Friday, July 13, 2012

Author's Pie: Amanda Coetzee

There is nothing better than taking a whiff of some glorious pie crust at the end of a long day. So welcome to another deliciously, delectable Author's Pie.  

This week we have head-mistress by day and crime writer by night, mother of one, charismatic and London born author Amanda Coetzee in the oven today.  Amanda was shortlisted for the Citizen Book Prize (run in conjunction with The Citizen and Pan Macmillan South Africa) in 2009 and though she didn't win, they offered her a 3 book deal!

You can find Amanda on Twitter and Facebook.  You can also find her books on Amazon or at your nearest Exclusive books (Don't forget to Sticker the book when you visit

A Big PIE-Y Thank you to Amanda Coetzee for taking part in this week's Author's Pie!

1. When you entered the Citizen Book Prize in 2009, did you think you would be 2 books published and a third in 2013?
When I entered the Citizen Book Prize in 2009 it was for the second time. The dream of being published was slightly faded after innumerable rejection letters from anonymous agents – but not entirely quashed. The carefully worded expression of interest from Pan Macmillan was thrilling. I remember sitting in the board room with Wesley [Thomspon] and Andrea [Nattrass] and thinking that if I was never published – at least I had this!

The first contract was signed with my husband taking photos of a slightly bemused Andrea forced to pose with a pen and me obsessively hoarding souvenirs of different steps along the day (I still have the parking ticket). A three book deal was so far past my expectations that I still slap my face at regular intervals to remove the slightly moronic grin and ‘happy dance’ around my house.

2. Where do you get your inspiration? A nice lady like you writing such violence?
Ah. The question that I dread because I really don’t (or perhaps don’t want to) know. Let me give you a sample of my answers and allow you to pick your favourite.

Defensive: We live in a violent world and experience its terror vicariously throughout our lives. I dip in and out of the madness and leave it behind as soon as possible.

Mysterious: Perhaps I am not as nice as you think.

Pretentious: Writing is a process; I approach each character as honestly as I can.

Blasé: I love reading crime and separate it entirely from real life. I read about horrific serial killers while my toddler watches Toy Story and have rarely been tempted (beyond any mother) to murder random strangers. It may seem a strange form of escapism but losing myself in the mind of a madman can be exhilarating.

3. Who would your choice to play Badger in the Bad Blood movie be?
Finally I have the answer for this question, although I don’t know if you will agree. Jim Cavaziel is my Badger. I have seen him play vicious murderers, white power thugs, FBI agents, special-forces soldiers, even Jesus in Mel Gibson’s Passion of Christ. He has the moral complexity of Badger with his physical strength and of course the smouldering blue eyes and dark hair. Yum! Of course my husband would be perfect but then I would have to murder the women playing Emily and Beth. Perhaps the unwise choice with my penchant for devising methods of violent death... 

4. What two books would you risk your life for?
Ah Kelly, you can ask the tough questions. I tossed and turned and ultimately chose only one book. ‘Howards End’ by EM Forster.

Howards End was my 6th form set work at school. It was the first time I realised that books could articulate ideas and feelings that I didn’t yet have the words for. It still resonates with me today and it is one of the few books that I pick up and read and always feel myself touched and challenged by. I have never forgotten the impact it made upon me and the awe I felt at the beauty and power of the written word.

5. Which of your characters (besides Badger) is your favourite?

I’m going to cheat and say I think my all time favourite character is Kyle Reese from the first Terminator movie. He was everything I wanted a man to be; strong, capable of great sacrifice, loyal, in love with one woman whom he would die protecting. Damaged, scarred and intensely private. Sadly he was killed off, but perhaps it was for the best. Heroes need to die before they disappoint. Husbands survive a little longer. 

The literary equivalent is Will Trent from Karin Slaughter’s new series. I love his secret dyslexia and vulnerability that drives his need for control and privacy. I love male characters that are flawed but redeemable. It’s a relationship fraught with danger though; I loathe self pity and get bored with angst. 

My favourite male characters tend to lose their allure if they resist change. I’m horribly predictable with my secret crush on Jack Reacher and my phobic response to any male character that cheats. I have a more complex relationship with female characters; I judge them too harshly and accept it is a flaw. I run from emotionally driven books and have only ever read 3 biographies. I find the self exposure uncomfortable, sometimes cringe worthy and am not ashamed to admit I read for escapism and entertainment. Of course I was originally going to lie and come up with a literary giant or obscure character from a socially relevant novel – but who am I kidding?

Amanda's Books

Bad Blood

Blending in everywhere; belonging nowhere ...

An eight-year-old boy is abandoned by his mother at a fairground and raised by a clan of Irish Travellers as one of their own. Given the name ‘Harry’ (as in any Tom, Dick or Harry) he carves out a reputation as a young, bare knuckle boxer who never backs down, and earns himself the clan name ‘Badger’.
Eight years on, Badger is angry, dangerous and ready to make his own way in the world. He severs all ties with his clan and in a final act of rebellion joins the London Metropolitan Police Force. He soon finds his niche as an undercover operative, blending in everywhere yet belonging nowhere. Just as Harry believes he has left his clan roots and ‘Badger’ behind him, he is sent by his superiors to establish a connection with a clan living on an informal land settlement in Bedford. A Traveller child named Mikey has been abducted and the clan is refusing to cooperate with the investigation.

Harry pairs up with Emily, an idealistic social services liaison officer, to investigate the case. Together they uncover a string of gruesome child murders and abductions dating back to 1985. Badger finds himself drawn deeper into clan life and he is ultimately forced to confront the truth about his own conflicted childhood if he is to save Mikey from becoming another victim of a twisted serial killer.

This gripping debut novel is guaranteed to keep you spellbound from the first page all the way through to its twist-in-the-tail climax.

Redemption Song

She thought she would stop breathing. Looking back, she wished she had

A thrilling adventure set in Albania that sees Badger, aka Harry O’Connor, using his wits and his Traveller connections as he tries to save a mother and her daughter from the control of a brutal local warlord.

Beth, a fourteen-year-old English girl finds herself in more trouble than she could ever imagine when she runs away from home in Bedford. Fast forward twelve years. Badger is on long leave from the London Metropolitan Police Force and living once again with the Traveller community as he heals physically and mentally from his previous case.

At the request of Emily Meadows, in Bad Blood the social worker love interest who he worked with to solve the serial killer case, Badger sets off to the unlikely location of Albania on a mission to rescue a mother and daughter from the brutal control of Jak Kraja, an Albanian warlord. When things go horribly wrong, Badger finds himself forced to call in favours from his former police colleagues and in desperation he turns to the mysterious Albanian Traveller community for help as he seeks to escape the country. What follows is a thrilling race for survival as Badger pits his wits and skills against the wily cunning of Kraja and his henchmen.

You can buy Amanda's books from your nearest Exclusive Books

Find Amanda


Anonymous said...

Amanda is as intriguing and tantalising in her responses to your questions as she is in her authorship of the two amazing books. Her ability to shock, to mesmerise and to captivate the reader is unfaltering. Balancing her exceptional craft with motherhood and an impressive career clearly shows just how talented a woman Amanda is. An inspiration to women of all ages around the world!

Anonymous said...

Amanda Deller is a fraud. Her training as an actress has pulled the wool over everyone's eyes. She is a drug taking (ecstacy and cannabis), barely literate liar. When I was at Leicester Poly with her we used to hide our handbags when we saw her coming. Amazing how someone in their 30s/40s can get that South African accent - shows you what a fraud she is. Oh, and she wasn't born in London - she was born in Bedford, Kempston I think. You guys should really do your homework before you allow yourselves to be lied to by Amanda Coetzee (Mandy Deller the thief to those who really know her).

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