The Portrait Project
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Amelia sits down with us to talk about London vs New York, her forthcoming novel, and what she has to look forward to.


Amelia Wallace Mendoza

Current location


Where were you born?


Three words that describe you:

Certain, observant (as in quick to notice things), curious

Favorite color?


What was your very first job?

Aged about eight, collating documents in my mother’s office

What are you working on these days?

I’m writing a novel

What is the most challenging part of writing?

Sitting down every day and just doing it, even if you don’t feel inspired

What’s the one piece of literature you can always re-read?

I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith

Favorite city in the world?

It’s a toss up between New York and Rome

Train or plane?


Do you have a favorite saying?

“What the heckedy?”

What’s the best piece of advice someone ever gave you?

My father once told me, with regards to love, that: “there’s got to be jungle drums”

Biggest hope for your children?

That they are happy and don’t get tattoos

Three things on your life-long to-do list:

Become proficient in another language, make a soufflé, and learn to meditate successfully

What qualities do you require in a friend?

Integrity, humor, kindness

What beauty product can you not live without?


Strangest thing inside your handbag right now?

Nothing particularly strange - just a mixture of the expected (money, keys, Oyster Card, phone) the practical (mini umbrella, handkerchief, notebook) the sentimental (notes from my children when they were little, a card from my husband that accompanied an important bunch of flowers sent 20 years ago, a little drawing on a scrap of paper by my mother) the necessary (a book) and the vain (small hairbrush, hand cream, breath mints)

What does style mean to you?

Confidence, originality and flair

What event in your lifetime marked you the most?

I can’t say that a particular event marked me, but being the daughter of my parents, with their various cultural and emotional influences, has marked me more than anything.

What is your most treasured possession?

My wedding ring

Guiltiest pleasure?

Popcorn from Popcorn Palace and a Friday Night Lights boxed set

If you could have dinner with one person, dead or alive, who would it be?

This is such a hard question! Do you go for historical oomph and fascination or for great company? I’m going to choose Sara and Gerald Murphy because they were the best hosts in the world and could tell me stories about their friends – Dorothy Parker, Pablo Picasso, Cole Porter, Serge Diaghilev and the Fitzgeralds, amongst others – and life on the Cap d’Antibes in the 1920’s.