Deirdra: What made you decide to become an author?
Amanda: I never really decided to become an author. I’m an avid reader. No, that’s an understatement. I’m a devourer of books. But in January of 2009 I started having these really insane apocalyptic dreams. I told my sister-in-law about them and she encouraged me to write them down. Well, I kept having the dreams until I finally took her advice. Once I got the dreams out of my head and on to paper they were edited vigorously and transformed into Rescuing Liberty – my first book that I self-published in December of 2009.
Deirdra: When did you start writing?
Amanda: February 2009
Deirdra: What genre(s) do you write?
Amanda:Rescuing Liberty was post-apocalyptic, faith based (crazy combo, eh?). Chronicles of the Broken is a young adult series.
Deirdra: Is there anyone who has inspired or influenced you in your career?
Amanda: I’m constantly being sent inspiration. Probably the biggest influence has been Krista Darrach because she always tells me like it is and never pulls her punches when I’ve written complete and utter slop. She’s become a great friend and an invaluable writing buddy. I’ve met so many others who are always there to inspire, nudge and literarily slap me across the face when I need it. I couldn’t write without any of them.
Deirdra: What is the most exciting thing that has happened in your career?
Amanda: Every day is filled with new and exciting experiences. When Leeway Artisans offered me a publishing contract, that was the most exciting moment of my career. Then they sent me edits that felt like the perfect piece to my manuscript puzzle and that was the most exciting moment of my career. Then came a marketing plan and a release date and then came the cover … and … I guess since I never thought this would happen it’s all amazing. I can’t wait to see what happens next!
Deirdra: For you, is writing a full time job, part time job, or a hobby?
Amanda: By day, I’m the junior vice president of a non-profit trade association, so it’s not my full-time gig, but I’d be hesitant to call it a job or a hobby. It’s more like an obsession.
Deirdra: Writing a novel is time consuming. What is the most effect method you have found for managing your time?
Amanda: I duct tape my children to the wall and throw food into their mouths on break. Okay not really. Time management is always a challenge, but when something is important to you, you just get it done. Writing is beyond important to me. It’s like breathing. I can’t just decide not to breathe any more than I can decide not to write. I probably don’t sleep enough, but that’s okay. It’s worth it.
Deirdra: What is the most difficult thing about being an author?
Amanda: In learning to write, some sort of bizarre internal switch was flipped, and now every book that I read seems to be a learning experience. I can no longer sit back and just enjoy a book without appreciating what the author did well and visualizing what I’d do differently.
Deirdra: What is the best thing about being an author?
Amanda: For a long time I struggled with writing faith-based books, because I’m not a pastor or a really religious person. I’m just me. One day when I was feeling especially self-conscious I found the perfect scripture – John 15:16, “You did not choose me but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit—fruit that will last.” The scripture just felt right—like God was telling me to get over human inadequacies and buck up because we had work to do. So writing makes me feel … obedient and closer to God.
Deirdra: What are your goals as an author for the next three years?
Amanda: At least two more books on the Chronicles of the Broken series, and my Rescuing Liberty readers are probably going to tar and feather me if I don’t finish that sequel as well.
Is there anything that gives your writer’s block? How do you solve that problem?
Amanda: I go to the gym and crank up the tunes on my Zune while I see how fast I get the stair machine going. It’s amazing how much your brain starts when your teetering on the border of cardiac arrest and adrenaline bliss.
Deirdra: Do you have a favorite writing snack food?
Amanda: Dark chocolate. I’m quite certain it enhances creativity.
Deirdra: Where is your favorite place to write?
Amanda: I write on my laptop, so I tend to go wherever the family is.
Deirdra: How do you come up with your character’s names?
Amanda: My kids are a huge help for that. I usually describe the character and they all give their input.
Deirdra: What is the best complement you could receive from a reader?
Amanda: More than anything, my books are about hope. I pray that they find people in the dark, impossible places and bring them a better understanding of God and therefore hope for the future. I try to do this without being preachy or condemning, but by using the characters to relate to the readers and show how no one is beyond redemption.
Deirdra: If you have any books published what are they and where can readers find them?
Amanda: Rescuing Liberty can be found on Amazon.com or at Barnesandnoble.com. Chronicles of the Broken will have a brief special holiday release and can be purchased between December 14th and December 31st at http://www.leewayartisans.com/
This is the publisher’s website with my latest book: http://www.leewayartisans.com/