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Author Interview – Amanda Leigh

Recently, I was able to interview Amanda Leigh. Amanda Leigh has had a love of words since before she could write them herself. Once she learned to read and write herself she just couldn’t stop. She reads any genre as long as the book sounds interesting. Which may explain why she can’t and never will be able to stick to one genre in her writing. From Contemporary Romance to Women’s Fiction to Paranormal Romance to Poetry and more to come. When she’s not writing or reading she enjoys getting swept away in a great TV show, going to the theater, listening to music, cooking and many different forms of art. She has a cat she adores and also loves Psychology, tea, coffee, chocolate and Elvis Presley. Not necessarily in that order. Feel free to get in touch with her.

Amanda Leigh is also a personal friend of mine and we have laughed together and have sometimes even cried together. She has helped me through so much and whatever we do in the writing community, we often do it together. So here’s my interview with her and I hope by the end that you love her just as much as I do!

Q 1

It was just a natural thing for me to do. I’ve always told stories. Ever since I was two years old I’ve been making up stories. My mom used to write them down and I would draw the pictures. Once I learned to read and write it was just natural that I would write them down.

Q 2

….Everything. lol Honestly, though, I don’t think I could ever pinpoint it. I HAVE to write. I couldn’t stop if I wanted to. I get ideas from everywhere and from nowhere at all. I have at least 35 ideas that I still have yet to work on. There are characters chatting away in my head constantly. Where does it all come from? Who knows? I sure don’t.

 

Q 3

I didn’t pick specific genres to write. It never occurred to me to even try. I genre hop. I write what I enjoy. Whatever genre the story that I’m writing is, that’s where I go. I will say I love Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, though. It isn’t easy to write but I find it to be the most natural for me to write for some reason. That’s a genre that I really love. Which is kind of funny because so far I only have one book out in that genre. But other genres I’ve written include: Women’s Fiction, Poetry, Contemporary Romance and Horror.

Q 4

My favorite character that I’ve created is named Trent. He’s one of the main characters in my Mature YA Paranormal Romance series. He’s a 195 year old vampire with a dark past. He can a bit of a jerk and he isn’t the easiest person to love but I adore him. There are a lot of layers to his character and I absolutely adore him. I also really enjoy writing him and I find him to be the easiest of my characters to write. I understand him very well and I know him very well, too. I know what he thinks about almost everything.

Q 5

I think that it would probably be Kiara. She’s the other main character in my Mature YA Paranormal Romance trilogy. I love her, as well. She’s sassy and strong willed and tough. And she’s Trent’s love interest. I adore Trent so…enough said.

Q 6

Well, I love the Paranormal genre. I love books, TV shows and movies about it. I find them fascinating. I’ve been fascinated by the paranormal for almost my entire life. My mom and I theorize that it started with Michael Jackson’s Thriller video. At three years old I was obsessed with it. From there I went on to Are You Afraid of the Dark? and Goosebumps. Then on to more grown up things. Poltergeist, The Others, The Sixth Sense. Later on The Vampire Diaries and The Originals. Interview with the Vampire.

So I guess it was natural that I would write something paranormal. The sentence that started it all was scribbled into a notebook from 2009. All it said was “A witch falls in love with a vampire.” I found it later on in 2010 and wrote the first three chapters. Then I put it away, finished school and I found it in the summer of 2013. That’s when I decided I wanted to write it. I rewrote the first three chapters. They started out in third person but I made it first person dual POV. I made my first note about the book in September 2013. (Back when I thought it was going to be one book.) I took notes for months. I made character profiles for each character. The ones about my three main characters more in depth. The profile about Trent came to me with almost no effort at all. I just knew him. It’s like he was there in my mind all along just waiting to come out and play. Then I wrote the first draft in about six weeks. I finished it in May 2014. Three years later the book is out. And it turned out it is going to be three books.

There is one thing I wish that I’d addressed in book one but I’m going to get to it in book two.  The funny thing, people are saying the book is darker than they expected. Well, it is only going to get darker.

Q 7

I have several…. I adore J. K. Rowling. S. E. Hinton and Emily Bronte. I also love poetry and my favorite poets are: Emily Dickinson, Robert Frost and Edgar Allen Poe. Other favorite authors include: Cynthia Lietich Smith, L. J. Smith, Maggie Stiefvater. In the indie community some of my favorites are: Jennifer Weiser, Ryan Ringbloom, Trisha Wolfe, K. Webster and Aimee Shaye.

Q 8

I almost always listen to music while I write. Sometimes if I have to work on something a lot I’ll be out in the living room after dinner with the TV on but mostly I’ll have music on. I make a playlist for each thing that I write. Different stories require different music. Different moods, different vibes, all of that. Even within each scene. For my Beauty of the Dark series I have a playlist just for my two main characters.

I don’t actually have a song that I always listen to while I write. I write across genres so sometimes each thing that I write is so different that one song would never work for everything. I go through phases of listening to a song or a few songs a lot, though. Right now those songs are: Under by Alex Hepburn, Good Girls Go Bad by Cobra Starship, I’ll Be Good by James Young, Dangerous Woman by Ariana Grande and I’m in Love with a Monster by Fifth Harmony. See? They all relate somehow to what I’m working at the time.

Q 9

Yes, actually there is. A partner and I are currently working on a very important project. It’s called Strength: Lives Touched by Cystinosis. It is a collection of true stories from people within the cystinosis community. Cystinosis is a rare genetic, metabolic disease that I also have. My partner has a young daughter with the disease. The book will be coming out in the beginning of July and all of the proceeds will go to the Cystinosis Research Network.

 

Also, I’m going to be in the Shaded with Love Coloring Book: Volume Three. This comes out on July 1st and all of the proceeds are going to American Foundation For Suicide Prevention. So my next two releases are each for a great cause!! And I’m working with wonderful people on them!!

 

Also, I love Elvis Presley!!!! ❤ ❤ ❤ ❤

Q 10

Writing is not easy. So make sure that you’re in it because you love it. If you’re doing this for the money that is not a good enough reason. Not to mention, you probably won’t get what you want. Authors are not rich. But if you’re doing this because you love it, don’t give up. Read. Write. Practice. Get better. Learn about the craft. There are many great books on writing. Do research, find some that you want to read and then read them armed with pens and highlighters. If you want, take some classes on it. It is possible to do this but it is going to take work. That doesn’t mean it isn’t worth it. If you love it, it is worth it.

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