Posted on 06/29/2018 at 11:45 AM by Sadye Scott-Hainchek
Amanda Hughes may have a dreamy look in her eye at times, but don’t you dare think she’s a delicate flower.
The award-winning author of historical fiction with a touch of romance is likely imagining how her next heroine is going to save the day, not seduce a soldier.
Hughes took some time to talk to us about the lifelong journey that has led to her best-selling Bold Women series.
SADYE: Can you remember or identify what inspired your love of history?
AMANDA: I cannot remember what triggered my love of history because it has been with me since I was a small child.
I do remember a watershed moment for me around age five.
I was looking out my bedroom window one summer afternoon and feeling a deep melancholy—a sort of a homesickness for times past.
It was a painful longing that I still can feel today. That was when I started dressing up and acting out stories.
Later, I started reading books and watching movies that took place in the past. Only then did I feel better.
SADYE: Have you always written, or did something lead you to it later in life?
AMANDA: I have always been writing stories in my mind.
I stopped playing dress-up a long time ago, but those stories continued to swirl in my head.
This is why I call myself a “Walter Mitty.” I’m always distracted with some heroic adventure.
Twenty years ago is when I actually put pen to paper and was published in Canada.
SADYE: Why did you choose to write about strong women?
AMANDA: I was jealous of all the boys I read about in the books: the Jim Hawkins, the Tom Sawyers, and the Peter Pans.
They were having fun while the girls like Wendy Darling stayed home and sewed shadows.
When I became an adult, it was more of the same. I was tired of the damsel in distress, however updated she was and disguised in nuances.
I wanted to write about women that were in charge of their own destinies and who happened to find love along the way.
People have asked me if I would ever write a series about men and their bold adventures. It has been done to death!
Centuries have passed, and no one has told stories about bold women and their adventures.
I wish I had twenty lifetimes to tell the stories of all these women waiting in the wings.
SADYE: What is the most challenging part of writing historical fiction?
AMANDA: The most challenging part of writing historical fiction is to weave history seamlessly with a story that is not true.
I know my readers are well-versed enough in history to know that, for example, a woman did not really lead a revolution in Ireland in the eighteenth century.
But I hope that while reading The Sword of the Banshee, they believe it could have been possible.
SADYE: If you were to live in one of the eras you wrote about, what would it be and why?
AMANDA: Great question and a tough one.
The more I learn about history, the happier I am to be living today. Yoiks, it was rough back then!
But, all things considered, I have always loved early America, the romance of a new country being born and the excitement of people fighting the fight in their own backyards.
And I’m shallow, I like the clothes.
SADYE: What advice would you give an aspiring writer?
AMANDA: I’m sure it has all been said before, but my advice to aspiring writers is to stay true to yourselves.
Write what you want to write. Don’t cave in to formula fiction.
I have been called a “genre buster” because I write neither historical fiction nor historical romance. It is a cross between the two.
It does not fit neatly into any one category, and that can be distressing or refreshing for readers. I will never write any other way.
* * *
Know an author you'd like to see featured? Email us with a recommendation!
Categories: Author Interview