Hi, I’m Amanda! I live in Toronto, Canada and I lived in the United Kingdom for nearly three years- which means I spell it colour not color, honour not honor, and favourite not favorite. I’m an educator by day and write to keep my sanity. I read and write Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Humour, but put any book in my hand and I’m a happy girl. My dream is to write full-time, from home, in my pajamas, because going outside during winter in Ontario is highly overrated.
What is the first piece you remember writing (from childhood or young adulthood)?
The first writing memory I have is ten year old me writing X-Men romantic fan-fiction based on the ninety’s cartoon. I remember using a DOS based word processor with a black and green screen and saving on those really big, thin, floppy disks. I oscillated between being Cyclopes’ girlfriend and Gambit’s girlfriend. This was pre-Hugh Jackman X-Men so Wolverine was not even on my radar yet
What is your favorite aspect of being a writer? Your least favorite?
My favourite aspect of being a writer is the developing stage; daydreaming, world building, being introduced to my characters and falling in love with them. My second favourite aspect is that I have an excuse to sit in coffee shops and look intellectual.
My least favourite aspect is pushing through the lulls. Often, I find it hard to complete a large project because I get sidetracked or my interest level in the novel wanes. I always circle back to it but I often find it hard to keep myself motivated enough to focus on one project at a time and bring it to completion. I’m a procrastinator and I will find anything else to do besides write if I am feeling a lack of creativity.
Do you believe in writer’s block? If so, what is your best tip for beating it? If not, why not?
I suppose that depends on your definition of ‘writer’s block’. I have never experience a moment when I did not have anything to write. There has never been an absence of ideas banging against the front of my skull insistently. I’ve never been ‘blocked’ in that way. I have never sat in front of a computer screen, note book, chalk board, or sand with a stick and not had anything to put to on it. It probably just isn’t what I should be writing.
I have been tired, unmotivated, discouraged, hungry, distracted, downtrodden, and a hostage to my own expectations. I am no stranger to sitting before a blank page, that nasty cursor blinking at me over and over again, double dog daring me to write something utterly fantastic. Sure, I could write. I have ideas, but are they worth the time and effort? Are they worth overcoming the fear of writing something inadequate? Maybe you consider this being ‘blocked’- but I don’t. I don’t believe in using ‘writer’s block’ as a crutch. As I mentioned I am a procrastinator. I know that about myself so I’m not going to blame ‘writer’s block’ for not accomplishing my goals or word count. That’s all on me.
So, what helps? Well, I take a shower. It gives me a few minutes to relax and gives my mind space to wander. Most of the time it’s the refresher I need to sit and hack out another few sentences.
What is your current writing project? What is the most challenging aspect of your current writing project?
I am working on editing my untitled NaNoWriMo 2014 manuscript; a post-apocalyptic novel centering on slavers, cannibals, drug addictions, and a disagreeable anti-hero.
I fell out of love with the story halfway through the month- I hated every word, sentence, every paragraph. I completed it for the sake of pride and am revising for the same reason. It’s not completely awful or else I’d just toss it, but the manuscript needs a lot of work which can be very discouraging and daunting. However, the more I revise the less I hate the story.
What supports you in your writing?
Of course I must dutifully proclaim my family as my utmost supporters. Though I will admit to never failing to be shocked and surprised by it. I assume everything my sisters say is sarcastic. My family has been very encouraging- though they do need constant re-linking to my blog (it’s called a bookmark, you know). I have a plethora of friends who support and encourage me- though it often looks like they are making fun of me.
National Novel Writing Month is perhaps the catalyst of the current leg of my writing journey. I look forward to the challenge every year. NaNoWriMo reaffirms that- yes, I can write a novel, I can find the time, and that I am a highly competitive person who must beat everyone else in the world.
What are you currently reading?
Currently I am reading The Broken Land: A People of the Longhouse Novel By Kathleen O’Neal Gear and W. Michael Gear. I picked up The Broken Land on a whim because it was on the discount shelf at the local bookstore. I am really enjoying it and plan to go back and read the earlier novels in the series.
Where can our readers find you and your books online?