With the greatest pleasure, I'm introducing you to one of the most compassionate, tolerant and wonderful women I know, Elle Amberley.
Since reading her first blog post, I have known that Elle is a woman that I will never forget. She has added to and changed my life.
Thank you for taking the time and honoring me with this interview. Hugs
1.) I understand you have lived in several countries, which countries did you live in?
I have lived in almost every Western European country there is, America and Australia.
2.) Is there one thing you liked about particular country more than another or something you learned by living in different places?
I love France and never quite understood why we kept moving around when it my was my mother’s favourite country. I loved the language and the culture which I assimilitated very quickly. I also love Italy, it’s such a wonderful country and its inhabitants are so friendly and welcoming. Australia wooed me as a twenty-something.
America was a big turning point, provided an escape. It was also a culture shock. I loved the friendliness of Californians even if I didn’t always like what I saw, especially how some viewed homeless people. My stint in California inspired my latest novel.
3.) When writing about women’s and children’s issues what do you like to focus on? Is there a particular thing you like to bring attention to?
General injustice and anything related to abuse. I’m a firm believer in equality, so yes I am a feminist in the sense I believe women and men should have the same opportunities and rights.
4.) I too love all different styles and types of music, from the classics, big bands to today’s new
artists. What kind of music moves you the most and do you use music when you write?
I’m an intense type of person, I like big emotions. I like to be surprised, a dramatic change of rhythms for example. I always say two things saved me while growing up; books and music.
I love different styles but a few years ago I found the whole package. We have a program on the British radio called “Desert Island Disc” in which a celebrity discusses music tastes and what they would take with them if stranded on a desert island. No hesitation for me.
5.) I understand you write in both French and English, what do you find to be the main difference between writing a story in French or English?
Writing in French came as a shock to me. It followed a trauma and a new person coming into my life, the person who understands me the most.
I had not managed to talk to anybody about this. This happened on a particularly dark day when I was torn between decisions; he simply sat at me his desk and placed a pen in my hand. The whole sorry tale poured out in minutes, in French and through tears, and in the form of poems. I stared at it afterwards, shocked but liberated.
I love writing in French, I’ve developed a whole
new style which I suppose is fitting since I like variety.
6.) Most people hide something about themselves from others and many write under an assumed name. Is there a particular meaning behind your pen name?
There is a rather personal one. I’ve heard a lot of pros and cons regarding pen names, sometimes people judge without knowing the full reasons. Noms de plume are nothing new, it’s a choice we make. Sometimes we have to hide for good reasons; living in fear is never fun.
7.) Will you tell us a bit about your new novel“Nowhere Left to Hide,” when it will be available and where we can find it?
Signed copies will be available through my
website. Otherwise all usual channels and Amazon of course, either in paperback or as an ebook.
The story follows Natasha Parker, a British
student, as she is offered the opportunity to study in California. She jumps at the chance to leave her childhood ghosts behind her and once in America finds friendship and love. The question is: can she really let go? And what happens when her visa runs out?
8.) If you could change one thing about the world or how we deal with each other what would it be?
Injustice would cover it, people going hungry, homeless, racism and abuse of any kind. How to deal with? Good question! More tolerance, more awareness, better education, more fairness.
9.) After reading so many of your posts on various blogs, your website, and The Women on the Verge I am
intrigued and astounded by your ability to show such compassion and knowledge of people. What helped you most in learning how to be so compassionate of others?
I have no idea; I am hypersensitive, same as my
children. Perhaps certain experiences have reinforced my compassion. You have a choice, always, to react to whatever happens to you. You can go into victim mode or pick yourself up.
I’m not always as tolerant as I’d like though. I also have a short temper.
I suppose I’m good at seeing things from a different angle and all too often put myself in other people’s shoes. Empathy is good, there is a lack of it in our society, and too much can be emotionally shattering. Sometimes I get too angry in reaction to what I see or read, or I cry. That’s when I know I need a break and need to refocus.
10.) Where can people read your writing or contact you?
I love hearing from readers and they’re always welcome to follow me on Twitter and Facebook or email me.
There is a contact form on my website www.elleamberley.co.uk
I also regularly blog on Women On The Verge, a wonderful community where I found my voice and have shared many very personal experiences.
Thank you so much Marta, I’ve loved taking part in this interview and answering your very thoughtful questions, such a pleasure and honor. Thank you for your friendship, I hope we meet in person one day.
Elle, that would be a joy for me. I hope also to meet you in person one day. Thank you for your friendship. You honor me and I have grown since knowing you. I am looking forward to reading your book.
Author & Poet
Marta Moran Bishop, is an author and poet. Ms. Bishop writes many books for children as well as for more mature audiences.