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Bookish & Unbalanced: Ami Spencer's Sapphic Fiction February Interview


Those of you who followed last year's Sapphic Fiction February may recall I interviewed the wonderful Ami Spencer, author of Broken, The Storm Within Her and most recently The Mage's Secret. But Ami Spencer is a person of many talents, and now they are also a podcast host! Bookish & Unbalanced now has several episodes available now, and if you have any sort of interest in mental health you NEED to check it out!


But for now - Ami, welcome! Tell us a little more about yourself. Who are you and what do you do?

I'm a partner, parent and author (plus I have a "day job"!) But I'm also a passionate believer in mental health advocacy and discussion. I've lived through, and live with reoccurring episodes of depression and anxiety. And because of that, I'm now also a podcast host, with the amazing Adrian J Smith and Katie Trapp!


How did you start the podcast?

AJ slid into my DM's one day and the rest is history! I'd put together a blog train on my website for World Mental Health Day, with a load of sapphic authors who talked about their experiences with mental health. It was 2 weeks of really heart-felt and raw stories and I was super proud at getting enough traction to pull them all together. When I was organising it, I really wanted to arrange some online live discussions, but I really didn't have the bandwidth to do it.


Then AJ messaged me. She was setting up a podcast which literally fit everything which I wanted to do, and my name had been passed on as a potential person who would be interested. She asked if I would be up for having a chat and maybe being a co-host. I think I spent about 0.5 seconds thinking about it before agreeing!


Tell me about some of the guests you’ve had!

We've already had someone amazing guests and conversations on the podcast, but one of my favourites was the narrator Aven Shore (or Tessa Stavers). We ended up having a really interesting conversation about gender identity and expression and how it can impact your mental health.


What challenges have you faced in creating this podcast?

There are some topics which naturally I don't have much knowledge or experience of, and when these happen I'm more than happy to listen and absorb whatever everyone else has to say. And sometimes there's things which are said which cause me to have an epiphany mid-recording. I'm learning to allow myself to be vulnerable in those moments, and admit that I might not know something, or that it's evoked something in me which I didn’t realise was there. The podcast as a whole is a chance to talk, but also a chance to learn and educate ourselves, and I'm sure I speak for all three of us when I say that happens.


What do you consider to be the hardest part of creating a podcast?

Actually the hardest part comes after we've recorded. Some topics don't resonate until we've finished and I've had time to let them sit with me for a while. Others happen mid-recording. Whenever they happen, the hardest part is trying to decipher those emotions and thoughts, and work out why they've had such an impact.


And how about the most rewarding?

The most rewarding thing about the podcast is my co-hosts. The three of us are so different; we all have different ways of approaching things, or explaining our thoughts and feelings, but it comes together really well. We speak a lot outside of the podcast as well, just about writing, editing, the whole world which goes with being an author, but also about life; the good, the bad, the crazy and the funny. The universe threw me together with them, and I couldn't be happier. I only wish there wasn't such a huge physical distance between us, although I'm not sure the world could cope if we were in the same space!


How can people connect with you?

Our Linktree here.


Finally a light-hearted one. What ice cream flavours and toppings would you put together in your ultimate sundae?

I'm not a huge sundae fan...when it comes to ice cream, I firmly believe in less is more. Honeycomb or salted caramel ice cream in a waffle cone is perfect for me. There's an ice cream parlour literally five minutes from my house which does the best ice cream and that's what I get every time.


If you enjoyed this interview, then make sure you’re following my social media accounts (@kblakemanwriter on Twitter and @katherineblakemanwriter on Instagram) to get all the latest updates! And if you want to support my own Sapphic Fiction journey while you’re here, The Summer We’ve Had is available now, and Love You However is coming on March 22nd!


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