When A. E. Conran was her main character Mikey’s age she had a tin of Roman and Celtic warriors, which she never finished painting, and a desire to time travel, which remains with her still. A fan of historical fiction by Rosemary Sutcliff and Henry Treece, she also heard stories from parents, grandparents, and friends about living through, and returning from, war. Today she works as a freelance editor, bookseller, booktalker and children’s book club facilitator in Northern California.
A.E.’s debut novel, THE LOST CELT ( Goosebottom Books/Gosling Press, March 15, 2016) is a contemporary middle grade adventure. Primed by their favorite video war game pitting Ancient Celts against the Romans, Mikey and Kyler are convinced that they’ve seen a real live Celtic warrior. Has the Celt time-traveled as part of a secret defense project? In tracking him down, the boys solve the biggest mystery of their lives.
- Favorite book growing up: VIKING’S DAWN by Henry Treece…but she finds this an impossible question. Amanda has a bookshelf of her childhood books and a Pinterest board devoted to them. She lets them take turns as her top favorite.
- Childhood aspiration: An actor and/or writer
- Favorite time of day/place to write: In the morning at her kitchen table, occasionally distracted by the antics of the squirrels and birds in the garden. As she types, a gang of American Robins have taken the yard by storm.
- Book currently reading/most recently read: LISTEN TO THE MOON by Michael Morpurgo and THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH by Ali Benjamin – WOW!
- Favorite things to do (other than reading): Collecting antique buttons. Acting with her family in community theatre. Visiting museums, historic sites and battlefields. Watching films.
- Favorite sports teams: She loves watching Rugby Union, especially during the World Cup. Her local team in the UK was the Leicester Tigers, but she could never claim to be an avid supporter.
- Surprising personal fact: She once flew and made a catch on the flying trapeze!
- Greatest thing about being a 2016 debut author: Fulfilling a dream. Sharing her love and belief in the power of story especially in middle grade novels. Learning, and sometimes being completely befuddled by, the many new technologies and skillsets that go along with being a published author.
Where to find her: