Guest Post // Author Amanda Apthorpe

A Single Breath Book Cover A Single Breath
Amanda Apthorpe
Atlas Production
September 1, 2015
Paperback, Kindle
Enchanted Book Promotions

“Life’s beginning and its end hinged on a single breath as though the rest was conducted in its pause.” When the first hate letter arrives in the days after her patient, Bonnie's death, obstetrician Doctor Dana Cavanagh reads it with shaking hands before placing it next to the small news article of the court's  verdict: not guilty. Hate letters continue to trickle in, but one stands out from the others—a cryptic message with a tiny marble stone, its origin—Kos, Greece, the birthplace of Hippocrates. She had once proudly sworn his oath, "I will give not deadly medicine." Accompanied by her sister Madeleine, Dana follows the mystery of the letter to Kos. The arrival of two more letters, and the strange appearances of a woman, beckon her to Italy and England. Despairing for her sanity, Dana persists in her crusade to come to terms with being implicated in the death of another.

I am very thankful to have author Amanda Apthorpe guest post today. When I was asked for a topic suggestion, I mentioned writing about the love, or hate, relationship that an author has with their characters. Below, Amanda shares her character relationship. Enjoy!

My favorite element in writing a novel is crafting believable characters. I love the process of getting to know them, drawing on things that I think and have experienced, and sometimes didn’t know I thought. My characters always provide a vehicle for me to sort out some things in my own mind and, through them; I can make more sense of it all.

The most remarkable thing about writing characters is when they take on a life of their own. I teach creative writing, and when I say this to my students, many look at me as if I have two heads. ‘It’s true,’ I tell them. ‘Your characters, at least your central character(s) will become their own people and sometimes they will ‘turn around’ to you, as you are in the process of writing a scene and say: “but I wouldn’t do that.”’ What an extraordinary feeling this is, but what can it mean? After all, they don’t exist without the writer. A student ‘confessed’ the other day, that even though she thought I was crazy when I told the class this many months earlier, she had just had the same experience. The ending of her novel had been set in cement. Her characters would no longer do as they were told and so, the ending had to change.

I know when I have created believable characters, because they will make me laugh and make me cry. I worry about them setting off on their journeys into the publishing world, but am glad they are no longer confined to my desk. They are my virtual children and friends – good and bad. And yes, there’s a little bit of me in them all.

We have a GIVEAWAY happening now for one eBook copy of A Single breath by Amanda Apthorpe. Head over here to enter for your chance to win!