I’m pleased to be joined by author Margaret Amatt whose latest novel, Just Friends at Thistle Cottage, is out now. She’s answering my Author in the Spotlight questions today. Hello, Margaret. First of all, would you tell my blog readers a little about yourself?
I’m a Scottish author of contemporary romance stories. My favourite things (other than writing books) are going on holiday, photography and being with my family.
What inspired you to start writing?
I’ve always written in some form or another and lots of things inspire me – people, places, life events, news stories, pictures… Pretty much anything really! I don’t think there was one specific event that started me writing; it’s just part of who I am.
Tell me about your journey to publication
A few years ago, I confided in a friend that I had written stories that one day I would like to publish. She encouraged me to go for it. I did a lot of research (over a year’s worth!) and decided not to approach any publishers but to publish my own books. This meant I could retain the rights and control over my books. Initially, I didn’t like the idea of indie publishing as there was a real stigma around it. People often think indie books can’t possibly be as good as traditionally published ones. I decided it was time to change that mindset! I made sure my books were all professionally edited to industry standards and went about the publishing process myself. It’s hard work and there are still people who looks down their noses at indie books, but no way as many as even just a few years ago. I like to look at Independently published and traditionally published books the way I would view an independent bookshop next to The Works or Waterstones. Both have their place and there’s no reason why they can’t co-exist.
In a nutshell, what is your book about?
Just Friends at Thistle Lodge is a friends-to-lovers romcom with lots of fun and banter, a sprinkling of spice (nothing too graphic!) and a happy ending.
Nina and Matthew are fed up with people telling them they should get together when they’re just friends – honest! Nina hatches a cunning plan to pretend they’re dating for a week, flood social media with photos of them as a happy couple, then stage a split up and go back to being just friends again… except it doesn’t quite go to plan!
How did you come up with the title for your book?
When I was on holiday last summer and driving around the beautiful Isle of Mull (where my first series is set!), I started thinking of titles and locations. I brainstormed these for several weeks and eventually came up with titles for this book and the others in the series.
How did you celebrate publication day?
I celebrated the publication of Just Friends at Thistle Lodge with a day canoeing on a nearby loch! It may sound crazy but my family and I really enjoy doing it and it just so happens there’s a canoeing scene in the book. It was so much fun taking pictures of the book from the canoe! I then had a wonderful lunch in a local café afterwards and treated myself to a very tasty cheesecake!
Do you have a work in progress just now?
I always have at least one work in progress! So many stories are bandying for my attention right now! I’m working on the next four books in this series. I know it sounds like a lot but I have drafts for all of them written and stashed away. They all need some editing before they come into the world though!
What are you reading just now?
I’m reading an ARC of Always Beth by Louise Hudson – she’s a new author and it’s a great book!
Is there a book you’d love to see made into a film?
Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan would be a really great Christmas movie!
[I agree – I loved that book!]
How can people follow you or connect with you on social media?
About the book
One romantic getaway. Two friends. Seven days just pretending…
When Nina Copeland’s mates try to match her with the guy next door, she needs a plan. Because Matthew’s just a friend, and Nina has a secret she doesn’t want him to discover – not until she’s tidied her messy life.
After his divorce, physics teacher Matthew Gilchrist has kept his heart locked safely away. So why do people keep pushing him to date his chirpy neighbour? He and Nina are fine just as friends. Aren’t they?
Nina hatches a solution to get everyone off their backs: fake a relationship at a family reunion, then stage a break-up so life can go back to normal. What could go wrong?
Stuck together at a romantic highland lodge, new feelings lure them out of the friend zone. But if love is to find a way in, Nina must confront her past, and Matthew put his heart on the line.
About the Author
Margaret has told and written stories for as long as she can remember. During her formative years, she spent time on long walks inventing characters and stories to pass the time.
Writing books is Margaret’s passion and when she’s not doing that, she’s often found eating chocolate, walking and taking photographs in the hills around Highland Perthshire. Those long walks still frequently bring inspiration!
It’s Margaret’s pleasure to bring you the Scottish Island Escapes series and The Glenbriar Series. These books are linked (even the two series have crossovers!) for those who enjoy inhabiting Margaret’s world of stories but each can be read as a standalone if you’d rather dip in and out with individual books.
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