Author Interview: Amanda Bucan

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Hello people!
Today we have Amanda with us. She is here with a new book “From Stardust To Babylon” , a few tips for budding writers and much more. Here’s her interview for the blog.

1. Tell me a bit about yourself and how did you foray into writing?

I was born in 1964 in Northamptonshire England, where I still live with my current partner.

I was married for 20 years and I have two grown-up daughters as well as one granddaughter. Other than writing my hobbies include Gardening, Numerology, Past-life regression and Spiritual self-development. From a young age I had an inner knowing that I was a writer, but aside from dabbling with a few poems and school plays I never really gave any thought to making a career out of it. I always considered myself to be more of a home and family person.


2. How easy or how difficult was it for you to find a publisher for your book?

The book was first published in 2004. Back then I didn’t have a clue about the different types of publishing available and I received an offer quite quickly to publish for a substantial cost. Although I spent a great deal of money that I couldn’t afford, I basically got nowhere fast. To be honest I suspect it was largely my own fault because I had stupidly requested no publicity; not the smartest move to make when releasing a book, but at the time I felt that the most important factor was to get the story out rather than to make money from it. As the story was centred round a relationship I`d had with someone other than my husband, (albeit before we met), I wanted to protect my family, particularly my children who were still at school at the time, from any potential malicious comments. My second and equally disastrous attempt was in 2012 when I found a publisher who agreed to print in e-book format only. This time they didn’t take any money upfront but they were pretty useless. They didn’t do half the things they were supposed to do and they didn’t adhere to the contract, so that sort of died it’s death. After that I decided to let it lie for a while before a further re-write. I decided to self-publish this time around.

At the time of the first publication I did receive a rather amusing review, I think it was from some Christian magazine. They said that the book had obviously been written to be a bestseller, but in their opinion it was probably clever fiction disguised as autobiography. I remember feeling quite honoured at the time that someone should think me a good enough writer to have made the whole thing up. I only wish I had such an imagination!


3. Your new book From Stardust to Babylon sounds every bit interesting. Could you share a gist of the story with our readers?

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From Stardust to Babylon is a book of two halves: The first is a love story set in the early 1980`s between myself and someone who I worked with at the time. We had a very intense and unusual relationship, yet despite knowing that we were meant to be together, our relationship was doomed and we went our separate ways for 19 years.

In 2001 I learned via telepathic messages that he had died and that sparked a bizarre series of supernatural events which led me on a journey of self-awareness and subsequently through some high-profile past lives and a monumental biblical conspiracy.


4. Who inspires you or what inspires you to write?
I was inspired to write to help others remember the truth; a truth that we all have inside us. I think that helping others would always be my main inspiration for writing.This particular book is for anyone who want to advance their own spiritual journey.

5. What according to you is the biggest challenge for any writer?
I think the biggest challenge for any writer is getting people to know that your book exists in the first place. You could effectively write the best book in the world but if nobody knows it exists then it`s going nowhere. It`s also much harder for the ordinary person who doesn’t have connections, money or a university education because any publisher will look at how marketable YOU are before your book. It’s a business after all, and businesses are all about making money at the end of the day. If you do decide to self-publish then you need to develop other skill sets as well like marketing for example.

6. What would be your ideal writing space?
My ideal writing space would be a beautiful secluded garden free from distractions such as barking dogs, screaming kids, motorbikes and ice-cream vans, preferably on a nice warm sunny day.

7. What advice/tips would you like to give our budding authors?
The main tips I would give to budding authors is firstly take your time, don`t rush. Read, read and read again. Where can you improve? Think of it like polishing a rough diamond until it glistens. Gather as much information as you can about the publishing industry and how you want to proceed with your book. Look closely at authors who have been successful as well as those who haven`t. Make notes on each and compare. And secondly NEVER give up!Learn to accept rejections gracefully and not take them too personally. A rejection doesn’t necessarily mean that your book is no good, it might just mean it doesn’t fit into a nice neat little box for marketing purposes.

8. Are you working on any other book now? Tell us a bit about it. 
I`m not working on another book at the moment although I do have one or two ideas floating around, so we`ll just have to wait and see what happens. Promoting`From Stardust to Babylon` is the priority just now.

9. What keeps you busy when you are not writing?
When I`m not writing I`m usually gardening. I like to try and maintain a healthy balance between the physical and the spiritual, and it helps to get outside in the fresh air and soak up the sun. It`s a great stress reliever. I also love to spend a full day shopping, followed by a nice meal when I can afford it which to be honest isn’t too often these days.

Here’s a link to her website: http://www.amandabucan.com

You can also get in touch with her on:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FromStardustToBabylon/?fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/AmandaBucan

Links to her work:

Amazon: http://amzn.to/2c3MPNi

Lulu.com : http://bit.ly/2bSvBQI

Youtube: https://youtu.be/5d8CCwJEKUk

 

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The Umpteenth Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Review (No-Spoilers)

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The title is a spoiler. But the post is not.

I am going to review Harry Potter and The Cursed Child and it is the gazillionth review that is going to be written about the book ever since the release of the play/book.

To begin with, I didn’t have much expectations from the book. I mean, the story ended with book 7 and so, what could possibly be in a play that claimed to reveal what we already know about Mr. Potter Junior and his universe?

Also, I never read those fan-fictions as I wanted to preserve my memories. Of reading the novels under the sheet with a torch hours past the bedtime, of rushing to the library and nearest stores to get a copy, of being the first one to read it and later, brag about it in the friend circle…and I digress.

Let me put in points what are my thoughts on the book/play.

The bad

  1. Harry Potter and the Cursed Child begins in a familiar yet unfamiliar universe, where the original trio are middle-aged. Nope. I couldn’t imagine them being middle-aged and all “parenty”. They were still teenagers for me.
  2. It was in a play format and very very difficult to read. Acts/Scenes…not my cup of coffee to be honest. Nope.
  3. At one point, the plot was very confusing. I didn’t know what was happening.
  4. Some of the plot twists, twisted my stomach because I couldn’t make myself to accept them. Nada. Scarred for life. Childhood ruined forever. Logic went for a toss.
  5. It was much ado about nothing really. But like I said, I didn’t have any expectations, so there.
  6. Favourite characters missing.
  7. Too much emo-moments happening. No thrills really.

The good

  1. It still had the essence of the original books to a certain point. Loved the sorting ceremony.
  2. Return of favourite characters.
  3. The entire idea of traveling back and forth in time.
  4. Scorpius ❤
  5. Draco ❤ ❤

That’ll be all.

I wouldn’t give a thumbs down to the book, but it didn’t add to the legacy of Harry Potter. It can fall in the category of additional books like Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, but not as the 8th installment of the series.

Would I recommend it? If you are a Potter fan, hell yes!!!

Book Review: When Darkness Falls and Other Stories – Ruskin Bond

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When Darkness Falls and Other Stories is my first ever Ruskin Bond book.

Although I have grown reading his stories as a part of my English curriculum, I don’t exactly remember what took me so long to pick up the book for my shelf. Needless to say, it was the right decision.

A collection of stories based in the hills, the book seems to be semi-autobiographical in nature (Mr. Bond grew up in the hills). I love the hills too, more than beaches (beaches be blah, no offence). And when I was reading the book, it was about 40 degrees C in my city. So, it gave me a respite, an escape from the scorching sun. Although virtually. But who’s complaining?

A short book, it is not a short read. You have to read each word, turn each page slowly so that you can absorb everything, including the witty lines, the characters and even the smell of conical trees that grow in abundance in the hills.

Once you read the book (or any other Ruskin Bond book for that matter), you’ll know why reading a Ruskin Bond book is something you’d want your kids to do before they grow up. The book belongs to another era and ‘gen-tech’ may not exactly be able to relate to it. But it is a book that should definitely be on their bookshelves.

As opposed to the name though, there is nothing dark about the book. It simply contains stories, anecdotal in nature, which will never lose their charm.

It shouldn’t take you long to grab a copy. 🙂