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Elle Amberley, author of Nowhere Left To Hide

I am delighted to have had the opportunity this week to interview Elle Amberley, author and many time expat, as well as expert in life’s crappy stuff.

Although she is a British author, Elle likes to dabble in French too, and hopes to resume work on her French novel when time allows.
Elle is a bohemian at heart, the result of having lived in several countries as a child. She also enjoys writing articles on women’s issues and whatever she feels passionate about, as well as poetry and short stories. Lost in your time is scheduled for publication in February 2012.
My own experiences abroad and dealing with life’s crappy stuff certainly went into the mix when I was writing The Thinking Tank – so I wanted to ask Elle about how those very things influenced her..
You’ve been an expat on and off for much of your life, Elle. Was this self-imposed or did you follow your family to foreign parts? As a child we lived in various European countries. I did hanker for a place to call home but then I hankered even more for safety, stability and most important love…As a teenager I had to rebuild my life. As the police suggested at one point, the best thing for me was to move as far as possible. Which I did, going as far away as America and Australia, best thing I could have done to free my mind and soul.
Can you tell us where you have lived and what effect you think this has had on your writing? I’ve lived in France, Spain, Italy, Switzerland, Germany and a few more European countries. Each place has had an influence on me, particularly France and Italy. Unbeknown to me my French just kicked back in action after 10 years of not using it at all. I’m now writing in French, a funny consequence to a big drama. A few years ago stricken with grief I’d closed up and then met a very special person who put the pen in my hand and sat me at his desk. Words flowed out in French through the tears. Imagine my surprise when I realised what I’d written.
Being exposed to so many cultures is very enriching and provides many a background.
You are known to be a survivor and a person who has dealt with plenty of life’s crappy stuff. How is this reflected in your work? Readers often comment on the fact I can put a positive spin on difficult themes. I’ve had to be very strong and independent, I think it’s reflected in my novels.

Please tell us a little about your latest novel, Nowhere to Hide (Indio Press): A young woman seeks to escape her past. She grabs the chance she’s given to go and study in California, despite the difficulties. In Santa Barbara she finds a new way of life, far away from her tormentors and childhood ghosts. She shakes off the labels and finds friendship and love. But what will she do when her visa expires and her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

Was there a particular life situation that inspired the themes? Yes, definitely. I know only too well what’s it’s like having to run from your home.

Elle's books are available on Amazon

 I understand that you have adopted a pen name. What advice would you give to anyone wanting to share their own experiences but through fiction? The reason I adopted a pen name was to protect myself. I did have to change my name because of what happened to me. It was a freeing experience, another label off my back. Difficult to explain without going through all the nitty gritty. I think as authors we all put our own experiences into our books. However, this is not a memoir even if it is my most personal novel to date. I think memoirs have their place and I find writing to be a wonderful healer. I have resisted so far the calls to write my own memoir. You should never say never but I don’t think this is for me. I much prefer to use my imagination run free.

Finally, what do we have to look forward to next in terms of your writing, Elle? Quite a few more short stories, poems, a French novel and LOST IN YOUR TIME my next novel to be published in February 2012.
 Thank you so much for having me on your blog. Fabulous questions, I’ve enjoyed answering them.
The pleasure is mine, Elle – thank you for your time.
More information about Elle and her writing can be found at the following links:
                    Elle on amazon UK

Writing a novel: Author to author: Jae De Wylde interviews Elle Amberley