. It helps me to write quickly, and lets me get a first draft down in about three weeks or so.
3)What was the first book that made you cry?
The Power of One, by Bryce Courtney. PK’s story of growing up in South Africa is still one of the most moving stories I’ve ever read.
4)What is the most exciting aspect of writing for you?
The creation. I constantly have all these ideas running around in my head, and getting them out on to the page is something that keeps me sane in the process of creating something…to me that’s magical.
5)What do you find most challenging about writing?
The writing itself is a really natural process for me, it’s the self-promotion that I find most difficult. In typical British fashion, I find it really hard to blow my own trumpet, as they say.
6)Tell us about your latest release?
Rock and a Hard Place is a romance set in Patagonia against the backdrop of rock climbing and a reality TV show.
Expert mountain climber Jayden Harris has the world at feet until an avalanche at Everest base camp sweeps it all out from under her. She wants nothing more to do with the mountains, and turns her back on it all.
Rhian Phillips is a successful London marketing executive who has the chance of a lifetime fall in her lap. She’s sent to produce a reality TV series on competitive climbers, while showcasing the stunning beauty of a Patagonian glacier and the Cerro Fitz Roy range.
An accident brings Jayden and Rhian together, and outside pressures keep them at each other’s sides. When you’re stuck between a rock and a hard place eventually something has to give. The one thing they never counted on was them both wanting to stay together.
A lesbian romance about pushing onwards and defying expectations.
7)What is your favourite part of the book?
Ooo, there are so many parts that I really enjoy in this book. I spent a lot of time researching the climbing aspects of this storyline. I spent a lot of time rock climbing in the Lake District to make sure I was accurately describing the technical parts that were needed and to try and capture the feelings of being up on a rock wall and looking out across the world. It was amazing.
8)Are you working on anything at the moment?
I am currently working on another romance called Lost For Words. I’m about 20 thousand words in, and really enjoying it immensely. I’m not sure I’d class it as a RomCom, but it might be by the time I’m finished.
9)Where can we find your books online?
They are also available on the usual platforms.
Lambda Award winner Clean Slate
Golden Crown Literary Award winner and Lambda finalist Nightingale
Lambda and Golden Crown finalist Collide-O-Scope
Lambda finalist The Chameleon’s Tale
Lavender certificate and Rainbow Award winner Ladyfish
Just My Luck
Rock and a Hard Place (Nov 2017)
The Last First Time (Dec 2017)