hello

My name is Amanda Radley, welcome to my website! 

I’m a novelist of LGBTQ+ fiction, focusing on sapphic romance. I’ve published more than fifteen books and have achieved best-seller status internationally as well as winning a Lambda award, being short-listed for the Selfies 2020, and being short-listed for the Goldies in 2019 & 2020. 

I live in the UK with my Swedish-born wife. We’re currently based in the Midlands but have also lived in Hastings and London.

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Writing Sapphic Fiction Best Selling Author

My journey...

While I’ve always been fascinated by books, I’d never been interested in becoming an author. Most likely because the very idea of it seemed so ludicrous I never seriously considered it.

 

The beginning...

Reading was a great passion when I was young and I remember reading just about anything I could get my hands on, even my older brother’s copies of The Bill, a British police procedural TV series that had been serialised which were most definitely not suitable for my young eyes. As I got older, the reading bug left me and I am one of the very few authors you’ll come across who doesn’t read very much at all. 

While books fell by the wayside, stories didn’t. I enjoyed hearing stories, watching TV shows and movies, and conjuring up weird and wonderful scenarios in my mind. Looking back, I realise this was the groundwork for a career in creative arts but at the time I thought I thought my attention span was short and I bored easily.

 

Starting work...

I didn’t attend university as I’ve always been an extremely practical and pragmatic person and hadn’t decided what I wanted to do with my life and so couldn’t possibly choose a course that would fit with a question mark where a career path ought to be. Instead, I started working a variety of office jobs from facilities, to finance and eventually found myself working in pensions. While pensions are exactly as boring as they sound, the people were not. Every day I would work on many case files and had the opportunity to rummage around in the lives of my clients who included professional football players, car showroom owners, yacht manufacturers, potters, farmers, and more.

As you might imagine, pensions soon became boring. A thing called social media was becoming popular and a small handful of companies were seeing the corporate possibilities of such technology. I’d always been technically minded and so I retrained in marketing with a focus on the digital. I started working in social media, and later in digital marketing as a whole. 

After a while I decided to set up my own company and work for myself, I started a digital marketing agency and soon had a number of prestigious London clients. I’d made it… so I thought.

 

 

A few words here and there...

While the work was interesting and the salary was good, I didn’t feel satisfied. It was during this time that my wife and I decided to move to the coast to ‘get away from it all’. We moved to Hastings to enjoy a quieter pace of life by the sea. I commuted into London two days per week and worked from home the other days. Determined to maintain a work-life balance, I refused to work on the ninety minute train journey into the city and instead started writing. I published my work online on free fan-based forums and was surprised to note that I quickly built up an audience. 

I found that I enjoyed my writing time on the train and it came easily to me. During the journey I could easily write a couple of thousand words and upload them by the time my train pulled into London Bridge. Sometimes I wrote on the way home, sometimes I wrote at home. A few words here and there turned into multiple stories and many very kind reviews from strangers. 

But I still didn’t consider myself a writer. 

 

Taking it seriously...

My wife and I had been in the city together one day and were taking the train home to Hastings when I received a message from someone claiming to be a publisher and wanting to talk to me about publishing my work. Initially, I ignored the message as I didn’t know if it was a scam or even if I wanted my work to be published. After some nudging from my wife, I made an appointment to have a conversation with the publisher. 

As it turned out, they weren’t a scam and were a real publishing house. I half-heartedly set about preparing a book for publication as I still didn’t really consider myself a writer. I was a company director and this was a side project, nothing more. 

The side project turned from one book into two and I started to learn a lot about the publishing world. At that time, I wasn’t ready to be managed by a publishing house and after those two books we went our separate ways. But I didn’t stop writing. Taking my newly honed skills, I wrote a mystery book with the intention of self-publishing it. I’d worked in business and marketing for years and knew you could pretty much learnt to anything with a quick Google search and some time in front of YouTube.

I was right and within a few months Huntress was born. My first self-published book that later went on to win a Lambda award. 

From there I started to hand over more control of the marketing agency to others and focused more on my writing. I’d found something I enjoyed and something that came relatively easily to me. It was a career that allowed me to use my creativity, my imagination, my marketing, and could be done anywhere in the world. 

Somehow between 2017-2020 I self-published fifteen novels. I achieved best-seller status in America, Germany, France, Australia, the UK, and more. In addition to my Lambda award, I was shortlisted for the mainstream Selfies 2020 award for my novel Going Up, as well as being short-listed three times for the GCLS Goldies. In 2020, my heart-warming romance novel Fitting In, which explores autism, was named a finalist for the Amazon Kindle Storyteller award.

The future...

In August 2020 I teamed up with leading LGBTQ+ publishing house Bold Strokes Books with the aim to publish my future works with them. While I loved being a self-published author, I was at the point in my career where I wanted to focus a little more on craft and have the support of a publishing house behind me.

Now I have more time to focus on what has always been lurking at the back of my mind… the next story.