Archetypes: The Guardian

In Jungian theory, The Hero must be challenged with new ways (of thinking and being) to develop and progress along the journey. There may be many challenges along the way, all of which are guarded by a gatekeeper, or guardian. This Guardian (also known as Threshold Guardian or Liminal Guardian) is an agent of transformation. […]

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Ten ways to expand your reading

As someone who reads in the region of 170-190 books a year, I often get asked where I find new reads. So, in no particular order I’ve put together a list of the different ways I discover books new to me. 1. Book reviews Newspapers, journals and magazines review books. The Guardian offers a weekly […]

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Archetypes: The Shadow

In Jungian psychology, The Shadow archetype (also known as the id) represents the unconscious repressed side of a personality, and is often associated with the dark side, in particular. The Shadow consists of all the emotions and behaviours an individual conceals from the world at large. Such emotions may be negative or otherwise. When hidden, […]

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Best Books of 2020

A year of hidden gems, modern classics, and fungi. Of gothic, dark and twisted tales, and South America in translation. Of memoirs and the natural world, sci-fi and high fantasy. I discovered two authors who have become firm favourites, and gave a couple of others a second chance. Most of all, in this year of […]

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Norse, Celtic & Germanic Myths, Folklore & Fairy Tales in Fiction

American Gods by Neil Gaiman Days before his release from prison, Shadow’s wife, Laura, dies in a mysterious car crash. Numbly, he makes his way back home. On the plane, he encounters the enigmatic Mr Wednesday, who claims to be a refugee from a distant war, a former god and the king of America. Together […]

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Children’s Collections of Myths & Legends

A brief selection of myths and legends for children. Tales of Long Ago (1965) Enid Blyton Tales of the Greek Heroes (1958) Roger Lancelyn Green. Puffin Classics Myths of the Norsemen (1970) Roger Lancelyn Green. Puffin Classics Grimm’s Fairy Tales (1981) Sharon Publications Arthurian Legends (1998) Marie Trevelyan Celtic Fairy Tales (1998) Joseph Jacobs

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Greek Myths in Fiction

Reworked, revisited, reimagined Greek myths in contemporary fiction. Beneath each book description, a short description of the original myth on which the book is based. Where different versions of the same myth exist, I’ve selected one, and list the other(s) under ‘See Also’. Falling Angel by William Hjortsberg The novel which became movie Angel Heart […]

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Appearances

Radio Author interview on The Evening Show, BBC Radio Wiltshire. 14 October 2020 Press The Wiltshire Gazette & Herald (22 August 2020). ‘Plant Expert Turns Author to Explore World Tree Myth in First Novel.’ The Malmesbury Gazette (22 August 2020). ‘Plant Expert Turns Author to Explore World Tree Myth in First Novel.’ This is Wiltshire […]

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Author Q & A

An extract from my appearance on BBC Radio (14 October 2020), during which I discussed writing, botany and international development. Interviewed by journalist Rhiannon FitzGerald. International development being my day-job, I would have loved the opportunity to discuss this subject further with her, as I know it is a particular interest of hers, also. Tell […]

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5 Tips for Writing Gripping Suspense

You don’t have to write in the suspense genre to use the techniques to create suspense within your novel. These techniques capture your reader’s attention and holds it to the thrilling conclusion. Suspense comes from the reader fearing what will happen next to a character they care about. The character must risk losing what matters […]

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Feedback, Reviews & the ARC

This blog is all about feedback. I recommend seeking feedback at every stage of your manuscript through to – and beyond – publication. Initially it will improve your manuscript. Then, once published, reviews boost sales, and the more reviews the better. I also offer tips on how to source feedback and reviews. Feedback on Drafts […]

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Biography

Amanda Read is a novelist, short story writer, and a lapsed botanist. Her removal from school before final exams sowed the seed for a later thirst for learning. Awarded a fellowship from the Royal Horticultural Society, she trained as a plant taxonomist at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, the Natural History Museum, London, and the […]

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