I’m delighted to be on Rachel’s Random Resources tour hosting Mandy Jameson in my hot seat who is chatting to us about Landsliding.
Landsliding by Mandy Jameson is publishing by Lightning Books.
We all have secrets, but some of our secrets are darker than others…
When Julia’s husband leaves her, and their small son Matty, to live with another woman, her friends – especially Caroline and Vick – rally round to help. But when Julia starts a new relationship after a chance meeting, her friends are not quite as supportive.
Julia sees Brendan, the quietly spoken IT guy who comes round to fix her computer, as a loving and protective man and – as time passes – a potential father figure for Matty. Caroline and Vick, on the other hand, see him as jealous, controlling and potentially dangerous. He appears to be a man with a secret past.
What her friends don’t know is that Julia has secrets of her own and, if they get out, they will almost certainly shatter her fragile domestic bliss.
Hi Mandy, welcome to Jera’s Jamboree.
Please summarise Landsliding in 20 words or less.
Landsliding is a dark domestic drama about past traumas impacting relationships while long-kept secrets are ultimately revealed.
What was the idea/inspiration for your novel?
I wanted to write about a female character whose life goes spiralling – or landsliding – out of control and how her past life ends up coming back to haunt her. It’s the sort of book I’d want to read myself and they’re the stories I feel inspired to write!
Have you joined any writing groups Mandy?
I’ve always written – stories, poems, jottings – but had never managed to finish a novel until I joined a writing group when I lived in France. My fellow members were incredibly supportive of one other and their encouragement meant I progressed and stayed determined, whereas beforehand I’d have given up. Writing is really hard without that sort of moral support.
Pantser or plotter?
I set out to write a narrative which was going in a certain direction and then the Archers beat me to it with their domestic abuse storyline about Helen and Rob. I’d got part-way through Landsliding and couldn’t bear to abandon the characters – so just kept going and the story developed on its own. Sometimes I was shocked at the twists in the plot while I was writing it!
Which authors have influenced your writing?
Deborah Moggach is someone whose work I’ve loved since I read her first novel: the way her stories never fail to surprise, her chatty style (which looks easy to emulate but isn’t) and the relatability of her characters. Kate Atkinson’s a huge influence, especially her Jackson Brodie books which are a masterpiece of plotting and characterisation.
What are you reading now Mandy? Opinion?
I’m reading Claire Fuller’s Bitter Orange which, like her two previous novels, has totally hooked me in and won’t let go. She’s a wonderful author and I’m happy to have discovered her.
What has been the hardest part of your writing journey so far?
Definitely the rejection. Without a doubt. Once I received an email back a few hours after I’d sent the first part of Landsliding to an agent – and I was convinced her speedy reply meant great news. Sadly, her email said she liked it a lot but the novel wasn’t right for her at the time. I was devastated.
… and the best?
After I’d self-published Landsliding I received an email from a Swedish woman who had bought the book. Her message said:
‘The dust lies thick. The hoover sits idle. The dogs are whining to go out and I think tonight’s dinner will be take-away. All because I can’t put your book down!’
I absolutely loved that.
Thank you for being my guest Mandy. Wishing you success with all your writing projects.
Originally from Manchester, Mandy Jameson spent ten years living in southwest France where Landsliding, her first novel, was written with the encouragement of a prolific writing group.
Now settled in Sussex with her daughter, her passions include football, chocolate and walking on the Downs.
She is working on her second novel.