Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Interivew with Navy Wife Author Amy Bird & Giveaway of Harlequin MIRA Books!!!

Are you a Navy Wife Writer? I am currently seeking Navy Wives to write regular segments on Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives and Girlfriends. Check out my Guest Poster Page for More Information or Contact Me! 

How far would you go to get your life back?

Kate Dixon is miserable. So when an email arrives from psychology student Anna, offering her a no-strings-attached, three month long life-exchange, she jumps at the chance. After all: what has she got to lose?

But she doesn’t bank on how much Anna has invested in the swap. How long she’s been watching, putting her immaculate plan together as she waits to enter Kate’s life. And as more comes to light about Anna’s past, Kate finds herself in a desperate race to protect all she holds dear.

Leaving your life in someone else’s hands is a dangerous game; Kate’s about to find out just how seriously her opponent is playing.
Yours is Mine is a chilling psychological thriller perfect for fans of Gone Girl and Before I Go To Sleep.

Yours is Mine is available now from Carina UK, the new digital imprint of Harlequin, at  and via Amazon, Kobo, iTunes and iBooks. You can find Amy at www.amybirdwrites.com, on @London_Writer on Twitter at and @AmyBirdWrites on Facebook.

About the Author

Born in London, England, Amy moved all around the UK for the next 18 years, before coming back to London for university. She’s been here ever since, with the occasional epic holiday to join her Navy husband overseas. 

Amy is currently completing her Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck, and she’s also an alumni of Faber Academy.  Her creative focus is on novels and plays. As well as being a writer, she’s also a lawyer – she works 4 days a week at one of the big City firms, specialising in employment law – and a trustee of a new writing theatre. 

When she’s not writing or lawyering, she’ll generally be found cooking with her husband (he’s on shore this year!), or in a theatre somewhere. Her debut novel, Yours is Mine, is the first in a three-book deal with Carina UK, the new digital imprint of Harlequin.


To finish off Amy Bird's Blog Tour she is giving away an awesome goodie-bag of books from Harlequin's Imprint MIRA!!!

One winner will receive print copies of:

How to Enter:


Interview with Amy Bird!

Thank you Amy so much for doing this interview and for including Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives on your blog tour. An even bigger thank you for making this final stop special with your amazing giveaway of a goodie-bag full of books from Harlequin's MIRA imprint.

What is the first line of Yours is Mine? What is one of your favorite lines?

First line: “The day the invitation appeared in her email inbox, Kate Dixon was ready to give up.”

One of my favorite lines: “Pastry, wine, sex; it was all part of a spiral of weakness.”

Try to describe your novel in 10 words or less. Go!

It’s about two women who exchange identities, masquerading as each other.

Harlequin is known for romances but your book doesn’t sound quite like the typical steamy story. Is it Romance? Young Adult? New Adult? Thriller? Experimental?

The exciting thing about the Carina UK imprint of Harlequin is that it’s cross-genre – so not just romance. Yours is Mine is a psychological thriller. But there is a bit of sex.

Tell us your story – how did you become a Navy wife, where has it taken you?

I met my husband at university in London where we both studied, before he joined up – but I always knew he wanted to be in the Navy. We were married a few days after he passed out of Dartmouth [the UK Royal Navy college] – a fully Navy wedding with sword arches. Geographically, being a Navy Wife has taken me all over the place when I fly out to see him – the best was going to cocktail parties in Cape Town and Singapore. Emotionally – I guess that’s taken me all over the place too, from the sadness when he goes away to the jubilation on his return. I’m more used to that now after nine years of marriage though.

How did your Navy Wife experiences inspire this novel? Where did the idea of a Navy Wife wanting to get her life back come from?

Initially, the idea for the book was around the concept of identity. It is perhaps our most important possession – so I wondered if anyone would ever surrender their identity voluntarily. And if so, why?

The choice of a Navy Wife was plot-driven – I needed a woman who was alone, and whose husband wouldn’t know she was doing a ‘life exchange.’ But of course, it goes deeper than that. In the novel, Kate has just lost her father so the ‘re-bereavement’ she faces when her Navy husband goes away again puts her in a really vulnerable position, ripe for predator Anna with her proposal of a ‘life exchange’. I think we’ve all had moments before a deployment when life seems lacking in immediate promise, and I guess I drew on that, but for Kate it’s worse due to her family circumstances. I also had some fun with the idea of a Navy Wife exchanging identities. All those emails that Navy Wives exchange with their other halves while they’re away – you do sometimes wonder: would it make a difference if another woman was writing them? Would the responses from sea be any more or less disjointed? And of course, that whole idea of whether you really know what your OH is up to and vice versa – I guess it’s a new twist on that.

Are there any scenes that were inspired from your own experiences?

I think all scenes are drawn from our own emotional experiences to an extent, but there shouldn’t be exact replication between life and page, otherwise that’s just a journal.  

Except for waterskiing. I did once go waterskiing. And I enjoyed it. So I thought I’d write about it. But the consequences weren’t as startling for me as they are for Kate! More on that later…

Is there a message in your novel that you hope Navy Wives will pick up on?

Don’t exchange lives with another woman while your husband is away!

Seriously though, I think there are two key messages: you can use the opportunity while your other half is away to do exciting and productive things on your own; and don’t underestimate the importance of good communication about what you are expecting from your marriage (as with any marriage, Navy or not).

I’m not sure Kate, the protagonist, quite manages either though…

What’s the story of your author/publishing journey? How did you start writing and how did you end up at Harlequin’s Carina UK?

As well as being in the Navy, my husband somehow finds time to write, and I saw the fun that he was having, and wanted to have a go too. I wrote Yours is Mine in about nine months, then gave it a rest while I did a course at Faber Academy and started my MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck [University of London]. When I was at Birkbeck, there was a call for submissions through my MA program from Carina UK, so in February this year I submitted, my editor really ‘got’ the book, and now here I am on a three-book deal!

Ebook imprints are kind of a new thing in the world of publishing for authors and especially readers. Can you tell our readers what an ebook imprint is all about, and can you tell our author-readers about your experience going this route?

I can only speak for my imprint, but it’s a great hybrid between the ‘main’ traditional publishing house and new technology, and a way for an established house to unveil new writers. Readers of e-books get the same high standards they would from that publishing house: the editors choose stories that they love, they suggest revisions to make sure the story is as thrilling for readers as possible, then the reader goes off to make those changes. It just so happens to be in e-book rather than paper format – which for readers means it can appear on their Kindle or other e-reader immediately, and when their favorite author writes a new book, it is released a lot more quickly. And for authors, it means the time from writing that first sentence to being on (virtual) shelves is much reduced. Plus the very talented designer at Carina UK made me a great cover (big shout out to her!).

How has your husband responded to your novel and book launch?

He’s been very supportive – we always are of each other’s careers. He knows the character professions are plot driven (I’m a lawyer in my other career and so is Kate, so no escape for law either!), and that because logistics are so important for this book, I went with the ‘write what you know’ approach. He also knows that I’m nothing like Kate and he is nothing like Neil (I had to remind my editor of this when she first met him so things didn’t get heated)! He even travelled back from his Navy base to attend the launch party, returning there the same night. It meant a lot to me that he could be there. I think it was the promise of the ‘book cake’ – yes, really. Check out my Facebook photos!

Since your debut, have there been any misunderstandings or fear of misunderstanding about anything in your book that you’d like to speak to? Or were there any choices you made as an artist that you aren’t sure readers will get?

I think for any debut novelist, when their first novel is released into the world, there is a concern that friends and family will think you have written about them, or that it’s some kind of kiss and tell. Happily, no one has reacted in this way to Yours is Mine. More widely, I suppose there is a worry that people could perceive the book as being negative about military marriages, or the military. But it’s not: my book is about its particular characters, and the driving force of the story is that two women exchange identities, with destructive results. It just so happens that one of the women is a Navy Wife.

I’d also say that, although Yours is Mine is very much a thriller, do look out for the existential themes in there, and that slant on ‘How far would you go to get your life back?’

What are some books that readers who like your book will also like? Are there many books out there with a focus on Navy Wives?

I loved Gone Girl and Before I Go To Sleep – and I’d love to think Yours is Mine is as thrilling as them. There is also an interesting thematic overlap on assumed identities with Kiss Me First, which came out at the same time as Yours is Mine.

A relative once gave me Stranger in the House, a book with historical accounts of how military wives cope with their husbands coming home after wars. I’m sure it’s very well written and researched, but I’m afraid I never opened it. It was a well-intentioned gift, but not exactly a pick-you-up.

What was the most difficult experience you’ve had as a Navy Wife?

House-hunting by myself. But I got the pick the house, and my husband liked it too. So that worked out ok. Plus the time I decided not to take any ID to enter the military docks in Cape Town because my handbag was too small, and the hotel car had already left. Oops. Which made the moment he came bounding along the dock one of the best moments.

What is the best piece of advice you could give a Navy Wife?

Try not to divide your life up into ‘when he’s home’ and ‘when he’s away’ – it’s all one continuum. And make the most of the romance.

What is the best piece of advice you can give Navy Wife writers?

Think of a six-month deployment as a novel. It makes both seem more manageable.

Plans for book number two?

I’m told Yours is Mine is a page-turner. I’m writing my next book with the same aim in mind.

Before I ask the final question, is there anything I didn’t ask that you would like to get out there?

Um, I think I already said that if you liked Gone Girl and Before I Go to Sleep you’ll like this, right?

All right, for the final question of your entire tour – it’s going to be a doozy – what is one thing you can tell us about your book that hasn’t been told anywhere else?

So - that scene I mentioned about the waterskiing. For those Thomas Hardy fans amongst you – you know those two erotically charged scenes in Tess of the D’Urbervilles where Alec is feeding Tess strawberries, and teaching her to whistle? Those were my inspiration for the waterskiing scene between Kate and new admirer Ben. And the consequences for the two women are pretty similar.

Thank you so much again Amy for including Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives and for your generous giveaway!

 Well what do you think? Is this a fantasy you have had as a Navy Wife? Leave a comment or join the discussion of the new Unhinged Navy Wives & Girlfriends Forum on Facebook!


Are you a Navy Wife Writer? I am currently seeking Navy Wives to write regular segments on Unhinged & Empowered Navy Wives and Girlfriends. Check out my Guest Poster Page for More Information or Contact Me! 




  1. Love the sound of "Yours is Mine!" That's going on my TBR pile!

  2. A great interview! Very interesting to read your experiences as a Navy wife!

  3. This sounds interesting,a bit of everything,can't wait to read it!

  4. sounds excellent! sekretstacie at gmail dot com

  5. The book sounds awesome!! I hope to read it soon!!
    Thanks for this giveaway!! Good luck to everyone<3

  6. I love how mysterious the book sounds and the cover and title - love 'em! :)
    Thanks for this!


  7. Thia book looks very intriguing, thanks for the interview :)



I love, love your comments and questions! Just remember to not mention any security info about your Sailor! Thank you!

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