Meet the author: Amanda Prowse
Introducing… Amanda Prowse and her latest novel, The Food of Love. Apply for one of 50 copies and find how Amanda keeps her fiction true to life
About the book
A compelling and heart-wrenching look at family, food and the challenge of raising teenagers in our self-obsessed, image-conscious society. Inspired by Amanda's own extreme struggle with body image and a family history of eating disorders.
Freya Braithwaite knows she is lucky. Happily married for 19 years to a man who still excites her, two beautiful teenage daughters, and her dream career as a health-food writer. Her home is filled with love and laughter, with a passion for food at its very core.
But no amount of love could have prepared Freya for the devastating impact of anorexia and bulimia on her family. In a desperate battle to rescue her youngest child Lexi from its clutches, Freya will do all she can to save her daughter, her marriage and her family. But how can she when food, the social glue of their family, is both the problem and the solution? Is Freya's own obsession with clean eating partly to blame? How can you save someone who doesn't want to be saved?
Praise for The Food of Love
“A truly amazing piece of drama about a condition that could affect any one of us in a heartbeat. Every mother should read this book.” – Danielle Lineker, actress and model
“Delivers a hard-hitting, vivid portrait of one family's descent into the clutches of illness that will have readers considering their own attitudes to food and body image.” – The Herald
“A deeply emotional, unputdownable read.” – RED
About the author
Amanda Prowse is the bestselling author of over 17 novels. Her journey started in 2010 after she finished treatment for cancer and got the all-clear from her doctor. She decided life was too short not to pursue a dream of writing, and gave up a great business career and sold the family home to give a go. Amanda is married, with two teenage boys and lives in Bristol.
Meet Amanda Prowse
Can you tell us about your book?
The Food of Love is the story of the Braithwaite family. They're a lovely close family who work hard, communicate with their two teenage daughters and live in a cosy house in St Albans. They are shocked and completely unprepared when anorexia comes knocking on their door and tries to claim their youngest daughter, Lexi. The story is told from Freya (the mum's) point of view and looks at how her world unravels, as she tries to figure out how to do what is best for her beloved girl. The disease is a sledgehammer that affects every member of the family, taking them to the very edge of their limits, where they have to question whether unconditional love is enough to get them through.
Is research a big part of your writing process?
Yes. I always have the story in my head when I start, but think it's vital to make sure that my story is reflective of real life and authentic. As a rule, I interview ten to twelve people who are subject matter experts in one way or another. Many of their stories will stay with me forever.To make sure that my story is authentic, I interview ten to twelve people who are subject matter experts in one way or another.
Do you have any peculiar writing rituals or habits?
I drink tons of coffee! In fact, if I could have it administered intravenously then I would. It's not only the drinking of it that is part of my ritual but the wandering around the kitchen to make it too. Sometimes it's the only time I get up from my desk and move! I also stay in my PJs and socks and curl up.
Could you describe the room that you write in?
I would love to now go into detail about a fancy-pants chaise longue set on a terrace by the side of an Italian lake… but actually, I usually write in the kitchen of a little house in Bristol. And I am usually, as I am right now, at the kitchen table with a ton of laundry waiting to be folded on one side of me and my son's half-packed suitcase on the other. There is the constant hum from the building work going on around us, and last night's roasting pan is sat in the sink. …and yes, I am in my PJs and socks and haven't washed my hair yet!
What are you reading now?
Unusually for me, I am reading The Long and Winding Road by Alan Johnson. I had always thought I'd rather have a root canal than read a political memoir – but I am LOVING it! It's funny, sad and I am learning a lot about politics.
What is the last book you bought someone as a gift?
Ah that's easy, it's the book that I buy on a regular basis and give away a lot; The Places You'll Go by Dr Seuss. It's the perfect gift for anyone starting out, making a change or who has hit a bump in the road. I give it as a gift at christenings, bar mitzvahs, graduations, divorces, you name it! It is always appropriate and has the most wonderful life messages.
What advice would you offer to aspiring writers?
Never ever, ever give up. Write as often as you can, even if it's only a sentence a day – but keep your writing brain sharp and practise. Take on board all the feedback you get, good and bad, as it will help shape you. And most importantly – find your own voice. Don't try to be the next JK, Picoult or Austen, concentrate on being the first YOU.
Amanda's next book, The Idea of You, is out in March.
To apply to win one of 50 copies of The Food of Love, simply fill out the form below. This giveaway closes at midday on Monday 30 January.
We ask all winners to share their thoughts about the book on the discussion thread. Anyone who has read The Food of Love can post on the thread. Everyone who posts their detailed feedback by midday 13 March will be entered into a draw to win a £100 Love2shop voucher.
This giveaway is sponsored by Lake Union