NK Chats To… Amber Cooper

Hi Amber, thank you so much for joining me today and inviting Novel Kicks onto the blog tour for your latest book. Can you tell me about your novel, A Cask of You and what inspired it?

A Cask of You is the first of a seven book series (eight if you count the free prequel) following siblings who come from a whisky distilling family on the Kintyre peninsula in Scotland.

The story is about a down on her luck American romance author, Bea who travels to Edinburgh, Scotland to write her next book and find a Scotsman for inspiration. She meets aloof Cal Butler and gets a job in his bar. Cal has a lot on his mind: his father is terminally ill and his difficult ex is pregnant, possibly with his child. He tries to resist Bea, but their chemistry is too intense, so they agree to a three-month fling. Feelings develop on either side, and Bea struggles with Cal possibly being a father due to self-doubt her ex planted in her. The novel is passionate, sweet and steamy and if you enjoy being transported to Scotland and meeting hot Celtic heroes, you may very well love it.

In terms of inspiration, my memory is fuzzy as I began the book in 2019, but the idea came when I was doing a course in romance writing with the Professional Writing Academy, here in the UK. Fragments came to me each week as I wrote different elements of a romance novel – meet cute, sex scene, no way scene, etc. For example, Edinburgh was the setting, whisky would be a part of it, the FMC would be a romance writer, the MMC was from a big family. It all pieced together bit by bit until I realised I wanted to write a whole series. I wanted the vibe of the book to be evocative of Scotland. I am a bit obsessed with whisky, in that regard: its colours, its vibrancy, its integration with the land itself. That is why I made the whisky distillery the fulcrum for the whole Butler family. And I chose the Kintyre peninsula as I wanted them to be hardy Scottish surfers from a place where whisky is made


What’s your typical writing day like? Do you have any writing rituals and a particular space you like to write in?

I dream of having a typical writing day, of getting up early with a cup of coffee and going to a lady shed at the bottom of the garden to write all day. But I live in a wee third floor flat so I find a space wherever I can. Because I have a chronic illness, I operate on the system of doing what I can when I can and taking time off if I need it. Some days, I have to accept that doing anything at all is an achievement. But when I work best is from around 7am, starting with a wee hot chocolate, until mid afternoon. The afternoon might be for lighter admin duties and small tasks that are easier to manage. I don’t have a desk but sitting up for long periods of time is difficult for anyway, so it’s usually the couch or bed. One day, I will have a lady shed with a chaise longue in it. #believe


What are the challenges you found when writing your novel especially as it’s book one in a series?

Apart from the aforementioned health issues, and everything taking so long because of them and seeing everyone else bounding on ahead of me, I would say developing as a writer. I put this book out for ARCS in October 2023 and then had a change of plan when I felt like it just wasn’t ready and pulled it back, rebranded covers and titles and revised the book a bit, too. I could quite easily go back to it now and revise again as you are always developing as a writer, but there comes a time you have to move on, stop picking at it and put any new skills to work in your next book.


If you were creating a playlist for your book, which songs would you pick?

I have a playlist of over 100 songs for the whole series that I dip into to help me with ideas. Funnily, A Cask of You is the book with the fewest songs I’d attribute to it. However, one song that seems to fit as the song around which the whole series revolves is I Got a Name by Jim Croce.

I find playlists great for getting into the story and characters, but I feel weird sharing mine as they feel so subjective. Also, mine has some very uncool songs on it!


From idea to finished book, what’s your writing process like and how long does it typically take you? When do you know when you’ve done enough research?

My writing process is a bit messy. I don’t even know if you could attribute the word process to it at all. I tend to write a rough plan using structured romance beats. Then I write a first draft and half the plan goes out the window. I’ll redraft at least once before finding a beta reader or two and then making more changes. After that, I send it to my editor for her to do a beta read, make any changes based on that, then send it back to her for a line/copy edit. When I get it back from the editor, I go through it again making changes she’s noted but also probably undoing her hard work by changing the prose because I no longer like what I have written. I read it all through once more and send it to ARC readers. While it’s out them, I will be tempted to fiddle with it again. I really am hopeless.

I couldn’t say how long it all takes to be honest. The fastest I did it was with the prequel which I think was all done in six to nine months. I find that I need a long time for ideas to come to me and even if I wrote something quickly, I would need time for other seeds of the story to grow.

Because I write books set in my home country, it makes research far easier. For the most part, it’s just a wee google as I go along.


Which book would you like to forget just so you can discover and read it again?

Jane Eyre.


What’s your favourite word and why?

Enjambment. It’s a beautiful word and it sounds so lovely. Also, it makes you sound sophisticated.


Which fictional world would you like to visit and why?

What a great question. I have to say that I’d like to be twelve years old and a student at Malory Towers. All those midnight feasts and sea dips would be spiffing.  Or anything in Bronte world, which would be far darker but fascinating. Maybe I could blend the two and bring Heathcliff over for a sea dip at Malory Towers. Or maybe not.


What’s been the highlight of writing this book?

Seeing it exist as a thing that I made with a cover and a spine and reviews. Having people say Cal Butler is hot. Meeting other authors and giving each other support. Definitely not trying to master the Tik Tok algorithm. Sorry, you said highlight not highlights – or lowlights.


Any other advice for anyone considering writing a book?

If you want to do it, don’t wait, do it. Read books in your genre and out of your genre. And make sure you really, really believe in it, because there will be times you’ll feel like no one else does.


Would you rather –

Have the ability to see into the future or be able to visit the past?

Visit the past.


Have the ability to move things with your mind or read minds?

Move things with my mind.


Sing or dance to your favourite song for the rest of your life?



Have money or power?



Have an endless summer or winter?

Summer please. Would anyone in the UK answer winter?


Tea or coffee?

I’m going to be a rebel and say hot chocolate. 😀


Movie or book?

Book, unless it’s Anne of Green Gables because Jonathan Crombie as Gilbert Blythe. My heart.


Morning person or night owl?



Paperback or eBook?




About Amber Cooper

Amber Cooper is a Scottish romance author who lives in a wee flat in Edinburgh, Scotland, with a Scotsman and a Scotscat.

When not writing, Amber can be found searching the internet for vintage furniture to upcycle, watching Eastenders (British soap where everyone is always shouting at each other), and going for walks whilst listening to her Spotify playlists and imagining dreamy scenes for her next novel.

Say hello to Amber via Intergram and TikTok.



About A Cask of You

All Bea wants is to fly to Scotland and write her steamy new book. Find a smoking hot Scotsman to model the hero on. She can do no-strings, in the name of art, right?

But Bea hasn’t met Cal Butler. Yet…

Bea Gracie, an American romance writer, flees to Edinburgh to escape her broken heart and find inspiration for her fictional love interest. And there he is – the stunning-yet-aloof Cal Butler – in the same Edinburgh coffee shop where Bea is tapping at her laptop. All she has to do is orchestrate a meet-cute and her muse is hers.

Drawn inexorably to each other, Bea and Cal agree to a no-strings fling so they can revel in guiltless passion with a firm end date. But Bea’s feelings for Cal grow like the wildflowers along the coastline of his homeland. Is it possible he harbours feelings for her, too, or is the fire in his kiss something he can safely pack away? And what will happen when this privacy-guarding hero finds out he’s been immortalised in Bea’s spicy novel?

If you love being transported along cobblestone streets and Scottish shores to meet Celtic heroes, then this steamy, contemporary Scottish romance is for you. Discover this passionate new series and fall hard for the Butlers.

A Cask of You is book one in the Butler’s Whisky Romance series and was released in March 2024. Click here to buy. 


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I’m Laura. I started Novel Kicks in 2009. I wanted a place to post my writing as well as give other writers like me the opportunity to do the same. There is also a monthly book club, a writing room which features writing prompts, book reviews, competitions, author interviews and guest posts.

I grew up by the sea (my favourite place in the world) and I currently live in Hampshire. I am married to Chris, have a cat named Buddy and I would love to be a writer. I’m trying to write the novel I’ve talked so much about writing if only I could stop pressing delete. I’ve loved writing since creative writing classes in primary school. I have always wanted to see my teacher Miss Sayers again and thank her for the encouragement. When not trying to write the novel or writing snippets of stories on anything I can get my hands on, I love reading, dancing like a loon and singing to myself very badly. My current obsession is Once Upon a Time and I would be happy to live with magic in the enchanted forest surrounded by all those wonderful stories provided that world also included Harry Potter. I love reading chick lit. contemporary fiction and novels with mystery.

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