Today I’m talking to an invisible woman, Amanda Hampson. She grew up in rural New Zealand. Then she spent her early twenties travelling, finally settling in Australia in 1979 where she now lives in Sydney’s Northern Beaches. Writing professionally for more than 20 years, Amanda is the author of two non-fiction books, numerous articles and several novels.
Amanda’s recent novel, Lovebirds, is the story of a newly retired woman, Elizabeth, whose family relationships have broken down. In an attempt to restore something, she takes a road trip to find her estranged husband. A budgie who says the worst things at the most inappropriate times, a demonic goat, and a teenage grandson join her travels. Lovebirds is, at turns, hilarious and heartwarming.
You can find Amanda Hampson
These are my planned interview questions although I didn’t actually ask all of them because Amanda Hampson answered some before I reached them.
Why this novel now?
Why write an elderly protagonist?
Elizabeth and the love of her life, Ray, both had dreams. Whether she realises it or not, she pretty much fulfilled her dreams but Ray didn’t, so she lost him. Lovebirds feels like outreach to people whose dreams were torn from their bleeding fingers.
How common do you think this kind of family dysfunction is?
Ray’s tour of Vietnam and resulting illness overpowers his life and his family. Now we have a new generation of men returning from war zones with PTSD and other issues. Did you intend Lovebirds to reach across the generations?
What stories and authors have influenced your writing?
What are you favourite reads?