Today I’m delighted to participate in the blog tour for Amanda Paull’s new book Colouring Outside the Lines and present Amanda’s guest post!
GUEST POST BY AMANDA PAULL
Thank you so much for hosting me on Reading Tonic. Following the recent release of my new novel, Colouring Outside the Lines, I thought I’d share my thoughts about giving my main characters, like Katie in this story, an extra challenge to deal with while they’ve already got quite a lot on their plate.
I’ve realised that I somehow manage to do the same thing in real life, and I wonder if I inherited the tendency from my mother. Many years ago, my father had a heart condition that required a scan. I was a critical care nurse at the time and, knowing they would keep Dad in, I urged my parents to seek a referral to our local hospital.
Unfortunately, my parents are old-school.
‘The doctor said it was mild angina,’ said Dad.
‘He’s wrong, I have experience in this field –’
‘You’re not a doctor…’ said Mum.
Jump forward to the day of the scan….
My mother, hand clapped to mouth, aghast. ‘They won’t let him come home. They say he’s on the point of having a heart attack. And that he’ll die if he does because here are four blockages! Can you believe it…?’
So, in addition to having to driving an hour each way to see Dad in his hospital, miles away, and spending a good few more hours sitting at his bedside while he waited to get to the top of the long NHS waiting list, Mum decided to decorate their bedroom.
‘We can’t have the District Nurses coming in to see Dad in that room as it is now.’
Anyway, you get the picture, Mum ensured she was on the go from dawn until dusk.
So, my genes may explain the reason I lumbered Katie, who was already having a tough time with her fiancé, parents and work, with the added burden of walking the Northumberland Mighty Hike marathon in aid of MacMillan Cancer Care and also abseiling down Newcastle Tyne Bridge for charity.
It isn’t the first time I’ve done this type of thing. In Pictures in the Sky, the first novel in the Cherry Dene series, the main character, Michelle did the Great North Run – a half-marathon – while suffering from a broken heart.
I’m not a cruel person, and although my stories are all fictional ones, I think I could be inadvertently slipping in snippets of my own experiences. I did do the Great North Run one year with a broken heart. And another time, I was cajoled into abseiling down the Tyne Bridge for charity, while going through a marriage break up. Though it does indeed add to the emotional rollercoaster, there is also something cathartic about really putting yourself through the mill, when you’re already really going through the mill.
This year, as the real-life Mighty Hike date approached, I worsened my experience by starting the ketogenic diet. I’d gained some weight during lockdown, and that, coupled with the weight of the rucksack I would have to carry for the twenty-six-mile event, made it more difficult to train. I knew it would be much easier if I lost a little body fat, without losing any muscle, which the keto diet is famous for. However, though I expected to feel rubbish for the first couple of weeks with the dreaded keto flu, I didn’t expect it to go on for three months. Not being a quitter, I persevered. Yes, I lost weight, kept the little bit muscle I had, and my general aches and pains disappeared, but I felt terrible. Thankfully, I succumbed to carbs a couple of weeks before the hike and perked up. But this was a typical example of my tendency to take a challenge and make it much harder than it needs to be. At least through this particular challenge, I was lucky to have my lovely husband to support me.
Colouring Outside the Lines is written with a light touch and is a story that I hope will uplift as well as entertain my readers. Although Katie does have a bit of a tough time, I haven’t given her more than she can handle. She’s well capable of getting through the Mighty Hike and abseiling down the Tyne Bridge, while nursing a broken heart. And she’ll do it just like most other forty-something women – with fortitude and a good sense of humour. 😊
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Colouring Outside The Lines
Meet Katie: she’s about to marry the most wonderful man in the world. The planning is done, the checklist is checked. The future is set.
Having spent her twenties and thirties enjoying life with good friends, and building a career she loves, it’s taken Katie until her forties to contemplate settling down. And she couldn’t be more delighted she waited.
So, why is her perfect groom standing gawping at her, wearing mismatched socks and sweating buckets? This can’t bode well.
With her special day in tatters, Katie has a decision to make. Does she snatch back the reigns of her old life, and tighten her grip even more? Or should she take a chance on change? Will she find the key to happiness at a Pilates class in a smelly old hall? Or is the curve ball heading her way too huge to handle?
If you like British humour and a flawed protagonist on an emotional journey, you’ll enjoy reading Amanda Paull’s latest novel, Colouring Outside the Lines – a heart-warming tale of shattered dreams, self-discovery and finding true love where you least expect it.
Author Bio –
Amanda Paull grew up in the North East of England and couldn’t wait to move away. However, after studying and then living both in England and abroad, she returned to the North East and wouldn’t dream of living anywhere else now.
After a short career in teaching, she retrained as a nurse. She recently retired from her post as a Sleep Nurse Specialist and now spends her time writing Women’s Fiction novels and Romantic Comedy short stories.
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Thank you to Amanda for her guest post!
Let’s all wish Colouring Outside the Lines lots of success.
Have a wonderful Tuesday!